S&M Review

artist: Metallica date: 05/12/2004 category: compact discs
Metallica: S&M
Released: Nov 23, 1999
Genre: Symphonic Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock
Label: Elektra, Vertigo
Number Of Tracks: 21 (2CD)
"S&M" (an abbreviation of "Symphony and Metallica") is a live album by the American heavy metal band Metallica, with The San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Kamen.
 Sound: 9.4
 Lyrics: 9.2
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (11) 18 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
S&M Reviewed by: metOLIca, on may 12, 2004
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this album takes some getting used to, when I first heard it I got really annoyed sometimes because, sometimes it is really ard to make out what James and Kirk are playing, for example: Enter Sandman Intro, & One bridge... also on the DVD it focuses on one person per song, it shows Lars ALL the way through Sad But True, even during Kirks solo, that got me pretty pissed off, but after you cope with it, and listen to the changes in the songs, its fucking good and a must hear. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics arew same old same old... with a few alterations to get the crowd really going, and James little comments during none singing parts, such as (enter Sandman) "Yeah... Cummon, Let loose man!" this gets the crowd going which is great! James sings with alot of passion and projects his voice very well, even on Battery (the last song)! // 10

Overall Impression: You can't really compare this to other albums becasue it is a combination of all the other albums, with teh exception of two songs that metallica made for S&M, Minus Human, which is a Sad But True type song, Heavy and Genius, and No Leaf Clover is close to Until If Sleeps, soft gentle and pleasent... The Best songs on the album are: Master OF Puppets, Battery, Enter Sandman, One, Hero Of The Day (personal favourite), Sad But True, and Nothing Else Matters (goes brilliantly with the Orchestra)

Songs - Ratings


01. Ecstasy Of Gold - This isnt a Metallica song, it is the orcestrea doing a breif into, u know get the crowd going. Good to see what to expect from this amazing CD!
02. The Call Of Ktulu - This Is probably the best song in terms of how well it goes with the orcestra. The song intro fits perfectly with the orcestra. Then it kicks in with the first distortion on the album. Lack of singing gets a bit tiring after a while. 9/10
03. Master Of Puppets - Not Much to say... arguably the best Metallcai song ever. Goes well with orchestra. Kirk plays solo perfectly, everything perfect!!! 10/10
04. Of Wolf And Man - This one actually suprised me to be on here, still absoultly amazing song. Played Brilliantly, sung amazingly, crowd gets a lot of singing in this song. 10/10
05. The Thing That Should Not Be - Orchestra does a small intro, amazing song with or without the orchestra, the thing you noitce about this song in my opinion is the power in james voice. 9/10
06. Fuel - Takes you a while to work out waht song this is, kirk does an amzing intro with a slide, really builds up to james "Gimme fuel, Gimme fire, Gimme that which i desire" from then on the whole song is played amazing, plus it is a personal favourite. 9.5/10
07. Memory Remains - If you have the DVD, james says "we like it when you sing man", lets the crowd sing "MEMORY REMAINS' obviously the crowd are loving, an amazing song, really really good live. 10/10
08. No Leaf Clover - This song has never been released... I dunno why its an amzing, like i said previously, very similar to Until it sleeps, soft intro, slowly into heavy distortion, Also this goes really well with te orchestra, an amazing song, should have been released on Load or Re-load. 9/10
09. Hero Of The Day - This is a genius, the intro goes amaxing with the orchestra, james also sings this one with a lot of passion, beautiful song, and very well played. 9.5/10
10. Bleeding Me - This is probably the most disapointing song on the album, it is the last song before the interval, I could have thought of a much better song to put on there, such as... seek and destroy, Sanatarium, or Fad to black (that would've been hot). It still an aiight song 7.5/10


