So gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme that which I desire, ooh…
Since I am the Empress of Metal, I think it’s about time I make some declarations regarding the current metal/hard rock scene as well as that of the past. What better subject could there be except the long-awaited Metallica CD St. Anger to be my inaugural review.
I’m a long-time fan of the band, and by long-time, I mean pre-Master of Puppets, thank you. Therefore, there’s no one more than me that wants MY Metallica back, but honestly, I think I’m going to have to break up with Metallica for good. I feel like they’re the old boyfriend that I keep having sex with even though we’ve been broken up for years. Although it’s unhealthy, it’s comfortable, so you do it.
Dave and I were trying to listen to St. Anger in the car and after two songs Dave was like, “I can’t take it. I’m not listening to another song that’s tuned down to B flat, damnit” and proceeded to hit the “˜next’ button until he found a song in E. Suffice it to say, we skipped a lot of songs, but we eventually went back to them to hear them all. St. Anger is merely a representation of a band that was once innovative, but is now trying to keep up with the current metal (and I use the term “˜metal’ lightly) scene. Remember that MTV Icons they just did with all those crap-ass bands covering Metallica songs? (The best was Limp Bizkit doing “Sanitarium.” The guitar solo was replaced with an audience chant of the words “sanitarium” because God forbid someone learns how to play a fucking lead these days.) Well, those are the bands that Metallica wants to be, or at least feels they have to be in order to survive.
St. Anger is heavy, and at times even reminiscent of newer Slayer. There are parts of songs that are great, but something goes wrong on each one of the 11 songs on this disc. Okay, if given the choice between new Metallica, Creed, or Christina Aguilera, I’m obviously going to pick new Metallica. I’d even pick them over just about any other band played on New York City radio today, but that’s really not saying much (anyone who knows what we’re subjected to in NYC will understand). That doesn’t mean this is a real Metallica record. By today’s standards, this might be a masterpiece; hold it up to Ride The Lightning and it’s a pure piece of shit.
For the most part the songs on St. Anger sound like they’ve replaced James Hetfield’s classic rhythm sound with that of the dude’s from Korn. Half the time I was expecting a DJ to start sampling and scratching to make it an authentic Korn album. Lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, who until the Load/Reload albums wasn’t even ALLOWED to record anything but the lead tracks, might as well have stayed home for this one because there are NO leads on this album! Where’s Kirk? Fuck if I know, but not on St. Anger that’s for sure. Lars, yeah, that’s Lars all right, but who the fuck cares at this point? Everyone hates the fucker anyway now, so good drums, bad drums, makes no difference.
Let me just touch on the subject of their new bassist, Robert Trujillo. He’s an awesome bassist, one of the best in the business today, although you’d never know it now that he’s in Metallica. And what the hell is a pop/slap bassist doing in this band to begin with? (Remember back in 1986 after original bassist Cliff Burton died, Les Claypool of Primus auditioned? I’m betting Les is a lot more pissed now.) Anyhow, this dude didn’t even belong in Ozzy’s band playing “Crazy Train,” he certainly doesn’t belong in Metallica playing “Seek and Destroy” (but hell, at this point the rest of guys shouldn’t even be in Metallica playing it either). But I won’t take St. Anger out on Trujillo. Oh no, that slot is reserved for St. Anger‘s producer Bob Rock, the same guy who ruined the Black album.
Bob Rock, please do me a favor: fuck off and die, eh? Thanks.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I liked Metallica better when they were a Diamond Head cover band.
AN ASIDE: After Cliff Burton’s death, Metallica could have lost it all. Instead they came back with new bassist Jason Newsted and continued a while with amazing music. But James Hetfield’s control freak attitude didn’t even allow for Jason to shine. This guy was in Flotsam & Jetsam where he was the friggin leader of the band, writing most of the music and half of the lyrics — and they were awesome. Metallica gets a talent like this, and James buries his bass playing on the albums, doesn’t use any of Jason’s songs, then forbids him from doing any side projects. Oh, and forget about all the hazing Jason had to endure at the hands of a group of alcoholics, one being one motherfucking angry dude at that. Way to stifle a musician’s creativity as well as his manhood. Gee, can’t imagine why Jason would jump such a lucrative ship.