St Clanger, I'm madly in anger with you... but I love the documentary!
The best thing about the much maligned St Anger is the documentary behind it, Some Kind of Monster.
The band went through immense turmoil during the making of this album. Hetfield left the band for rehab and to clear the cobwebs in his head. With lyrics about his lifestyle and his 'deathstyle', the content of 'St Anger' is bitter, morbid and twisted, and there is no heart in it. Hetfield sounds like he has vocal diarrhea, a word incidentally, from the Greek word meaning 'flowing through'. The only thing flowing on this monstrosity is the cash from the fans who unfortunately were blind sided into buying an expensive beer coaster.
The documentary is a fly on the wall look at how St Wanger was created and it is not a pretty sight. Nothing is left to the imagination as we witness the personal trauma suffered by all concerned. Hefield in particular comes across as breaking down in fornt of us all and it truly sad and as emotionally raw as you will see in a doco, even more so than Anvil. The best thing as far as for the band that occurs is the introduction of bassist Robert Trujillo, who jumped on board the Metallica Machine and he looks stunned when they say it is him they want. Bob Rock on the other hand annoys and fascinates at intervals, making his presence felt but he is no where near as annoying as the counsellor who just jumps in every chance he gets. Some of the things he says are profound and some are just plain frustrating.
When Hetfield leaves it is a compelling movie and you really feel for the band and crew. Lars is especially vocal and very hurt it seems but he is intelligent to know that Hetfield will return; deep down he knows it. Of course the result of this personal chaos is the album stinks. The lyrics were written on toilet paper so that the music industry could wipe their bums on them. Ulrich is most worried about this release but it is out of their hands and we see on the doco how a band is treated when they are at their lowest and it is not for the faint hearted. To see Metallica falling apart is distressing for the fan but as we know they have a triumphant return with the incredible Death Magnetic. I also loved Megadeth's intervention to help out in places, and the scene where Mustaine expresses his pain at being second best in Megadeth is apowerfully moving moment; one of the most unforgettable parts of the doco.
We hear some of the inane lyrics being rehearsed such as the infamous unforgiveable crapola of Frantic; "tick tick tick tick tick tick tock, Frantic tick tick tick tick tick tick tock, Treading water full of worry, This frantic tick tick talk goes hurry... my lifestyle determines my deathstyle" or "This is the face that you hide from, This is the mask that comes undone, Ominous, I am in us, Ominous, I am in us..." or "No compromise, My heart won't pump the other way, Wake the sleeping giant, Wake the beast, Wake the sleeping dog, No, let him sleep..." or "Tear it down, Strip my layers off, My turpentine, Old paint, old looks, Cover up the past, White heat, white light, Super whity, bones, Bones of you and I, Pure if I ... Can't you help me?" and finally "Who's in charge of my head today, Dancin' devils in angels way, It's my time now, Look out motherf***ers here I come, Gonna make my head my home..." Of course we all know the lyrics are a result of how disturbed the band were at the time; nothing was going right and as you see in the doco the band are just going through the motions simply to continue.
The whole background on this album is compelling viewing and the documentary is one of the best 'warts and all' fly- on-the-wall docos in history. Avoid the album, watch the movie.