Archive for the ‘Albums’ Category

Frantic

Taken from the 2003 album, ‘St. Anger’. This exclusive version for Belgium & Holland features the album version of the title track along with three non-LP tracks, ‘Harvester Of Sorrow’ (live Fields Of Rock Festival, 2003), ‘Welcome Home (Sanitarium)’ (live Werchter Festival 2003), & ‘No Remorse’ (live Werchter Festival, 2003). Mercury. 2003.
Album Details : Dutch Version with Two Alternate Live Tracks Recorded at Werchter 2003.

1. Frantic –
2. Blackened [Live] –
3. Harvester of Sorrow [Live] –
4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) [Live] –
5. No Remorse [Live]

St. Anger

Never underestimate the regenerative powers of Metallica. Following the stripped-down Load and Re-Load, they’ve returned to the raw, vitriolic savagery of their earlier canon, using 1984’s Ride the Lightning as a template for St. Anger. The title track provides the psychic lynchpin of the album by combining the bombast and defiance of the band’s earliest high-water marks with more deliberate lyrics and emotional nakedness. Equally cathartic is “Some Kind of Monster,” a lumbering beast of a song that declares, “This is the voice of silence no more.” Despite that claim, there’s an economy to these lyrics; James Hetfield’s raw-toothed growl only occasionally punctuates the menacing soundscapes. In fact, “Dirty Windows,” the standout track here, is a shimmering five-minute instrumental that’s free of the baroque trappings that sometimes clutter the Metallica landscape. –Jaan Uhelszki

1. Frantic –
2. St. Anger –
3. Some Kind Of Monster –
4. Dirty Window –
5. Invisible Kid –
6. My World
7. Shoot Me Again –
8. Sweet Amber –
9. Unnamed Feeling –
10. Purify –
11. All Within My Hands

S & M

At a point in their career when most bands would rest their laurels upon a greatest-hits package or live album, Metallica has done both, but with a decidedly loopy twist. They’ve recorded a double-live greatest-hits package with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra “sitting in.” Rock history and cutout bins are littered with previous attempts at a rock-symphonic fusion, from Emerson, Lake & Palmer to Deep Purple to the Moody Blues and the Siegel-Schwall Blues Band. But while previous efforts at mixing the low-brow with the high-brow have mostly ended up browbeating the intended audience, S&M plays like a precarious joy ride. Set against the shrewd efforts of a team of orchestrators and arrangers (who employ enough taste to keep proceedings from sounding like one long “Live and Let Die” outtake), Metallica plays for their lives, undercutting their general somber tone by ratcheting up their musicianship several notches. The most underrated player here is SFO guest conductor and soundtrack vet Michael Kamen, whose attention to detail and nuance–and intuitive grasp of the Metallica canon–keeps this unlikely meeting of the minds focused and on track. -Jerry McCulley

Disc: 1
1. Ecstasy of Gold –
2. Call of Ktulu –
3. Master of Puppet –
4. Of Wolf and Man
5. Thing That Should Not Be –
6. Fuel –
7. Memory Remains –
8. No Leaf Clover –
9. Hero of the Day
10. Devil’s Dance –
11. Bleeding Me

Disc: 2 –
1. Nothing Else Matters –
2. Until It Sleeps –
3. For Whom the Bell Tolls –
4. Human
5. Wherever I May Roam –
6. Outlaw Torn –
7. Sad But True –
8. One –
9. Enter Sandman –
10. Battery

Reload

For many heavy metal fans, Metallica epitomizes the genre, especially for those listeners who remember the band’s fast-and-furious 1983 debut, Kill ‘Em All. As a result, their continued foray into a more stripped-down, laid-back sound with this album has met a mixed response. However, there’s enough innovation and just plain strange stuff on this album to make it worth a listen. The creepy “The Memory Remains” is perfectly accentuated by Marianne Faithfull’s backing vocals, and “Where the Wild Things Are” features the multilayered vocals and guitars that Metallica is famous for, albeit at about half their usual speed. The opening (“Fuel”) and closing (“Fixxxer”) tracks are especially strong, and intermixed with some slower, country-inflected tunes are the obnoxious rockers that made Metallica the long-running success they are. –Genevieve Williams

1. Fuel –
2. Memory Remains –
3. Devil’s Dance –
4. Unforgiven II –
5. Better Than You –
6. Slither
7. Carpe Diem Baby –
8. Bad Seed –
9. Where the Wild Things Are –
10. Prince Charming
11. Low Man’s Lyric –
12. Attitude –
13. Fixxxer

Garage, Inc.