01. Nothing Else Matters - Genius song... perfectly played, goes a-fucking-mzing with the orchestra. nothing else to say really....10/10
02. Until It Sleeps - This is no where near Metallica's best song, but it close to being the best song on this album, it goes amazing with the orchestra, they play it perfectly, james sings with a real passion, doesnt hit a note wrong. fucking Amazing. 10/10
03. For Whom The Bells - This is a personal favourite so it might be a little biased... It's brilliant, orchestra plays the same as guitars on intro, goes really well, Jasmes singshis mother fucking heart out, note a note/word wrong, The DVD for this song is amazing, they all really get into it, (I'm watching it now, just to let you know) 999/10
04. Minus Human - This song isnt on any albums...shoudl be, an amzing song, better than lots of songs on Load or Re-Load, lyrics, Guitars, Drunmms, Bass, everything is pretty fucking good.... 9/10
05. Wherever I May Roam holy shit... this is fucking amazing... I was obsessed with this song for ages after hearing this... a MUST HEAR... genius! 10/10
06. Outlaw Torn - Not the choice i would have made for this slot, this brings this disc down dramatically, it would ahve been the best disc ever made in the history of ever, I think Sanatarium would have fit here perfectly... wierd choice, but its goes pretty well, singings hot... nice james... 8/10
07. Sad But True Genius 10/10
08. One - Close to Metallica's best song to perform live, guns, bombs and explosions at the begining, orchestra does a little part, then you heard james come in, genius. Solo :O... fucking amazing variation in the live performances, (those of you that know kirks change in the one solo its that, amazing) an easy 10/10
09. Enter Sandman - Metallica's most famous song, and arguably their best (i personally dont think it is by a long wa, still in-fucking-credable) at the end of this song, it slowly fades out, then about 15-20 secounds later james comes back in with the famous riff... crowd goes wild, as i would! 10/10
10. Battery - The encore, and what an encore it is, James sings liek a mother fucker, plays like a mother fucker, everyone is loving it... he does his whole... "are you alive, how does it feel to be alive" then kirk comes in with his solo amazing... 10/10

I personally Disc II is the best, becasue of the ending 4 songs, great combination... there both brill... this is a must hear... // 10

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overall: 9
S&M Reviewed by: merabharatmahan, on february 15, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: A highly criticised album. Screw anyone who said that! It is an album with some of Metallica's best songs played with the San Francisco Symphony. The album has a really new sound for the world of rock. I never before thought of idea -- the worlds greatest band with an world-class symphony. The symphony gives a new feel to the metallica songs and is a absolutely amazing and new feel. Some of the songs are enhanced while some are not. The violas etc. give a nice sound to the songs and create a nice feeling. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics on the albums are practically the same as the original songs wiht a few changes here and there. The lyrics on this album are exceptional as they are the greatest Metallica songs. James Hetfield has a different voice for this album and sings many of the songs in a different manner and style, like Nothing Else Matters. // 9

Overall Impression: It is defenitely a really good album with some of Metallica's greatest songs redone. Some songs are better than the original while some are not. New songs which are better Nothing Else Matters, Until It Sleeps, Wherever I May Roam, Sad But True and a few others. Original songs which are better One, Master Of Puppets, For Whom The Bell Tolls, Battery, etc. // 9

