St. Anger

  • Record Label: Elektra
  • Release Date: Jun 10, 2003
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 356 Ratings

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  1. Nov 7, 2016
    5
    St. Anger is not as bad, as its notorious reputation would suggest. This album is a mess of mediocre song writing, and poor production, however there are genuine moments where the album shines. There is no doubt that the album has trouble competing with Metallica’s legendary discography, but there is a unique, one-off experiment, created by a series of circumstances, has its own nicheSt. Anger is not as bad, as its notorious reputation would suggest. This album is a mess of mediocre song writing, and poor production, however there are genuine moments where the album shines. There is no doubt that the album has trouble competing with Metallica’s legendary discography, but there is a unique, one-off experiment, created by a series of circumstances, has its own niche charm.

    For me a clearly terrible album is not as bad as the dull and boring album, and the better songs on St. Anger are not the ones with better production (in my opinion) rather the most interesting songs.

    Frantic- The album opens with a fast paced song about substance abuce. This is a common theme in the album and I find it to be redundant and boring. There riff in this song however is not too bad, certainly catchy. The one thing anybody notices when listening for the first time is the drumming. The drum is a loud snare drum, and is very noisy. The production is very low-fi reselling some industrial or nu-metal.

    I think the drums are weak not because of its sound, but by the quality of the beats produced. They aren’t great, and a good drummer could make good sounding drumming on a poor drum kit (this is not to say Lars is a bad drummer, and simply listening to AJFA would prove his unique skill).

    The song is too long; it makes its point in 2 minutes and then just drags on, like most of the songs on the album. I think the slow melodic part of the song is terrific however, and is one of the better moments on the album.

    St. Anger- this song is good. The drumming is still relatively crappy, but the tone is perfect. It’s a depressing song about suicide, (again, a redundant topic), but instrumentally, I find the riffs to be very thrash-y. The slower melodic segment shines once again, and I find that the emotional climax in this song is not too shabby. Definitely a standout Metallica track.

    Still no solos though, making it sound very nu-metal-ish, in the sense that the sound has been significantly dumbed-down.

    The next few tracks fail in the worst way possible- they are boring, which makes them very difficult to listen to, which is a shame, because this album really could have used some more catchy or addictive moments, to soften the blow of the poor production. Although, I do like the intro/ build-up in Dirty Windows.

    They we reach Sweet Amber, which is a terrific song with a really soft sound, and really the lyrics again are redundant, but surprisingly well written, simply reading them will give an impression of the honesty of the words, and for this its one of the better tracks on the album.

    Then the Unnamed Feeling rolls along, and delivers perhaps the technically best song on the entire album. No loud snare drum, and a fairly memorable chorus. Again, the lyrics are EXTREMELY redundant, but never-the-less this track succeeds in being quite competent. In fact it sounds like something straight off Re-Load, and for that I think its great.

    Personally, the last 2 tracks are weak, again, and the album ends on a sort of disappointing note.

    Lyrically, the album is very poor. The same theme is repeated throughout ever song, until; the redundant point is hammer down to a pile of cliché dust. Instrumentally, the album is competent. The guitars, although lacking solos, have a very distinctive Nu-Metal vibe, and although the drumming is poorly executed, the concept of a snare drum in itself could have potentially worked.

