Today we are looking at an album considered to be one of the worst of all time. Not only is this album considered objectively bad, but even more disappointingly it comes from one of the greatest Metal bands of all time. Today we are looking at St. Anger by Metallica.
The biggest issues on this album have very little to do with the music, with production and runtime being the biggest issues here. Metallica decided to take a very lo-fi approach to this album, attempting to convey the anger and frustration present during its recording. Because of their dedication to keeping it as raw as possible none of the songs are polished beyond their simplest forms, featuring no solos and a raw Garage Rock aesthetic.
Unfortunately these choices, while keeping the music very raw sounding also doesn't cover up mistakes or disguise bad choices, like Lars Ulrich's loose snare sound. While a loose snare sound on it's own isn't bad, the recording techniques used mean that not only can you hear this horrible pinging noise every time Lars hits the snare, but you can hear the loose snares rattling in the background of most of the songs. This album also features some of the least complex bass playing to ever appear on a Metallica album since producer Bob Rock actually played the bass for this album.
These recording issues and bad drum sounds are only exacerbated by the length of a lot of these songs. Simple and straightforward tracks like St. Anger and Some Kind of Monster are stretched to over 7 minutes when they should only be 4 at most. They keep the same length from their usual songs without having the complex layers. And just to add insult to injury, not only is the music not of a particularly high quality, it also sounds extremely dated as the band sound like they were trying way to hard to fit in with the Nu Metal trends of 2003.
Despite these numerous issues, I'd still recommend the tracks Some Kind of Monster and St. Anger. While they should only be about 4 minutes long, they are both pretty good songs and, for me at least, overcome the recording issues. Even with a few tracks that I actually like on this album, it’s still the worst Metallica album of all time. While a lot of people don’t like the style of Load and Reload, St. Anger is objectively a horrible album.