St. Anger review by Metallica

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  • Released: Jun 5, 2003
  • Sound: 3
  • Lyrics: 2
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reviewer's score: 3 Poor
  • Users' score: 5.7 (840 votes)
Metallica: St. Anger

Sound — 3
Raw, passionate and aggressive are three words that I'd use to describe this album. That makes it sound pretty good, doesn't it? Don't be fooled. This album may have a raw sound, it may be very aggressive, and it may be filled with passion, but in the end, this album still sucks. Something that seems to annoy many people is the production quality. Honestly, I don't mind that much. If one of the classics like MoP, AJFA etc. had worse quality, would they not still be masterpieces? The main thing that annoys me is the lyrical and compositional quality. There's barely anything there. The songs could've easily been conmposed by a crappy nu-metal band. The lyrics could've been written by some angsty high school dropout. Just about every song has been stretched out way too far, with riffs being repeated ridiculous amounts of time (the beginning of "Some Kind of Monster" should be enough to make you see what I'm talking about). However, it's not all negative. The thing I do like about this album is how much passion there is in it. You can particularly hear it in Hetfield's voice. Listen to the song Frantic. When he goes, "Frantic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-toc, you can really hear the passion in is voice, and by the end he's breathlessly screaming it. Let's not forget the fact that there is not one single solo on this metallica album. That's right, you heard me. A Metallica album without a single solo. What happened to Hammet's skills? And let's not forget about the drums. Dear god, the drums. It's not that Lars does a bad job on this album, the drumming is actually pretty intense. But on this album, the snare sounds like a freaking trash can lid. In the end, I was definitely not impressed. Load and ReLoad were bad enough, but when the Load phase ended, I was hoping they'd go back to real metal. They made it eventually, but not before this abysmal pit stop from hell.

Lyrics — 2
The lyrics on this album annoy me greatly. James Hetfield has come up with some real masterpieces when it comes to lyrics, so what the hell is up with this crap? I know, a lot of you will say that after 30 years and 7 albums, coming up with good lyrics may be hard. That means they can drop in quality a bit. Not from excellent to pure crap in one step. Half the time it sounds like they're trying to make it rhyme. Like these lyrics from the title track: "I feel my world shake, like an earth quake. Hard to see clear, is it me? is it fear?" Terrible, right? That's not even the worst of it. They truly have every type of bad lyrics here. Lyrics that are just plain terrible (which the album is full of), lyrics that are ripped off songs that they've already made (The line from the title track, "f--k it all and no regrets, I hit the lights on these dark sets" is basically a rip off their Master of Puppets song, "Damage Inc."), they've even got some emo angsty crap (Invisible Kid is full of this crap). As for the vocal delivery, well it's... raw and passionate. One of the only things I like about this album. James Hetfield's voice is full of passion. As previously mentioned, there's the bit in Frantic. Then, there's also the part in "Dirty Window" where he's pretty much yelling out "Projector, protector, rejector" etc. You really can hear the passion in his voice. Overall, the lyrics are pure crap. You can find masterpieces on almost all the other albums, but if you want any good lyrics at all, stay the hell away from this album. As for vocals, if you're looking for messy but raw and passionate vocals, I guess this is a good album for that.

Overall Impression — 4
And now, I'll split this album up into the individual tracks. 01.Frantic: ah the opening track. This one isn't too bad. The guitars are... interesting, if nothing else. The snare doesn't sound as bad as on other tracks. The lyrics... aren't great, but seem to be better than on other tracks. And of course, there's the chorus, where James passionately almost screams, "Frantic-tic-tic-tic-tic-toc!" I'm not saying that this song is great, but it is tolerable, unlike most of this album. 02.St. Anger: here we are, the title track. So many things wrong with this song. Here you can clearly hear the trash can lid style snare drums as soon as they're played. Did that hurt your ears enough? It's not over yet. A simple beat is played next, one that would usually sound fitting. But in this case it's just going to make you scream in agony as the clashing, ringing sound of the snare drum is played over and over again. And next? Well enter the abysmal lyrics. "St. Anger on my neck, he never gets respect"... what the hell is that? Again, it sounds as though they may just be trying to rhyme. And then this verse is played again, but with a more crappy and mainstream-ish sound, as "You flush it out, you flush it out!" is sung in the background. Then, of course, the chorus, which starts off by ripping off one of their masterpieces (Damage Inc.), and ends up by with the incredibly lame line, "I'm madly in anger with you". Finally, the chorus is over. Your ears can take a break. Wait, that's not right. The whole thing is done over again! As if it wasn't torture enough the first time! And it's exactly the same, crappy lyrics and all! Then the ear splitting intro is played again, with the bridge on top. Of course, you can expect more abysmal lyrics here. Truly, this is one of the worst songs you'll ever hear. Avoid at all costs! Or, use as a torture device! 03.Some kind of monster: this song has been stretched to hell. They took a 3-4 minute song and turned it into an 8 minute song. Now, don't get me wrong, I love long songs. But this song isn't a long song. It's a stretched out normal length song. It's incredibly repetitive. Listen to how much each riff in the intro is played over and over again. And then, well the song starts. This is James at his worst on the album. It's more rapping than anything else in the verses, and the verses each go on for what should be 2 verses. See what I mean when I say it's stretched to hell? The chorus is incredibly unimpressive, and all around, this song is just boring. 