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overall: 10
S&M Reviewed by: genresrforposer, on february 22, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: 01. The Ecstasy Of Gold - theme song from a Clint Eastwood movie "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly." A warm up for the symphony and an excellent song (though a bit short at only 1 min 30 sec). 02. Call Of Ktulu - anyone else notice that all 4 of Metallica's first albums had instrumentals? This song shows why they played a huge part in those albums being classics. And the symphony adds more layers and textures and makes the song much more interesting than it could possibly have been with the original instruments alone. (it also won a grammy for "best rock instrumental"). 03. Master Of Puppets - Hetfield's voice may lose its "straight-from-hell" ambiance from the original, but it's replaced with a very lively voice good to sing along to. The symphonic element is obvious, so of course the symphony does well. 04. Of Wolf And Man - the most alive song on either discs, due to the band's enthusiasm. The symphony goes well with it for the most part. 05. The Thing That Should Not Be - I've always had to be in the mood for this song, which has a slow pace which can get annoying. Hetfield forgets a few lyrics but the symphony adds to the gothic feel. 06. Fuel - great energy, and Hetfield's voice change for the show removes the annoying screeching that bogged down parts of the original. The symphony's interlude parts are just fantastic. 07. The Memory Remains - symphony adds a lot. Hetfield says "suck it." He totally has the right to do so. 08. No Leaf Clover - one of two songs specifically written for the event, and the album's single. Great opening, and amazingly good for what is essentially an experiment(even moreso than the rest of the album). Turns out it's "Soothing light at the end of your tunnel," not "tongue." And I thought that song was blatantly sexual when I was 15. 09. Hero Of The Day - ending is good (I mean that in a good way) but a bit too slow for me to start. 10. Devil's Dance - totally dancable, and definitely more catchy than original bare-bones rock version. 11. One of my faves with the symphony, starts out with bluesy guitar and only gets better. Once again, I like Hetfield's voice much better than on the original album. Symphony gives it that grandiose feeling it goes for to begin with, but this time actually succeeding. 12. Nothing Else Matters - song that made Michael Kamen and 'Tallica friends (he already did symphony bits for the album version). Adds a couple more symphony parts, not much else different. Still good though. 13. Until It Sleeps - symphony adds texture, but I actually like the oriiginal equally. 14. For Whom The Bell Tolls - I think the symphony makes this song almost upbeat, in that good adrenaline sense. Although one of the things I like most about the song is the brilliant lyrics, and Hetfield sings them a bit fast. 15. Human - another song written specifically for the symphony. hard-driving riff and good usage of the symphony, but still not quite great. 16. Wherever I May Roam - aside from the violins that follow the main riff, I find the symphony parts a bit out of place and akward. 17. The Outlaw Torn - one of the longest songs Metallica's ever written, the version on "Load" had to be cut short to ensure the CD didn't skip. The actual sound? meh 18. Sad But True - symphony introduces the song wonderfully, unfortunately after that the symphony bits are hit-or-miss. Band keeps it together completely though. 19. One - absolutely beatiful. Enough said. 20. Enter Sandman - for the most part, symphony is great, and they lengthen the song in a very good way. However, there are still a few spotty places where the symphony feels wrong or is gone for too long. 21. Battery - spanish guitar opening gets replaced with orchestral instruments, but during the middle the symphony is barely used. Ending symphony bits are ace, however. Interesting Fact: Michael Kamen also added orchestral texture to Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, and Bob Dyllan. He died of a heart attack only a few months after the album's making. RIP, indeed deserved. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrics are by Metallica. Obviously they're good or great, but certainly never boring and there's often a deeper meaning. // 10

Overall Impression: A few songs may have bennefitted from less spotinness from the symphony, but mostly it's hard to notice due to Hetfield's more than welcome vocal change and the grandiose texture and feel the symphony adds to most songs. // 10

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overall: 9.3
S&M Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 17, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I never thought that Metallica + a symphony = great music. I had heard one of the songs on the radio (No Leaf Clover) and I loved it. So I bought it. Very nice sound. Obviously, it is metal and hard rock. It is all of Metallica's greatest hits live with an added bonus. The guitars are nice although I think that Kirk Hammetts guitar was a little too quiet compared to Hetfields. Lars Ulrich did a great job on the drums. Bass was very nice (especially in "Devil's Dance"). // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are amazing. At times it is a little difficult to hear them because of the guitars and the symphony, but they are still there. And James Hetfield is the best lead singer in music. // 10

Overall Impression: This is one of the best albums in my CD collection. My favorite songs on the album are "No Leaf Clover", "One", "Master Of Puppets", and "Fuel". I love this album because it has the symphony in the background. I also like this album because it has there best songs on it. There is one thing I don't like about it though. Where is "The Unforgiven" and "The Unforgiven II". If it were lost or stolen, I would find it because I cant afford to buy another one. // 9