This double-disc, all-covers release could come to represent a vital turning point for Metallica. While disc 2 is a straightforward collection of every cover the group have recorded in its 16-year history, disc 1 comprises 11 new selections drawn from the oeuvres of such exciting and diverse artists as U.K. punks Discharge and nefarious Australian Nick Cave. The heavier songs, such as the Mercyful Fate medley, Black Sabbath’s “Sabbra Cadabra,” and the Misfits’ “Die Die My Darling,” prove that nobody delivers a crunching riff better than these metal veterans. But it is vocalist-guitarist James Hetfields’s confident approach toward the likes of Cave’s “Loverman” and Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” that delivers the most electricity; here his raw, heartfelt vocals are largely untouched. Given that the recharged group spent only three weeks in the studio recording these tracks, it appears that these guys have remembered the value of studio spontaneity over laborious pontificating. Hopefully, that mindset will resurface in future projects. –Steffan Chirazi

Disc: 1 –
1. Free Speech For The Dumb –
2. It’s Electric –
3. Sabbra Cadabra –
4. Turn The Page
5. Die Die My Darling –
6. Loverman –
7. Mercyful Fate –
8. Astronomy –
9. Whiskey In The Jar
10. Tuesday’s Gone –
11. The More I See

Disc: 2 –
1. Helpless –
2. The Small Hours –
3. The Wait –
4. Last Caress/Green Helll –
5. Am I Evil?
6. Blitzkrieg –
7. Breadfan –
8. The Prince –
9. Stone Cold Crazy –
10. So What –
11. Killing Time
12. Overkill –
13. Damage Case –
14. Stone Dead Forever –
15. Too Late Too Late

Black Album

Called “the Black Album” by many (due to its monochrome cover), Metallica marks the group’s entrance into the mainstream, with shorter songs, simpler song structures, and slower tempos overall. That said, this is an excellent album, featuring some of the best songwriting Metallica has ever done. “Enter Sandman,” “Wherever I May Roam,” and “God That Failed,” despite being slower and more groove-oriented than the band’s earlier work, feature the same heavy riffs and heavier rhythms that have always been a feature of Metallica’s music. The band goes introspective with “Unforgiven,” and proves that they can write a ballad with “Nothing Else Matters,” which succeeds better than one might expect. Overall, this is a high-energy album despite its laid-back approach, and is in many ways superior to the previous . . . And Justice for All, which was weakened by overly complicated song structures and mediocre production. — Genevieve Williams

1. Enter Sandman –
2. Sad but True Listen –
3. Holier Than Thou –
4. Unforgiven Listen
5. Wherever I May Roam –
6. Don’t Tread on Me –
7. Through the Never –
8. Nothing Else Matters
9. Of Wolf and Man –
10. God That Failed –
11. My Friend of Misery –
12. Struggle Within

…And Justice for All

Having already established themselves as the streetwise saviors of heavy metal’s oft-tainted legacy in the ’80s, Metallica rebounded from the accidental death of original bassist Cliff Burton to produce their most thematically challenging, musically accomplished album to date. Despite James Hetfield’s dank, extended portraits of a world collapsing from corruption and decadence–themes that virtually guaranteed it little radio or television exposure–the album was nonetheless a muscular commercial success. Even “One,” its complex, seven-and-a-half-minute adaptation of Dalton Trumbo’s “Johnny Got His Gun,” managed to scale the singles charts. Other highlights include “Blackened,” “Eye of the Beholder,” and the sweeping “To Live Is to Die,” tracks that underscore a sense of musical ambition that’s often downright prog-centric, yet never merely self-indulgent. –Jerry McCulley

1. Blackened –
2. …And Justice for All –
3. Eye of the Beholder –
4. One Listen –
5. Shortest Straw
6. Harvester of Sorrow –
7. Frayed Ends of Sanity –
8. To Live Is to Die –
9. Dyers Eve

Ride the Lightning

Don’t let that classical-guitar-ish opening to “Fight Fire with Fire” fool you–Ride the Lightning packs a heavy-metal wallop. While not as ambitious as the subsequent Master of Puppets, this early Metallica album is indubitably one of their best. Thematically, it explores death and dying from myriad points of view: nuclear war (“Fight Fire with Fire”), electric-chair execution (the title track), and drowning (“Trapped Under Ice”). Interestingly, the best track on this album is probably “Fade to Black,” a slower, more introspective song about suicide. There’s also “Creeping Death,” which remains a concert favorite. An excellent mix of rapid-fire guitar riffs, rip-roaring solos, and singer James Hetfield’s trademark growl, this is thrash metal at its finest. Very highly recommended. –Genevieve Williams

1. Fight Fire with Fire
2. Ride the Lightning
3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
4. Fade to Black
5. Trapped Under Ice
6. Escape
7. Creeping Death
8. Call of Ktulu