I’m not really a huge Metallica fan in the way some people can be, I like a lot of their work a lot and have done to differnt degrees over the years, but I don’t out and out love them the way some people can. I love about two songs off Kill Em All, Half of Ride The Lightning, Most of Puppets, All of Justice, Less than half of each subsequent album except St. Anger and I’ve only ever seen them live twice, although I do own a few live DVDs/Blu Rays.
Separate from Metallica (as far as that is possible) I absolutely love St. Anger and the Some Kind Of Monster documentary film about its creation. Both just really please my brain. I wish people didn’t hate them so much.
I can totally see why people would hate both, but the things that people use to say it ruins the album/film don’t ruin them for me. So there aren’t any solos? It doesn’t bother me, I’ve heard solos before, I’ll hear them again, I can go 80 minutes without them. The snare sound ? So what, I love Tool. Danny Carey plays with the snare off all the time and no one complains so bitterly. It doesn’t actually sound ‘bad,’ to me at all. It just sounds different, your brain says ‘the snare is off,’ but that doesn’t mean it sounds bad, to me at least.
I love the production on St. Anger, I love the striped down rehearsal feel of it all, it feels like a Clutch album in spirit, or perhaps like Down’s second album. It should please any musician to hear what a larger than reality band like Metallica actually sound like in a room, and how that sounds like your own practice room. You hear them as a real human band and not through the magic production vortex that, while necessary, can feel alienating when you’re in the wrong mood or mindset.
Most of all I just love the music. I love the songwriting, the long and substantial songs, I love the repetition of parts and really dwelling on the riffs. When Sleep did that people called them geniuses. I also love the weird un-Hetfield vocals that make it so unique. I loved them even more once I saw the film and understood why they sound that way. I love the guitar work so much too, those HUGE chunky riffs are perfectly suited to my tastes.
Furthermore it has all sorts of positive memory-associations with my teens, my friends at the time, learning to play the drums, starting bands etc
Overall, I love that album it just stimulates my brain in a very special way that Death Magnetic and even Megadeth’s Endgame don’t. I’d go so far as to say that it is the single most underrated album available on a major label. I wish it didn’t have the weird reputation that it has and that more people could hear it as I do.