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overall: 9
S&M Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 12, 2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album gives you maybe the notion of the end of a time where you can find this historic band getting ready to a turning season, Metallica maybe felt that was the right time to record some of their classic material to open space to a brand new era. This classic and yes (symphonic) metal, for an usual fan of the band we can see the band in a high time playing their old music and two new songs, this album really is a deep, emotional outrageous experience as long as the record climbs every song until it's final. The symphony really pictures the feeling about every metallica song. hear the record loud and you'll experience the brutal sound they made here. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are the same as usual in what concerns to the new songs "human" and "no leaf clover". James Hetfield sounds theatrical in every song taking off all the emotivity and adopting strictly the role in every single song. James vocals do have an incredible resistance and power you hear him singing 110 min and you don't notice one single flaw and he's not even tired. // 8

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overall: 10
S&M Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 29, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I really love the sound on this album, and it is a really good idea to play guitars with a symphony orchestra, Jaymes and Kirk plays the guitar very good and you can relly hear the difference from other crappy live takes. Overall the sound is very pleasing to hear... Kirk plays the guitar as a f**ing god (like he always does :) and Jaymes vocals is clean and pure, unlike some of the new albums (face it: Jaymes is loosing it). But the S&M album is a proof of Jaymes' real skills. // 10

Lyrics: You can't really say something about the lyrics since they only sings Metallica classics (Except No leaf cover an Humans I think..). Jaymes sings clean as mentioned. No leaf clover is a new song created for this live show. The song itself I think is really good. The guitarplay is impressive and a catching solo that fits the song good. The lyrics are good also. Overall a great song. // 10

Overall Impression: I must say that this is one of the best live sets album I have ever heard. I can sit down in a good chair and listen to it for hours. One of my lead inspiration for guitarplaying. If you are tired of the new metallica you should absolutely go and buy one of these (they sell a DVD too, NICE...A musthave). What I loved\hated about the album: - I loved the nice guitarplaying and the good lyrics. It is a sign that the guys are putting a bit sole in this...still. - What I hated about this album was that they play the orchestra too high sometimes (Doesn't bother you much). Overall: I love this album, and btw: it is a 2 cd :) Go Buy! // 10

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overall: 9.3
S&M Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 16, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This has got to be the most incredible idea a band has ever had. Mixing one of the heaviest and greatest metal bands to walk the planet and the San Fransisco symphony orchestra together is an ingenius idea. Got to give props to the late Michael Kamen, he did an excellent job. The way the heavy riffs and the dulcet tones of the symphony combine is incredible. The way that a real heavy song like for whom the bell tolls can be transformed by the orchestra is immense. Amazing. // 10

Lyrics: Can't go wrong with the lyrics, same old same. Some better than others, but overall tip top. especially good quality than that on devils dance. The lyrics on there are quite strong and they tell a good story. Lyrics go well with the music even though James aint got the best voice! // 8

Overall Impression: The best Metallica album by far. I'm a little biased as im a HUGE Metallica fan but this album is awesome, even if you don't like Metallica you should just listen, you will change your mind, trust me!!! // 10

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overall: 8
S&M Reviewed by: soundrock31, on august 04, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Talk about something completely different in the sound catagory. S&M has a dynamic tone that feels like Master of Puppets meets the soundtrack to Gladiator. The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra ads a classical twist that sounds good on songs like One, but it also sound cheesy on the more bluesy Load songs like Memory Remains. // 8

Lyrics: I mean, the lyrics are the same on this record as they were on the past records, and they are still amazing. On the two new songs, -Human is ok, but No leaf Clover stands out as a perfect blend of good lyrics, mellow flowing violins, and kick ass riffs. // 8

