Album : Metallica - St. Anger (2003)

Studio album by Metallica
Released June 5, 2003
Recorded May 2002 – April 2003
Genre Heavy metal
Length 75:07
Label Elektra
Producer Bob Rock, Metallica

St. Anger is the eighth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on June 5, 2003 (see 2003 in music). The album was originally to be released on June 10, 2003, but because of fears of extended music piracy over filesharing networks , St. Anger was released five days earlier. The album hit number 1 in 30 countries, including the U.S. Billboard 200 and Canadian Albums Chart. Sales did not remain stable in the US, however, with the album selling only two million copies, the band's lowest-selling album there. In 2004 lead single "St. Anger" earned a Grammy Award for "Best Metal Performance".

St. Anger represents the last collaboration between Metallica and their longtime producer Bob Rock, with the announcement in early 2006 that Rick Rubin would assume production duties on their forthcoming album.

History and reception

Five and a half years elapsed between the release of the band's previous studio album, ReLoad, and the recording of St. Anger, which began in 2002. Many factors contributed to this delay, including the departure of bassist Jason Newsted, the band's feud with file-sharing service Napster, and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield's several months in rehab for alcoholism and other unspecified substance abuse. The film Some Kind of Monster documents that relationships between the band members in the lead-up to the album's recording were at an all-time low.

The band began initial writing for the album in April 2001, when they rented out and converted an army barrack in The Presidio in San Francisco, California, into a makeshift studio. Uncomfortable with the idea of bringing in an immediate replacement for Newsted, the band opted to have producer Bob Rock play bass guitar for the recording of the album, with plans to find a fulltime bass player upon the record's completion. Recording came to a halt in July 2001 when the band announced via its website that James Hetfield had entered a rehab center for treatment of alcoholism and other addictions. Prior to the album's release, Lars Ulrich would leave videos and audio of himself discussing the new album on the band's blog, (no longer working).

The album met mixed reviews. Fans posting on an online website devoted to heavy metal considered the album a disaster . One review stated that the album was unpolished and seemed under-produced. The band adopted a different approach to the recording process, opting for an extremely stripped down and raw production quality. Producer Bob Rock noted that the aim was to capture the atmosphere of a band jamming together in a garage for the first time and the band just happened to be Metallica. Drum rattles gave listeners a challenging sound, different from previous Metallica albums and unheard of from such an established act. The album also had a complete absence of guitar solos. Some critics praised the album for its aggression, with one critic noting that "while it's an ungodly mess at times", "what you hear on this album is a band playing with the passion for the first time in years". Longtime artist Pushead designed the cover artwork, marking the first album cover he'd done for the band, although his work had been featured previously inside the ...And Justice For All booklet, several single covers, and numerous T-shirt designs.

After Summer Sanitarium, the year-long Madly in Anger with the World Tour followed, finishing near the end of 2004. The songs "Frantic", "St. Anger", "Dirty Window", and "The Unnamed Feeling" were performed frequently during the tour. "Sweet Amber" and "Some Kind of Monster" were also played live, but not as often as the other St.Anger material. The album tracks were altered when played live. Sometimes shortened, or in some cases a guitar solo was added ("Sweet Amber", "Dirty Window", "Frantic") However, in some cases only one song from the album was played live, and in 2006 the album had almost completely been removed from live sets with most shows not including any songs from St. Anger, Load or ReLoad (with the exception of Fuel from ReLoad).

In May 2007, the album was featured in Q magazines "10 Most Insane Albums Ever"; due to James Hetfield's recording hours, alcohol problems and the departure of Jason Newsted, then underneath a section of the article with the heading: "Is It Any Good?"; it says the production is "tinny" and that the songs "just aren't good enough" and says that Hetfield's singing is out of key.

A film called Some Kind of Monster was released after St. Anger which recorded the production of the album, offering insight into how the band produced the music and how they got along during its creation.

Track listing

All songs by Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, Bob Rock and Lars Ulrich.

1. "Frantic" – 5:50
2. "St. Anger" – 7:21
3. "Some Kind of Monster" – 8:25
4. "Dirty Window" – 5:24
5. "Invisible Kid" – 8:30
6. "My World" – 5:45
7. "Shoot Me Again" – 7:10
8. "Sweet Amber" – 5:27
9. "The Unnamed Feeling" – 7:09
10. "Purify" – 5:14
11. "All Within My Hands" – 8:48


* James Hetfield – guitar, vocals
* Kirk Hammett – guitar
* Lars Ulrich – drums
* Bob Rock – producer, engineer, bass, mixing
* Robert Trujillo – live bass
* Anton Corbijn – photography
* Scott Cunningham – production coordination
* Mike Gillies – digital engineer, assistant
* Paul Wood – guitar technician
* Wayne Isham – director
* Dana Marshall – producer
* Vlado Meller – mastering
* Colin Mitchell – camera operator
* Paul Owen – monitors
* Jean Pellerin – editing, camera operator
* Pushead – cover illustration
* Ryan Smith – camera operator