04.Dirty Window: finally, another tolerable song. After the last 2 tracks, we need one of these, don't we? The lyrics really aren't that bad in this song, at least better than the rest of this album, and the guitars are both aggressive and catchy, a fairly good mix. But for me, the high point of this album is when James yells out "Projector, protector, rejector, infector! Projector, rejector, infector, injector, defector, rejector, detector!" They're probably just words that are made to rhyme, like a lot of the rest of this album, but the delivery is so passionate. 05.Invisible Kid: the worst thing about this song by far are the lyrics. Another example of just trying to rhyme, and ending up with incredibly crappy lyrics. Not only that, but the lyrics get incredibly angsty. "I hide inside, I hurt inside, I hid inside but I'll show you"... does that not sound slightly angsty to you? Take a look at the lyrics for the whole song. A good thing is that the snare seems to be pushed more into the background, so in this case it's not mind blowing ear splitting agony. There's a breakdown towards the end which isn't that bad. You can hear the passion from just about the entire band, particularly Lars. Aside from that, this song was stretched, the lyrics are ridiculously crap (even by this album's standard), and overall it's just unimpressive. 06.My World: this song has some catchy riffs... but not in a good way. You remember the bluesy style of Load and ReLoad? well you can hear it again in this song, now with the epic sounds of trash can lids banging together, and really crappy lyrics. Repetitive, boring, and just all around bad, imo, this is just another one to skip. 07.Shoot me again: another song with catchy guitar lines. This one isn't that bad. Again, you can hear the passion in this song, and the chorus does stretch on for a bit, but it's probably the best part of the song anyway. The biggest flaw is the pre-chorus. It carries on for way too long, and is too repetitive. With the whole "Shoot me again, I ain't dead yet", and then "Shoot me again, shoot me again, come on" or whatever, with the amount of times that those lines are repeated, it gets way too tedious. The bridge is pure aggresiveness, and I guess it compliments the raw sound of the album. The last chorus is played much more aggressively and passionately than before, but I think they went a bit over the top with it. Aside from that, this is one of the better songs on the album. 08.Sweet Amber: this is the second shortest song on the album, and it's so incredibly raw. The intro I found fairly unnecessary (the clean bit), it just takes away from the atmosphere set by the rest of the song. And the next riff was repeated a few too many times before getting to the point. But when you hit the lyrics, you'll probably hear what I mean when I say how raw this song is, particularly the chorus. It actually has some decent transitions between soft and hard, and unlike a lot of the other songs, the music actually complements the vocal styles. And the breakdown's pretty good, much better than what I was expecting, and leads perfectly into the next section. Lyrics still aren't anything special, but this is one of the ones you may want to listen to, though it is a little repetitive. 09.Unnamed Feeling: this song had potential to be pretty good... but many things ruined it. Parts of the song didn't suit other parts. It was too dragged out, as though they were trying to bore you. The unnecessary dragged out notes, the repetition, it's all quite boring. And the bridge is too angsty. The passion's definitely there. You can hear it from all the band members. But overall, aside from that, unimpressive song. 10.Purify: this song is incredibly aggressive, and equally as repetitive, which is surprising because it's the shortest song, so it's not a short song that's been stretched to hell like the rest of the songs on this album, it's just a repetitive song. The vocals and lyrics in the verses sound like a massive joke. Seriously, it is that bad. James is out of key in the chorus, and the chorus drags on for way too long. The breakdown also repeats itself way too much, then leads back into the chorus. The outro bit's not too bad. And that's about it. 11.All within my hands: this song is somewhere in the middle on the album... not one of the really bad ones, but not one of the not-as-bad ones. As with most songs on this album, it's been stretched too much. But the raw emotion in this song can be heard so clearly, and the transfers from clean soft riffs to sheer aggressiveness has got to be worth something. The lyrics are more coherent than most of the album, but not some of the best, and definitely still not very good at all. The ending is almost comical as Hetfield screams out "Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!" over and over again. In the end, they could've ended the album off worse. It wasn't a bad close. Conclusively, this album sucks compared to Metallica classics like Ride the Lightning, Kill 'em All,... And Justice for All, and, of course, Master of Puppets. There are some high points, and some low points, but almost the entire thing was stretched out way too much, and the lyrics are truly crap. The aggressiveness of this album can only carry it so far, and in the end the bad qualities far outweigh the good. If you want to hear some real metal, pick up one of the albums I mentioned earlier in this paragraph. If you want your brain to explode from the sounds of trash can banging, terrible lyrics and a complete lack of solos, well go ahead and listen to this album. In the end, Metallica redeemed themselves at least slightly with the release of the following record, Death Magnetic, which in itself is proof that the legends of metal have not run out of ideas for classic riffs, great lyrics and all around good music.

