Monday, 28 October 2013

Review: Metallica - St. Anger

Well, I promised that I'd do this one next. You might think it's lazy to go after one of the biggest flops in modern music history right out of the gate, but I say, "Why shouldn't I?" See, I've never actually listened to St. Anger. I've heard the title track, and I've seen everyone bitching about it. I just directed people to stay away based on near universally awful reviews and opinions that weren't mine. Again, I'm lazy, this happens. So I sat down, and I listened to the full album with an open mind. And made notes! So here's a song by song review of it, following my own little deranged thought processes. It might read a little schizophrenically.

Above image is property of Cyanide and Happiness (explosm.net)

Frantic
Guitar sounds alright so far. Not exactly screaming classic thrash but it's definitely not bad. Why the hell did Lars turn off his snare though? I really hope it doesn't stay that way for the whole album. James, time has not been entirely kind to your voice. The verses are really weird too, why does the guitar suddenly get really quiet and back to the clean sound? Because nu-metal did it and it was popular at the time? The chorus line, "My lifestyle determines my deathstyle!" is kind of catchy though. James, why do you keep saying, "tick tick tick tock"? Why are you going hi - ow, my ears!

St. Anger
Again, doesn't sound too bad so far. Actually, pretty good! It wouldn't sound out of place on ...And Justice For All. Guys, are you going to do that quiet chorus thing on every song? Man, that is a long-ass chorus! So far, I don't see what everyone has been complaining about all these years. Sure, the lyrics are really repetitive and James' singing isn't quite as good as it has been, but it sounds more like a style issue than his voice seeing as he still sounds fine live. Definitely not Metallica's strongest though. That bridge is pretty badass! Overall, not a bad song, could've been a lot worse.

Some Kind of Monster
Why does it sound like Metallica's using really down-tuned guitars? Huh, they're using Drop C (a full semitone lower). They usually use standard, I wonder why they changed. ...The flying fuck is this song? Why in the unholy mother of fuck is James rapping! Somebody make it stop! Why did I willingly start doing this?

Dirty Window
I really don't want to do this any more. Just make it stop, please! I'm not even getting paid or anything to do this, it sounds like someone's colon getting pulled out with a shitty snare in the background! James' singing is still as horrendous as an abortion in a full maternity ward and everything about this track is painful. It's physically hurting to listen to this. I'd rather listen to fucking Nicki Minaj than this horse shit!

Invisible Kid
The opening riff is alright, bur compared to the last couple of songs, that's like finding water in the desert. So far, it's the most repetitive song on the album and feels really lazy. At least this one's just inoffensively bad and not painful. I'd call it boring, but that'd just leave me with a bad taste in my mouth. Just like the bridge is leaving an aching pain in my ear canals. Just got to the second bridge, the one where James' tries to do something like alternative metal singing, and I feel like rolling up into the fetal position and crying.

My World

I think part of the reason this hurts so much is because of what Metallica had made before this. Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, And Justice For All, hell, even the Black Album! They didn't throw away what they did before, they put it in a headlock and had Lars shit all over it! Back to the music. It's more of the same bad, torturous music. Lars' drumming is awful here; he's making a $3000 kit sound like a $250 one he got second hand from a crappy little pawn shop. Lyrically, it feels like they're trying to add pop-punk to the mix and it's just not working. Do you see what this is doing to me? It's sucking out all my energy! I can barely put in the effort to think of something bad to say about it.

Shoot Me Again
WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?! Picking past the bridge is never a good idea! God fucking damn it! Why is there never a table to flip when I need one? Shoot you again James? Fine, if it'll make this shit stain on the rapidly-becoming-pimply ass of Metallica's track record end! Those verses and choruses are the same as everything else, just plain bad. The past-bridge picking is honestly making me convulse in my chair as I write this. And now they're ripping off metalcore with chugging riffs. Sorry to keep harping on this, but Lars' drumming is pissing me off more than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest! I'd say the turned off snare sticks out like a sore thumb, but it's closer to King fucking Kong in a 1/10 scale replica of New York!

Sweet Amber
Either the opening riff isn't half bad or I'm just getting used to the crap factor of the album. It's repetitious, James' singing is fucking atrocious, and the guitar instantly becomes boring again. Moving on. Actually, not yet. Who the fuck mastered this?! I CAN HEAR JAMES BREATHING INTO THE MIC! Bob Rock did it? He's easily one of the worst parts of this whole damn project, and that's saying something!

The Unnamed Feeling
Fuck me, they're really doing nu-metal. It sounds uncannily like Slipknot! How did one of the Big 4 of Thrash, some of the founding fucking fathers in 80's metal boom degenerate into this tripe? Next song, let's get this shit over with.

Why did I put a Metallica toilet here? Because it sounds like they got everything in this album from the shitter.

Purify
The legendary snare of ass is back! Again! Fucking hell, skip it!

All Within My Hands
I can feel tears of pain falling off my face. This should be banned under the Geneva Convention as a torture weapon! And do you know what the best part is? It's a ten minute song. Yup. One of the longest songs they've ever written, no easy feat for Metallica, and it's garbage. Actually, some parts aren't horrible. The guitar parts when it gets quiet are listenable in an I-need-any-reprieve-from-this-shitstorm kind of way, but I'll take what I can get. Now it sounds like they're playing through broken cables. Well, that's all d - what do you mean it keeps going?! Ugh... Fuck it, that's it. I made it this far, I don't need to hear any more of this song. But I almost made it all the way through. I'll stick it out. You bastards reading this better be grateful.

Final Verdict
If you read all of this, you know exactly how I feel about St. Anger. This picture sums it up perfectly.

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