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Never underestimate the regenerative powers of Metallica. Following the stripped-down Load and Reload, they've returned to the raw, vitriolic savagery of their earlier canon, using 1984's Ride the Lightning as a template for St. Anger. The title track provides the psychic lynchpin of the album by combining the bombast and defiance of the band's earliest high-water marks with more deliberate lyrics and emotional nakedness.


Equally cathartic is 'Some Kind of Monster,' a lumbering beast of a song that declares, "This is the voice of silence no more." Despite that claim, there's an economy to these lyrics; James Hetfield's raw-toothed growl only occasionally punctuates the menacing soundscapes. In fact, 'Dirty Windows,' the standout track here, is a shimmering five-minute instrumental that's free of the baroque trappings that sometimes clutter the Metallica landscape.

Metallica - St. Anger

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