39 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I like how a lot of the reviewers talk about Trujillo in this album - HE WASN'T EVEN IN THE BAND UNTIL THE END OF THE RECORDING!!!! Watch Some Kind of Monster, Bob Rock played bass for the album
    mullenmetal wrote: its very average like metallica have been for 15 years not bad just average please metallica please be thrash in the next album P.S No one will ever changer metal like metallica.
    Your wish is granted.....
    This album is terrible. No guitar solos, crappy lyrics!!!!! This sounds like garage music!!! Terrible, just terrible. The only song I liked from this album was Some Kind Of Monster.
    I don't know if this has already been brought up, but even though this arguably WAS a step back for Metallica... Death Magnetic was a couple of steps forward, so don't suddenly hate them because they made an album that many don't like.
    This album ***ing sucks. old skool metallica is way better this album is sh*t and death magnetic is the only album that ***ing sucks sh*t more than st. anger. they both suck major sh*t
    i dont really care wat anyone else thinks. Metallica is the greatest METAL band in the world... St. Anger just sucked dick... they stopped being good after black album and thank god they started on fixing up their mistakes with Death Magnetic, maybe they will finally put out a better record, u know? more like kill 'em all, ride the lightning, and master of puppets. and the ug review is so steriotypical of corporate bullshit and seriously? who thinks "frantic tic tic toc" is actually clever? anyways, i think everyone is missing the point... Metallica KICKS ASS!!!
    freedomdeceptiv, you're a fool. Metallica have been terrible for 20 years and St. Anger is the laughing stock of the music industry. Heres a fact for everyone - 90% of Metallica fans refuse to believe that the band can do any wron. Most people's reply to that is 'You're just saying that because you like Megadeth'. Yeah, I like Megadeth - I also like Kreator, Exumer, Sodom, Coroner, Onslaught, Exodus and Heathen. Just because I like Megadeth doesn't mean I don't like Metallica too, but in all honesty they only have two truely great albums (RtL and AJFA). Metallica fanboys need to pull their heads away from Metallica's collective penis and smell the coffee already.
    A Bad Guitarist
    postmortem2006 wrote: Heres a fact for everyone - 90% of Metallica fans refuse to believe that the band can do any wrong.
    Umm... No. 90% of Metallica fans realize Metallica started to be horrible after the Black Album. St. Anger was the culmination of around 10 years of utter suckitude (Load being their first bad album) and just about every Metallica fan I know of acknowledges that.
    i agree its a good album. its a little different than their other stuff, but good nevertheless. and yes Death Magnetic does help me appreciate it
    ...And Justice For All and everything Before.... It even rhymes
    A Bad Guitarist wrote: postmortem2006 wrote: Heres a fact for everyone - 90% of Metallica fans refuse to believe that the band can do any wrong. Umm... No. 90% of Metallica fans realize Metallica started to be horrible after the Black Album. St. Anger was the culmination of around 10 years of utter suckitude (Load being their first bad album) and just about every Metallica fan I know of acknowledges that.
    Yet they buy everysingle album the day it comes out. Refer to my comment above. and I am still guilty of buying every album after and justice for all the day it comes out
    st anger was not badass rock it was just like load reload it blew. death magnetic that was metallicas badass comeback. that is metallicas sound.
    whoever wrote the styles and the tracks needs a brain transplant and needs to do their research and they must have been reviewing any album other than this album. same for whoever gave high ratings on this album too. this is not thrash or heavy or speed. its not even metal. its rock. and it has 11 tracks on it not 22. you want a true rating for this album? 1.0 as a sympathy point for trying. and yeah this is 5 years old. leave this arguement alone. we dont need to drag out how bad st anger is for the rest of eternity. focus on death magnetic now. thats the new one.
