I’ve been in a bit of a Metallica groove lately and I’m gonna be honest with you…their songs still rock.
Seriously, people underestimate James’s rhythm guitar abilities. If you’re a guitarist, go and learn the riffs from Master of Puppets. And once you’re done with that, try singing the lyrics while also playing those riffs. And then tell me he wasn’t brilliant.
But there is one album that, to this day, makes me…confused. And that album is St. Anger.
I don’t really hate the album. In fact, I enjoy the title track and The Unnamed Feeling to this day. But there are certain aspects that make me wonder: why did they choose to go the route that they did?
First off, there’s the (in)famous snare of Lars Ulrich. Maybe I’ve just become too accustomed to the sound, but it sort of fits the album. Not saying it’s the best snare sound out there, but in the grand scheme of things, it fits the overall sound. That being said though, the drums really needed to be toned down in the mix. They overpower the guitars to the point where I’m actually surprised people were able to put tabs together for the guitar parts.
Secondly, the songs are way too long…well some of them anyway. And the fact that they don’t have solos makes them become a tad too repetitive. Seriously, take the title song for example.
Now I’ve seen songs getting sliced to fit the video, but St. Anger the song has a total runtime of 7 minutes and 28 seconds, while the video is like 5 minutes and 20 seconds or something like that. That’s a lot of slicing done…which kinda proves my point that the songs are too long. And it’s not like in Afterlife by Avenged Sevenfold where they cut the good parts.
Finally, the lyrics are…odd. I mean there’s some good stuff in there for sure, but for the most part, the lyrical choices are weird. I don’t exactly know what they were going for in some of the songs but some of the lyrics are…bland. Like they were a bit out of ideas. I dunno, maybe you have to be in some kind of mood for the lyrics to make sense. I honestly didn’t mind them back in the day and at the very worst I find them questionable today so…who knows.
People said that they were trying to do their own take on nu-metal, which was extremely popular during that time. But having listened to my fair share of nu-metal, I honestly don’t remember it sounding like that too much.
So yeah, I still enjoy the 2 tracks I have mentioned. Maybe not as much as I did back in high-school when I listened to them a lot. It’s just that this album could have been so much better with some tweaks in the production aspect. Honestly, if the tracks had solos and the drums had less volume, I think it would have been way better received than it was. As it stands, it’s the black sheep in an otherwise great legacy, similar to how Hot Space probably is the black sheep in Queen’s legacy (more on that in another post).