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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