    The album was not 'crap' or 'awful' like most people say it is yes compare it to thier 80s wok and it is not as good but they did a fairly good job on this I would not say this album is near 'great' but it is better than some albums artists make today but I hate it when people say stuff like 'yeah metallica is not good anymore they not like old metallica' WELL OF COURSE THEY GOT OLDER AND THERE WAS ONLY ONE METALLICA! and most people who say 'they have not made a good album in 22 years..' to me they are as much as fanboys as they ones who adore st.anger when are people going to relize that they are not going to go back to the 80s? enjoy the music they make now! and why do people just hate DM just cause of st.anger really DM was not that bad it was a one of their best albums since black so mabey it is your picky taste in music not the album now, I agree guitar solos and a REAL BASS PLAYER would have been nice and some better lyrics would have made this album better but saying metallica 'lost it' because of this album makes you sound stupid it was one album! and I hate people who always say "Metallica vs Megadeth" seriously Dave is not mad at them anymore and one should you choose between them?! also it is one thing to say metallica sucks but to say they have done nothing to contribute to metal is out of the question they are still overall one of the best metal bands ever
    Listening to Death Magnetic made me appreciate this album a lot more. This was a pretty good album for the most part.
    in the first review "Lars starts us off with a massive drumroll accompanied by Roberts low bass" rob wasn't in the band through out the whole recording of this album. but this album is terrible the only reason why i have it on my itunes is to say i have every metallica album. the only decent song is "the unnamed feeling" but when james starts doing that stupid pig noise after every chorus it makes the song bad. metallica is my favorite band and i would give this album 4 out of 10, just terrible and don't even get me started on the snare.
    every review on this page contradicts itself lol..i go from "10's" to "2's"..i think its an ok album, its certainly different, ile give it a needed solos, im sorry people and the lyrics couldve been much better. however, im ok with drop C and it did contain some decent songs.
    wow, I don't think I've seen more reviews for one thing than this. Seems like it went a little overboard, no?
    Well the thing is that the bass is played by Bob Rock. Trujillo came right after the recording of this album. It has his own qualities, but they are not Metallica's qualities. For example, if Metallica said: Ok we are going to do something different. We'll call this project St.Anger or whatever. Then things would change... But the album was too forced, over-produced, it is almost artificial. It's so much easier to listen this album as NON-Metallica record.
    Helpy Helperton
    read iron maiden rox's review, it's obvious he knows nothing about metal. "master of the puppets", there is no 'the', Metallica fans wouldn't make that mistake. Master was a great album but so was Ride, Justice and Kill em All. St Anger wasn't very good, some songs were alright but overall pretty poor.
    rockhard90s wrote: y 22 tracks?
    I think he counted the dvd tracks ontop lol
    seekmetal wrote: watch the dvd it will make you like this album.
    Heh, my DVD must be broken because I still think the album sucks.
    However much people bitch about whether St Anger is good or not, it still so interesting to see the such divided opinions on. This is purely because the album is always in people consciousness, it has become an unique slice in time perhaps even unique part in rock history. Even though people try to forget about it, escape it, not play it it will always pop up every nowandthen, like in articles like this, that it is always there lurking in the background. For an album that most people think is crap, or wont admit to owning or even acknowledge an existence of, that pretty impressive.
    st.anger kicks more arses than all of the rest nu-metal shit put together...n by the sound of the album metallica were just having fun jamming together n put it into an album without much engineering...n voila!out comes something worth a grammy!!!
    Nightstrider's review is ****ing hilarious, but then again, it makes me sad thinking that such a great band would put out such crap and still outsell many of their classic albums. And the drum kit does sound like trash can lids and water coolers. A great album but fans who grew up with Slipknot, I guess.
    Fender6 wrote: I actually like St. Anger as much as Load and Reload.
    So do I. I hate them equally.
    If you want to create a repeated shitstorm, review this album so it pops up on the frontpage. You will immediately find a good number of comments on how much this album sucks or how much it rocks and anyone saying so is retarded. It sucks nevertheless...
    its a review....people can shit on it and praise this album if they want. but anyway this album is TERRIBLE! i think just the fact that its metallica is what makes it so bad...if it was a new band on the block i could appreciate it more. i hate when bands with so much talent "see the light" and totally change their sound and sap their creds.
    "Those unbearable lyrics delivered through a vocal performance that sounds like livestock being violated by a pickle?" lmao. i only read up to there on the reviews. but isn't a very good Metallica album.
    While Nightsriders review is pretty comical, s/he IS wrong about one thing. Robert Trujillo had nothing to do with St. Anger. That would be the common misconception, of course. The FACT is that Bob Rock played bass on the album.