Metallica S&M – $21.48 for the double disc set
The Beatles might have killed the presence of horns in Rock and Roll, but for one brief moment at the end of the 20th Century, Metallica brought an entire throbbing orchestra into the mix.
Unfortunately the performance, DVD, and CD from Metallica’s partnership with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra is largely forgotten. Which is just plain unfair.
It’s essentially a two disc greatest hits collection, with a couple of new songs thrown in. Even if you prefer your Metallica from the Black Album on (you softie), the S&M performances of earlier material like Master of Puppets, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and the instrumental Call of Ktulu are addicting. It’s powerful, it’s angry, and it’s satisfying.
The record does have some issues. It was recorded in 1999, just a few years before Jason Newsted left the group and internal shenanigans led to turmoil documented in “Some Kind of Monster.” The performance feels lackluster in spots. On some songs it feels like James just gives up. But his voice, when he’s on, it’s abnormally clear. Different than what he usually sounds like. Less growl. It’s like the presence of a syphony 10 feet off his ass guilted him into finally showing off the vocal chops he’s got, without the usual stereotypical gravel in his throat.
Less screaming, more singing. And it’s awesome because of that.
Great for running. Good for poker. Not so good for writing a post for an Affordable Men’s Style site.