Metallica-St. Anger
© 2003 Elektra Records
Section A-Seventh Sign
         © 2003 Lion Music
Well, it's my first Metallica review. Not that I haven't wanted to before. I just haven't siezed the opportunity. I have been listening to this band for a very long time now. As a matter of fact, just before 'Ride the Lightning' came out was my introduction. One thing that stuck out to me was how aggressive the band was early on and how they continued to grow as an act. This band has really become bigger than life. Well, the band has really in some ways refocused on their roots with a more modern approach. The album really gets it on in places. What is a bit different is some of the vocal parts. Some of these parts take a bit of getting used to such as the title track 'St. Anger'. Now what I find interesting is that there are equally cool parts in tracks like 'Shoot me again'. I think where this album really shines is in the guitar work and especially the drums. Lars still has it. Not sure if I care much for a bit of the drum sound like that heard in the title track, but he really nails it and nails it hard. As far as rhythms, they are in abundance. What makes this album a bit odd though is the lack of solos. I remember the intensity of tracks like 'Damage, Inc.' and the solos in those songs were blistering. That kind of thing would really have been the icing on the cake. Anyway, if I was to look at some of my favorite tracks they would include 'Frantic', 'Dirty Window' which wins the award for best sounding rhythm on the record, 'Shoot me again', and 'All within my hands'. Included with the limited edition cd is a dvd with the complete album filmed in rehearsal. This is a very fun part of this package. It even has a Dolby Digital 5.1 sound scheme that gives you a feel of being there sound-wise. Grab this if you are going to before you lose out on the dvd.

I'm really not sure which way fans are going to lean on this release. It is definitely different than what we have heard from these guys before. It is a bit more of a raw aggression in my opinion. I would really like to have heard some solos ripping through these tunes... maybe next time. I think the album is okay and has some good things going for it. I'm sure though with the departure of a more accessible sound there will be some debate on this. You be the judge.

Although maybe some people haven't heard of some of the musicians in this band, Section A has a plethora of talent. I really like Torben Enevoldsen's guitar work and having wrapped a great band around himself including Vanden Plas drummer Andreas Lill, and former Lion's Share vocalist Andy Engberg, Section A was a reality. Also along for the ride in guest spots was Gunter Werno from Vanden Plas and Derek Sherinian from Planet X. Enevoldsen handled Bass parts as well.  The music as expected on this album is rock solid and fairly progressive in nature with a great deal of atmosphere. The thing that really stands out in my opinion is how professional the band sounds. With the members already being established, it really added a veteran sound to this record. I also really like Enevoldsen's guitar sound. There is a real edge to it that adds it's own intensity. Overall the music is consistent with each individual song obtaining its own personality to pull off a very cool effort. It is also important to note that with musicians of this caliber, the focus is definitely on the songs although some of those solos are pretty amazing. As far as my personal favorites, I really like the album as a whole and feel that all of the tracks are equally good. I do like the atmosphere displayed in the opener 'The Seventh Sign', 'The Man in the Mirror' is melodic bliss and reminds me a bit of something like MVP featuring Mike Vescera. The guitar has a real edge to it on this track that mixes well with the melody. Like I mentioned though, the album as a whole definitely gets an A.

Definitely one of Lion Music's finest release so far this year. This album ranks up with some of the great melodic progressive bands of recent memory. This album leans slightly more melodic hard rock than progressive, but that element is unmistakeable in the songwriting. This one is definitely a recommended title!