Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Metallica - S&M

I have to preface this post with that while I am not a die-hard Metallica fan, I do thoroughly enjoy their music.  Having never actually bought one of their albums (I got most of them from The Klepto) and a one or two from another friend, I have to say I was overall very satisfied with their music.  I listened to St. Anger (the song) and was never motivated to listen to that album, and from the looks of things I'm glad I didn't.  Though they did make a comeback with Death Magnetic, as you will find in a previous post.

However I would like to focus on their live album S&M.  S&M stands for Symphony and Metallica.  The San Fransico Symphony, conducted by the late Michael Kamen, lends their sound to Hetfield and pals.  The result, and I quote from Battery, is a "powerhouse of energy".

The opening song, The Ecstasy of Gold is purely orchestral instrumental; it isn't terribly impressive, it basically is getting the crowd's attention focused onstage.  It leads into The Call of Ktulu, another purely instrumental piece, this time including the band with the orchestra.  Starting off rather mysterious it grows and grows (in true Metallica fashion) until it is an out of control beast with the orchestra right behind it going just as crazy.  The rest of the show is just one power song after another, with a one or two "slow songs" to calm everyone down and give James' voice a bit of a break.  There are two previously unreleased tracks in the show No Leaf Clover and Human.  I really enjoy both of them.  Human has a wicked cool intro and delivers after that.  They close out the concert with Battery, one of my personal favorites (if you listen closely you can hear the sweet bassoon solo in the beginning).

 Overall the album has a lot of pros and very few cons.   One con being that they did a lot of crowd singing.  A little bit is OK, but I feel they really over did it.  Overall this is a great album.  I would recommend it to anyone that is a Metallica fan, or a fan of symphony-esque music.  I would put this at a 8.8 of 10.

Track Listing

CD 1
1. The Ecstasy of Gold
2. The Call of Ktulu
3. Master of Puppets
4. Of Wolf and Man
5. The Thing That Should Not Be
6. Fuel
7. The Memory Remains
8. No Leaf Clover (previously unreleased)
9. Hero of the Day
10. Devil's Dance
11. Bleeding Me

CD 2
1. Nothing Else Matters
2. Until It Sleeps
3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
4. -Human (previously unreleased)
5. Wherever I May Roam
6. The Outlaw Torn
7. Sad But True
8. Enter Sandman
9. Battery


The Klepto said...

I've had this album for years, but never actually gotten around to listening to it. The one song I love from this (My friend gave me a mix-CD with this track on it) is 'No-Leaf Clover.' I love the added emphasis of the orchestra and the vocals are pretty damn good.

DPTH International said...

I could never get into this live album. It sounded too much like Metallica ... and an orchestra. The blend didn't work for me.

I love Epica's Classical Conspiracy and Virgin Black's "Requim-Mezzo Forte" is sheer brilliance.

I think I was too used to European Power metal which utilizes the orchestral arrangements far better.