    For me this album is bad in the best way possible. Its not boring, so that you would never have a reason to listen to it, rather its excitingly bad, not so bad its good, rather an interesting case of missed potential, and a snapshot of Metallica’s lifespan, which captures the band in its darkest time.
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  2. Sep 22, 2010
    5
    When i first herd this i knew that this wasn't the metallica everyone was used to. Something was wrong. I found that this was the album were james (singer) just got out of that huge rehab deal that he was going though and was returning to the band. I guess the just wanted to get back in slowly with just riffs and no solos. Ill let u off this time metallica but now start getting to the goodWhen i first herd this i knew that this wasn't the metallica everyone was used to. Something was wrong. I found that this was the album were james (singer) just got out of that huge rehab deal that he was going though and was returning to the band. I guess the just wanted to get back in slowly with just riffs and no solos. Ill let u off this time metallica but now start getting to the good stuff. I mean mind blowing solos. I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT UR SOLOS! Expand
  3. 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'sSt. 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. Expand
  4. JonyeA
    Jun 29, 2003
    5
    when i heard about this CD i expected something like master of puppets. What i got was not Metallica at all. no solos, sounds like it was recorded in a day. just download the video and hope they dont sue you
  5. dougk
    Apr 13, 2005
    6
    they need to get wasted again
  6. MichaelC
    Dec 20, 2006
    5
    Where are the solos? Ps. Anybody who pays attention to Rolling Stones top 100 guitarist dosn't know anything about the instrument. There are so many names left off that list, most notably, Steve Vai, Frank Zappa, John Petucci and Joe Satriani. Those guys arn't top 100, but Kurt Cobain and Jack White are top 30, is just garbage.
  7. PatC
    Feb 28, 2007
    5
    Drum sounds awful not even in the shadow of the Black album
  8. tomg
    Nov 20, 2008
    4
    While this isn't the worst Metallica CD, it is not good. The omission of guitar solos, the steely sounding drums, and Hetfield's woman-like cracking voice on Frantic, make this an un-stellar CD. Though some songs sound rather good, the CD needed way more work on it.
  9. garys
    Sep 17, 2004
    5
    Anger. Agression. Madness. Distain. These are all Metallica, always have been and always will be. Unfortunately this time the boys have misdirected all that is good about them. Understanding that bands change and change is good still makes it hard to take this as Metallica. This album is alot like getting boiling mad then running around naked yelling at people at the beach. It kind of Anger. Agression. Madness. Distain. These are all Metallica, always have been and always will be. Unfortunately this time the boys have misdirected all that is good about them. Understanding that bands change and change is good still makes it hard to take this as Metallica. This album is alot like getting boiling mad then running around naked yelling at people at the beach. It kind of sucks and is kind of pointless. Expand
  10. KellyO
    Oct 11, 2005
    6
    This album might not be perfect, but it's OK. It deserves an exact rating of 6. I didn't like it at first, but it grows on you. Plus, this might be the heaviest album on metacritic!
  11. Landon
    Feb 24, 2008
    5
    This shit ROCKS my socks, and that is what Metallica is supposed to do.
  12. Kenshiro
    Dec 9, 2003
    5
    Being the big Metallica fan that I am, I was one of the first to buy this album. If you go in expecting the old Metallica sound, you will be very disappointed. If you are a newer fan, you will probably enjoy this. I went in there expecting the old sound. And no, I'm not going to start talking about that whole suing business. I'm supposed to be talking about the music. Being the big Metallica fan that I am, I was one of the first to buy this album. If you go in expecting the old Metallica sound, you will be very disappointed. If you are a newer fan, you will probably enjoy this. I went in there expecting the old sound. And no, I'm not going to start talking about that whole suing business. I'm supposed to be talking about the music. That's what counts. I will admit that the boys have a renewed sense of energy that is refreshing to see after Load and Reload. However, all this energy is not being channeled properly, and comes out sounding like a mess. All this aggression, but nowhere to place it - - and so it is all over the place, with no aim or direction. At least Load (which I liked better) had more sense of melody than this. Despite a few good tracks (Frantic, St. Anger, All Within My Hands), this album goes nowhere with its new sound. A somewhat decent album, if it wasn't Metallica. It sounds more like Metallica doing Nu-Metal, which they shouldn't be trying at all. To see the boys at their finest, go and buy all their albums up to the Black Album, or see them live. This CD certainly does not do their reputation any justice. Expand
  13. JeffL
    Jun 11, 2003
    4
    This album is rhythmically interesting in some sections. James singing is awful - lots of intonation problems. I'm not too thrilled with Lars' set on this album. Hammet's solos are non-existent. Very disappointing. St.Anger could lead Metallica to a new type of song writing, but this attempt is upsetting. The album just doesn't work.
  14. FrédérickL
    Feb 28, 2005
    6
    I miss the solo.
  15. James
    Aug 15, 2007
    6
    Not bad. But not as good as their older stuff.
  16. LuisA.
    Sep 15, 2008
    4
    This is Metallica's effort to show ewat they were feeling and the tension that was between them. That would be a good idea if it was released on an EP, or an internal disc not showed to anyones. But if you want to show that to a multitude of hungry fans who want good ol' Thrash Metal, that's not the way. Lars' Can Drums, James Hurting voice, Kirk's monotone This is Metallica's effort to show ewat they were feeling and the tension that was between them. That would be a good idea if it was released on an EP, or an internal disc not showed to anyones. But if you want to show that to a multitude of hungry fans who want good ol' Thrash Metal, that's not the way. Lars' Can Drums, James Hurting voice, Kirk's monotone solo-less songs. You see, RtL's "The Call of the Ktulu" lasts 8 minutes andit keeps you close to the music. St Anger's title track lasts 5, and on the 4th minute the song is so repetitive that you want to stop. But let's see it as an experimental an therapeutical album, at least, they did an effort. Expand
  17. May 26, 2012
    5
