Sound — 6
This is an album that seriously lacks in sound quality. But this begs the question, "was it meant to be that way or did Metallica (and Bob Rock) just screw up royally?" I believe that this album's dirty, underproduced sound was intentional... and stupid. The guitars on this album are all droptuned. The riffs are ok. Some parts sound really cool and other parts are more along the lines of, "When's another cool part coming up?" The drums... well there's a lot of skill being displayed by Lars but unfortunately he's displaying it on a Folger's coffee can. The bass on this album is actually pretty good. Granted Rob Trujillo had absolutely nothing to do with it. And as for lead guitar... is Kirk even on this album? Maybe the guys just pulled a prank on him like they did on Jason during Justice when they turned his amps way down. Maybe Kirk really is soloing and the amps are just so quiet we can't hear him. Maybe they were great solo's. Maybe this was the best thrash album of all time... yea right.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics on this album are just average. There are some cool parts like during Frantic where he does the "tic tic tic tock" thing, but unfortunately it's preceeded by the lyrics "My lifestyle determines my deathstyle" which is just stupid. Also think about the song St. Anger. It's 8 minutes long and only has one verse, a chorus, and a bridge. Really could have trimmed about 4 minutes off of that one. Also for the reason of sounding underproduced they decided to keep all the times when James sang out of key.
Overall Impression — 6
This is by far Metallica's worst album. It does have it's moments but it's tough to make up for all the crap on the album. There are some really good songs on this album too. The unnamed feeling has an Unforgiven feeling to it and is definently one of the best. Also Sweet Amber, My Life, and Invisible Kid have a definent 'old school Tallica' felling to them. However, the best part of this album is that it makes me optimistic for the future. Metallica is moving towards heavier faster music. All they have to now is work the kinks out and we're back in business.