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Metallica - St. Anger

Lately I've been listening to Metallica's older albums like Ride The Lightning and ...And Justice For All. I sorta missed out on these in the 80's but those were classic albums. Metallica's last real album, Load, was just horrible. It was a bad album made even worse by their obvious attempt to go for a radio-friendly, alterna-rocky, mainstream sound. It was like suck multiplied by suck.

Their new album, St. Anger has been hailed by some people as a return to their older, harder sound. I'll agree with this about halfway- it's definitely harder than anything they've done in the past ten years, although for the most part it doesn't really sound like their classic albums of old.

The album is rough and noisy, that's for sure. Fast, wild guitars and shouted vocals. At its best, you can hear hints of their old sound. At its worst, it sounds like they're trying to sound like Korn or White Zombie. After the technically excellent guitar-work on their albums of the 80's, you'd have to wonder why they'd want to emulate the musically retarded chugga-chugga-chugga sound of 90's alterna-hard-rock. At some points, they even do a little shredding just to show you they still know how to play. After years of horrible "hard" alternative rock with moaned vocals and terrible guitar, a pretentious yet skillful guitar riff as actually a breath of fresh air to my ears.

All in all, it's just an okay album. Good in some places, terribly cheesy in others. I don't know if I'd recommend it for purchase. But at least they're rocking out and staying away from the horrible ballads for the most part. After the shitfest known as Load, it's nice to see they're putting up a half decent fight against total obsolescence as they fade into old age with St. Anger. I haven't listened to it enough to give it a final rating, but right now I'm thinking it deserves about...

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