Opinion: How METALLICA's 'St. Anger' Turned Into Erroneous And Soulless Affair

August 30, 2004

Anthony Kuzminski of Oklahoma's KTOK-AM has posted a lengthy review of METALLICA's recently released documentary, "Some Kind of Monster". An excerpt from his review follows:

"The most miraculous thing about 'Some Kind of Monster' is it justifies the two years the band spent recording 'St. Anger'. When I bought 'St. Anger', I felt like I had been blindsided by a band that had previously treated every release with artistic bedrock few artists could touch. 'Anger' is one of those albums that I'm not even sure is worth wasting a blank CDR on.

"While I watched the band jam through the song 'Some Kind of Monster' in the film, there was laughter from the audience, and for the record, the band was not goofing around. This laughter came from die hard fans, those who wait for hours in front of an arena so they can thrash and bang their head as close to their heroes for a few hours where they can let their rage and loathing of this world out.

"What disconcerted me more than anything was the lack of clarity the band and producer Bob Rock had during the two year recording session. It was almost as if the band were lost at sea without a captain to lead them back to shore. I truly believe, deep down, none of them believed the album was up to snuff. In a rather stunning moment in the film, band manager, Cliff Bernstein stops by to listen to the album, mere months before its release. He tells them the truth; while he loves some of it, he was apathetic, as I believe the band was as well. In the end, it appears the album was completed to support a summer stadium tour.

"They made an insipid album, one that was supposed to be made out of anger and frustration, but instead of letting out a scream, they barely let out a whisper. What was clear throughout watching the movie is the palette from which METALLICA was drawing inspiration was blank. I guess even Gods run out of paint from time to time.

"'St. Anger' may very well be the worse album to ever be put out by an 'A' grade band. I've never heard the album Lou Reed recorded purposely to get out of a record contract, but the truth of the matter is that even when a criterion artist makes a misstep, there is some silver lining.

"Every top act has a moment where they fall from grace; SPRINGSTEEN's 'Human Touch', MADONNA's 'Erotica', PRINCE's 'Come', the STONES have 'Emotional Rescue', KISS's 'The Elder', PEARL JAM's 'No Code', AEROSMITH's 'Night In The Ruts', U2's 'Pop'…the bottom line is that every artist goes out on a limb at some point and alienates their core audience. However, every album I mentioned had at least a few gems on it; 'St. Anger' does not even have one.

"After seeing 'Monster' I was so inspired, I sat down, listened to the album again and even started to watch the live DVD that accompanies it hoping 'Anger' would be an album that manifests over time and becomes enriching on each and every listen. I found that nearly a year later, the album is still an erroneous and soulless affair." Read more.

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