We Give You 10 Facts Not To Hate Metallica’s “St. Anger”
via Metallica / Youtube
Metallica’s St. Anger, released on June 5, 2003, has long been a divisive record among fans. The booming snare drums, the absence of guitar solos, and gritty guitar riffs represented a departure from Metallica’s usual sound, resulting in mixed reviews.
However, among the complaints, there are compelling reasons why fans might reevaluate their view on this album:
1. St. Anger Is Different
Change, even in the world of music, is inevitable. St. Anger’s departure from Metallica’s established style was a necessary evolution. After a decade of successful releases, including the widely acclaimed “Black Album,” as well as Load and Reload, Metallica needed to explore new horizons. The uniqueness of St. Anger sets it apart, presenting a band willing to take risks and venture into uncharted musical territories.
2. Album Sales Paint a More Positive Picture
While critics may have been vocal about their disapproval, the commercial success of St. Anger is undeniable. With over 2 million copies sold in the United States and 6 million worldwide, the album debuted at No. 1 in 30 countries, selling over 400,000 albums in its first week. Commercial success is often an overlooked indicator of a work’s impact and resonance with listeners.
3. The Cathartic Heaviness of “My World”
“My World,” the sixth track on the album, stands out for its emotional depth and cathartic release. James Hetfield’s powerful vocals express frustration and resistance against external influences, creating a track that resonates with authenticity and raw emotion.
4. Bob Rock’s Legacy With Metallica Was Cemented With St. Anger
Love him or hate him, producer Bob Rock played a pivotal role in Metallica’s history. After working on the “Black Album,” Load, Reload, and Garage Inc., Rock’s influence on St. Anger cannot be understated. Filling in for departed bassist Jason Newsted, Rock contributed significantly to the album, solidifying his legacy with Metallica.
5. Metallica Wrote Like Never Before
St. Anger marked a shift in Metallica’s writing process. Unlike previous albums where Hetfield and Ulrich dominated the creative process, all four band members actively participated in the songwriting. This collaborative effort fostered a vulnerable environment, shaping the album’s intensity and rawness.
6. Pushead’s Iconic Artwork
The visual identity of St. Anger owes much to the iconic artwork of Pushead. Known for his association with Metallica, Pushead designed the entire album art, capturing the energy and intensity of the music with his distinctive style.
7. The “Frantic”-ness of St. Anger
The album’s opening track, “Frantic,” sets the tone for the chaotic and intense journey that follows. With speedy vocals and drums, the song encapsulates the inner turmoil faced by the band during the creation of St. Anger, making it a fitting anthem for the turbulent times.
8. Callbacks and Raw Anger in the Title Track
The title track, “St. Anger,” channels unbridled anger and pays homage to classic Metallica tracks like “Damage Inc.” and “Hit the Lights.” The intensity of the song is matched by its music video, filmed at San Quentin State Prison, creating a memorable piece of Metallica history.
9. Enter Robert Trujillo … Sort of
While bassist Robert Trujillo didn’t physically contribute to St. Anger, the album marked his entry into Metallica. His audition, deemed exceptional by band members, showcased his musical prowess, earning him comparisons to the late Cliff Burton and foreshadowing his significant role in the band’s ongoing legacy.
10. Some Kind of Monster Perfectly Captures What the Album Is
To truly understand St. Anger, fans need to delve into the documentary “Some Kind of Monster.” The film provides an in-depth look at the band’s tumultuous period, from Newsted’s departure to Hetfield’s rehab, offering valuable context that enhances the appreciation of the album.