St. Anger - Metallica
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 20
  2. Negative: 5 out of 20
  1. 91
    This is the album Metallica lifers have been waiting for: an inspired return to the complex savagery of old. [Jul 2003, p.109]
  2. The true masters have finally awakened from their slumber.
  3. ''St. Anger'' is arguably the season's finest metal offering -- and the band's best since 1991's ''Metallica.''
  4. While St. Anger doesn't go back to the speedy, epic-crafting days of yesteryear, it's all balls: bad-ass rock and blistering, visceral lyrics.
  5. 80
    This is miffed and exemplary metal. [Jul 2003, p.108]
  6. 80
    Against all odds, St. Anger constitutes the cutting edge of commercial yet aggressive heavy rock in 2003. [Aug 2003, p.106]
  7. 80
    Overall, this is the grimiest and grimmest of the band's Bob Rock productions. [#17, p.145]
  8. St. Anger looks inward with a hard eye, and while it finds some grinning demons in that pit, it also unearths some of the sickest grooves of Metallica's 20+ year lifespan.
  9. This is loud, expansive, unrepentant Metallica.
  10. This is the sound of Metallica drawing back into themselves and their history.
  11. They've never sounded this heavy or this pissed off. [Jul 2003, p.106]
  12. A ragged, cacophonous, raging beast of an album, it's not the most perfect album Metallica has ever produced, and it's a very bumpy ride for listeners, but the album's handful of high points are thrilling to hear.
  13. While there’s no denying that Metallica have produced a huge – and welcome – blast from the past, it also represents a monolithic slab of noise that stretched over 11 songs and 75 minutes is just too dense and daunting to be truly enjoyable.
  14. The production on St. Anger is abysmal.
  15. The guitars stumble in a monotone of mid-level, processed rattle; the drums don't propel as much as struggle to disguise an all-too-turgid pace; and the rage is both unfocused and leavened with too much narcissistic navel-gazing.
  16. The guitars are processed into high-tech oblivion, and every song is eight minutes long when it should be five. [Aug 2003, p.100]
  17. St. Anger suffers mightily for its thin, washed-out sound.... A messy, unsatisfying misfire.
  18. Songs like "Frantic," "Dirty Window," and even the balladesque "Sweet Amber" stop and start, cut to pieces by groove-robbing edits that replace the guitar harmonies on which Metallica built an industry.
User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 376 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 77 out of 235
  1. Sep 20, 2013
    10
    I know that some fans really dislike it, but you can feel their problems and anger from that album. They went through difficult times during recording this album and it feels like that. I simply love it, love that change, love that heaviness and love Lars snare, i usually dont like punk drums, but here its just awesome! Full Review »
  2. Nov 25, 2011
    5
    St. Anger. Well, well, well... Certainly Metallica's most slated album (though oddly not on this site) - and perhaps with some reason. The songs are generally rather bland, with simplistic riffs and less than enthusiastic drumming from the usually impressive Ulrich. Considering the troubles the band was going through at the time - with each other, and with producer Bob Rock, perhaps it's not surprising this effort is their least popular. However, there are some high points - 'Some Kind of Monster' is sufficiently choleric without being dull, and were it not for Hetfield's repetitive screaming of 'Kill, Kill, Kill' at the end of 'All Within my Hands', that wouldn't be bad either. 'Invisible Kid', it must be said, I am a closet fan of. Overall, due to the lack of solos, a poor production effort by Rock and overall mediocre lyrical content, this is certainly Metallica's worst album to date - but is nevertheless nowhere near as bad as is often made out. Full Review »
  3. Sep 26, 2011
    7
    Okay, i think that, as many have said, this album is a blast from the past, with a little difference: the lack of soloing. People might say that how fast you play isn't important, but if you want a real good Metallica album, then it has to have soloing. I pretty much didn't like most songs individually (there are some exceptions; like St. Anger, which resembles Motorbreath in it's raw yet entertaining style), but i think that the album as a whole holds up pretty well. For that, i give it a 7. Full Review »