Metallica – S & M

Album DVD Review by EDF

What is happening to the world of Heavy Metal? AC/DC and Iron Maiden have released albums which have proved that although their sound has not changed, they can still come up with the goods. Metallica on the other hand have decided to go over the top and release a live album, recorded over two nights, backed by the San Francisco Symphony and conducted by Michael Kaman.

On paper this sounds dreadful but somehow it works. While long suffering fans will moan that the band started sounding commercial with their 1991 Black album and betraying their heavy metal origins, new fans who have joined the band since that album will say that its part of the band’s progression. I would have to agree.

Don’t let the fact that there is an Orchestra backing Metallica put you off. They are a long way off from going soft. From the first track THE ECSTASY OF GOLD, which sounds like a soundtrack from an epic Western soundtrack, you know you are on for a ride and boy is it a loud one.

While most of the songs are from their last three proper studio albums, the older tracks are the ones to look forward to. Among them are FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS, MASTER OF PUPPETS and the mighty ONE. As well as old reliables like ENTER SANDMAN there are also two new tracks NO LEAF CLOVER and – HUMAN that has the Orchestra sounding like an army going off to battle.

The album is extremely enjoyable, if you like this sort of thing. Unfortunately there seems to be fewer Heavy Metal fans as time passes so you could sort of excuse Metallica for trying something different, that is if you disagree to this sort of thing.

Watch out for the DVD release of the concert as the special feature on the disc allows you to listen to Metallica and/or the Orchestra, whichever pleases you.

Play this loud once and then play it again louder.

5 stars

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