Overall Impression: This is not the first combination of an orchestra with rock music (YES, Kiss, etc.), but I think Metallica works good with classicl music because Metallica has been making classical-like music for 20 years (they just do it with distorted guitars). My only problem with the sound track is the songs that Metallica and Micheal Kamen choose. If it were up to me, I would replace Memory Remains and Bleeding Me with Creeping Death and Fade to Black. If you want to buy this album, I would recommend you listen to the original recordings so you can judge this album yourself. // 8

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overall: 10
S&M Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 10, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I absolutely love this CD. I think its incredible that they got such a blend of sounds with a live CD. This CD sounds like it was recorded in a studio. I cannot find a single flaw in this entire CD sound-wise. // 10

Lyrics: I consider this CD to be a best hits CD along with a live CD. There are only a few things wrong, in my opinion. First of all, I wanted more songs! I couldn't get into a few songs though. CD1, track 1 "The Ecstacy Of Gold." Only because it's only the orchestra. CD 2, track 4 "Human", or "Minus Human", whatever you want to call it. I didn't get into it because it's not on any other CD. I did like no Leaf Clover. CD 2, track 6 "The Outlaw Torn". I don't know why this song doesn't attract me. I think that it's just to clich. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said before, I consider this CD a best hits/live CD all in one. I don't have Live Shit Binge An Purge only because it costs $50, but I'm sure that CD would fall in that category too. I remember going to a Metallica concert before I had this CD, and I heard no Leaf Clover. It was the absolute coolest thing I have ever seen: 20,000 people head banging for what seemed like 15 minutes to the part where there is no guitar solo, but not a verse, I guess you would call it a bridge. When I heard this song for the first time, I just started back up with my head banging. I love this CD. I wouldn't trade it for any other CD in the world. // 10

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overall: 8.7
S&M Reviewed by: Pennyroyal Tea, on march 29, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Just what I was expecting from a live recording, in the Berkeley Community Theatre, near perfect sound recording, with even background noises getting through. Some very tiny inperfections here and there, when the audience isn't heard singing sometimes, but nothing bad really. I'd give it a 4. 9 if I could. The orchestra and the band played to near perfection, and the audience behaved particularly well. The entire CD is recorded in a way that makes you think you're actually there. // 8

Lyrics: Well, the lyrics were practically songs from other albums, except for IMO the greatest songs of the entire album, No Leaf Clover and Human. No Leaf Clover had a phrase which I will remember for the rest of my lyric writing life. "Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of the tunnel, is just a freight train coming your way", a masterpiece in lyrics describing a terribly unlucky person. Great as always. // 8

Overall Impression: Well, for the price I got it, it was much more than worth it. Almost perfect condition, flawless CD's. The best songs of the entire album were: No Leaf Clover, Human, Hero Of The Day and of course, the evergreen Master Of Puppets and One. However they should have included Orion and To Live Is To Die. I'd now like to reserve something about No Leaf Clover. IMO is one of the best songs ever released by anyone. Every time I listen to it it awesome. It's a pity they never had it released in one of their albums. I don't hate anything in the album, its one of the most perfectly made albums in my collection, if not of all time, ranks up there with Master Of Puppets. I'd definitely buy it again if it gets stolen, I'd hunt down whoever stole it and kill him/her. I love this album to bits. // 10

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overall: 9.3
S&M Reviewed by: Rattlehead666, on october 28, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Even though I am not a fan of classical music I like this album. I find this album very unique compared to any of the other Metallica albums. I like the song No Leaf Clover. When I first heard this song which was actually the first song I heard on the album I though these are the same guys who written Seek & Destroy and Ride The Lightning. Although I am not a big fan of live albums I realy do like this one and I don't realy care about the difference between new Metallica and old Metallica. // 9

Lyrics: I like the lyrics to No Leaf Clover and Human and James vocals are pretty good seeing that they hardly ever changed after Metallica or Black album. James singr skills are pretty good. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall I don't think this is a bad album seeing it has something to do with classical music. I like One in orchestra form and same with Battery. I don't love or hate anything about this album and I hope that people like it the way I do. // 9

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