I was doing the endless Twitter scroll and I came across a post from a Twitter user called @BookOfMetallicA;
April 8th, 2003: Metallica finished recording the album “St. Anger”.
“There’s two years of condensed emotion in this. We’ve gone through a lot of personal changes, struggles, epiphanies, its deep. It’s so deep lyrically and musically”. James Hetfield.
So I thought, why not. Let’s go back there again.
I saw the band on the “St. Anger” tour when it hit Australia. In a live setting, “Frantic” and “St Anger” were not out of place when matched against the other songs from the band catalogue, but Lar’s didn’t play the fast double kick sections.
I remember picking the album up and it had the DVD of them jamming the album live in their rehearsal studio. I didn’t even play the album, I went straight to the DVD. I purchased the majority of the singles released because of the B-sides. James Hetfield singing off key is jarring, a throwback to the old days of speed metal when it was more about the aggression than being in tune.
The snare sound or the general drum sound didn’t bother me, as some of the music I was listening too had weird percussion drum sounds already like Slipknot, Spineshank and Mudvayne.
“Realistically though if you really think about it – it was the fact that there was NO real songs. That was because the guy who writes the songs – couldn’t write the songs because of where he was personally.
So, what St. Anger became was what the band could do at that point and it is exactly that. It was riffs strung together…
The way I look at it was like raw power or a garage band. It was just riffs… It was garage band and that was supposed to sound like that and what I learned out of it is that people in metal just don’t want it to change. So, it’s best that Rick Rubin continue the metal thing and not Bob.
Bob Rock on the making of “St Anger”
Hetfield still did a “master of puppets” like job manipulating and piecing together all of the lyrical streams of consciousness’s from the other guys into lyrics.
The title “Some Kind Of Monster” is more attached to the no holds barred documentary/film than the actual song. But the first two minutes of just instrumental music grooves its way into your brain and it would not be out of place on a “Corrosion of Conformity” album.
In “Dirty Window”, Hetfield is judge, jury and executioner while he finds ways to rhyme defecator and rejecter.
“Invisible Kid” has a lot of potential.
“My World” is “Frantic” part 2. And I feel like it’s a dig at their performance coach, with the lyric. “it’s my world and you can’t have it”. At one stage, the performance coach thought he was part of the band.
“Shoot Me Again” could have come from Alice In Chains.
How good does “Sweet Amber” start off?
That bluesy feeling.
“The Unnamed Feeling” has this “Outlaw Torn” feel with some slide guitar as Hetfield sings about something coming alive while he dies a little more. “Purify” is the only song that had nothing there to jam to.
“All Within My Hands” should have been titled “Control Everything, Kills Everything”. And it’s strange because Hetfield is singing on key but the music is downtuned chaos.
Overall, there is enough riffage on the album that makes it fun for me to pick up the guitar to jam to and for that, it still stands the test of time as Metallica always had the balls to do what they wanted to do.
4 thoughts on “St Anger”
Still haven’t heard this one. I think I heard so many awful things about this one I stayed away from it.
Bob Rock sums it up the best about the songs. But… those riffs pieced together are heaps good to jam to.
Good album going against the grain at the time. People could not handle it so they focused on the snare sound. lol
I’m glad you get something out of it. It is a complete mess to me, lol