    This album could have been so much better had the band not opted to use drums that sound like trash can lids. They sound cheap and coarse, which I can understand was due to the band trying to go back to the "raw" feel of an album like Kill 'Em All, but it simply doesn't work on this record. While the songs are not ruined by the drum sound, a lot come close. The vocals are good, but some ofThis album could have been so much better had the band not opted to use drums that sound like trash can lids. They sound cheap and coarse, which I can understand was due to the band trying to go back to the "raw" feel of an album like Kill 'Em All, but it simply doesn't work on this record. While the songs are not ruined by the drum sound, a lot come close. The vocals are good, but some of the lyrics are extremely weak coming from a band like Metallica. Not an awful album, but poor for Metallica. Expand
  18. Aug 18, 2011
    6
    St.Anger in My Opinion was a Decent Album it is Not Metallica's Best work but i still think its worth checking out for die hard fans. This Album isnt for Everyone but with songs Like St.Anger, Frantic, and Some Kind of Monster it definatly Delivers and is Overall Something that isnt for everybody
  19. May 14, 2012
    5
    This album is notorious for being complete **** It was released in 2003 and the band was having a lot of problems like their bassist of about 15 years Jason Newsted quit the band. Now the album itself I have mixed feelings about. Number one it's kind of long. This wouldn't be a problem if it didn't feel so long. Number two the drums sound horrible. Number three the songs tend to beThis album is notorious for being complete **** It was released in 2003 and the band was having a lot of problems like their bassist of about 15 years Jason Newsted quit the band. Now the album itself I have mixed feelings about. Number one it's kind of long. This wouldn't be a problem if it didn't feel so long. Number two the drums sound horrible. Number three the songs tend to be repetitive and boring. Number four there isn't a single guitar solo on the entire album. I don't care if there isn't one on a couple of songs but in this case it probably would have helped. There are several good things to this album. One the style improved a lot since Load/ Reload. They dropped the makeup, which back in the early days would ridicule bands that wore any makeup at all. Two the band was falling apart at this time so the release of the album helped prevent the band from disbanding. All in all, this album is okay. Expand
  20. Oct 27, 2012
    4
    This is a Mixed bag for me. I thought some songs were ok and others terrible.. To be honest the whole album is really nothing special. St.Anger and Frantic are the 2 Best Songs on the Album. Not an improvement of Load. Reload or any album prior. Hands Down the Worst Metallica Album Ever.
  21. Feb 12, 2016
    5
    St. Anger is the album Metallica 'needed' to make at this point in time. Work on St. Anger began in 2001 at a decommissioned Army Hangar known as the Presidio. However, with the departure of Jason Newsted, James Hetfield's drug addiction spiraling out of control and both James and Lars undergoing a midlife crisis complete with a therapist and in-depth discussion about their feelings,St. Anger is the album Metallica 'needed' to make at this point in time. Work on St. Anger began in 2001 at a decommissioned Army Hangar known as the Presidio. However, with the departure of Jason Newsted, James Hetfield's drug addiction spiraling out of control and both James and Lars undergoing a midlife crisis complete with a therapist and in-depth discussion about their feelings, Metallica was for the first time (or maybe second, if you count the death of Cliff Burton in 1986) ever in genuine danger of splitting up with Kirk and Lars uncomfortably and uncertainly warming the bench. When James returned however, work on St. Anger continued and for the first time, all three members of Metallica held an equal role in writing the songs, rather than the previous combo of James and Lars on the songs, James on the lyrics. The results? Uneven, messy songwriting with often horrendous lyrics that do little to make the songs seem like less of a joke. For the recording of St. Anger, Metallica tuned their guitars down to C in a misguided attempt to become 'heavy' again while for the mixing they opted for a very raw, unprocessed sound. In addition, James Hetfield could only commit a few hours a day to the album due to his family commitments, which meant that rushed, rough vocal takes were used that weren't up to Metallicas usual level of polish. Worse yet, Lars opted to play the ENTIRE ALBUM with an unclipped snare resulting in the now infamous 'garbage can' drum sound St. Anger is known for. Despite that however, the raw vocals retain much of the punch and power in James' voice and the guitars sound thick and powerful, even if the overall mix is poor. Even more interestingly, St. Anger isn't full of abortion-tier songs. With the exception of Invisible Kid (which genuinely is abortion tier), most of the songs on St. Anger are generally somewhere between good and great, even if they're incredibly uneven efforts that frequently vary in quality as each track goes on. The majority of St. Anger is in fact very listenable and a few songs like The Unnamed Feeling, Sweet Amber and All Within My Hands are genuinely excellent songs brought down by the overall reception to the album they belong to (even if the latter two have comparable lyrics to dogsh*t). All in all? St. Anger is one for the fans. Chances are, if you don't care much for Metallica, St. Anger won't ring your bell. But for Metallica lifers, St. Anger is an interesting effort that certainly isn't without it's merits. Despite being reviled by the majority of listeners, most people just need to be honest with themselves: "It's no Master of Puppets, but it really isn't THAT bad" Expand
  22. Mar 27, 2014
    6
    I liked it. But what keeps bothering me and probably people who have listened to this album too, is how it sounds very distant to its former style. It sounds good, but they're just not Metallica-sounding songs. The sound of the drums really annoyed me, too.
  23. Feb 28, 2016
    5
    In my (and I'm not the only one) opinion, it's the worst Metallica album. Maybe two or three songs are listenable. The rest isn't thrash anymore, it's trash. However, if you are a nu-metal fan you might like it. If you love the classic sound of Metallica, don't even listen to it. You'll just waste your time.
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. Mojo
    80
    This is miffed and exemplary metal. [Jul 2003, p.108]
  2. Uncut
    80
    Against all odds, St. Anger constitutes the cutting edge of commercial yet aggressive heavy rock in 2003. [Aug 2003, p.106]
  3. The production on St. Anger is abysmal.