Retroactive Classic: Metallica 'St. Anger'
Wed, 03 Jun 2015 09:33:40
Looking back at the metal titans 2003 epic proves its classic status.
Metallica's St. Anger turns 12 on this Friday June 5. As far as the Metallica game-changers go, the band has their own "Big Four." This differs from fan-to-fan, of course, but you could commonly shout out Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, ...And Justice for All, and The Black Album and generally receive a bellow of agreement from whoever's in earshot. Those are the ones you hear about universally. However, St. Anger belongs on that list, as it was equally groundbreaking both for the band and heavy music at large. There was nothing like it at the time, and you can hear that palpable catharsis everywhere from Slipknot's .5: The Gray Chapter to Lamb of God's Wrath.
At the time when it came out, St. Anger, produced by Bob Rock, was the blast of adrenaline that the world needed. Everybody ran out and got the album as it moved over 417,000 copies in one week, landing at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. It eventually would go double-platinum stateside, while the title track earned the Grammy Award for "Best Metal Performance."
The boys—James Hetfield [vocals, guitar], Lars Ulrich [drums], Kirk Hammett [guitar], and Robert Trujillo [bass]—hit the road on the Summer Sanitarium tour in tandem with the release, thrashing stadiums with a little help from Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Deftones, and Mudvayne. Everything was in transition. We were a culture that was evolving and rotating on its axis. It needed the visceral gut punch that St. Anger charismatically, chaotically, and confidently delivered.