Metallica - S&M review
|Release date:||November 1999|
01. The Ecstasy Of Gold [Ennio Morricone cover]
02. The Call Of Ktulu
03. Master Of Puppets
04. Of Wolf And Man
05. The Thing That Should Not Be
07. The Memory Remains
08. No Leaf Clover
09. Hero Of The Day
10. Devil's Dance
11. Bleeding Me
01. Nothing Else Matters
02. Until It Sleeps
03. For Whom The Bell Tolls
04. - Human
05. Wherever I May Roam
06. Outlaw Torn
07. Sad But True
09. Enter Sandman
Symphony & Metallica is a strange musical experiment: Metallica meets the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
After writing the orchestration for Nothing Else Matters, conductor Michael Kamen invited The Four Horsemen to play live with an orchestra. And seven years later here's the result: some people loves it, some other hates it. I'm neutral.
First of all, I don's like the orchestra score because it doesn's fit in. Classical instruments frequently play parts totally different from what the band play: instead of accompanying and strengthening the original melodies, it seems just like the classical musicians play a different song. It is really a pity, because I can imagine the perfect score in my head!
I respect Michael Kamen, because he has worked with many rock artists such as Pink Floyd and Bryan Adams, but this time he has really disappointed me.
Production is good: every instrument has a bright, clean sound. But, in my opinion, the orchestra volume level is too loud and some guitar parts are buried. James? voice is not energic and some old songs feel the effects of it.
There is a pair of new songs, No Leaf Clover and ?Human: nice tunes, but nothing special.
The biggest error is in the tracklist! How could they plan to play Fuel, Battery, The Memory Remains, Wherever I May Roam leaving out The Unforgiven?! Heavy tunes can be revisited with an orchestra: it might be funny! But how could you leave out Fade To Black when you know you're going to play with dozen of violinists?! Aaaarrrrggh !!!
In my opinion, this could have been a great experiment with the following tracklist:
The Ecstasy Of Gold, Fade To Black, My Friend Of Misery (instrumental demo version), The Unforgiven, The Outlaw Torn, For Whom The Bell Tolls, Orion, Nothing Else Matters, Thorn Within, Devil's Dance, Enter Sandman, Welcome Home (Sanitarium), Master Of Puppets (slow instrumental part), The Unforgiven II, Fixxxer, One, To Live Is To Die, Low Man's Lyric, Hero Of The Day, Blackened, Seek & Destroy.
I like that Seek & Destroy down there! It's a pity that no orchestra will ever play Kill ?Em All (maybe one day Apocalyptica will!).
Finally, if you're interested in buying S & M, I do not suggest you to buy the double live album. You?d better buy the DVD video, it's fantastic: 4 personalized cameras on 4 songs, 5.1 Dolby Surround, a 40 minutes documentary, bonus footage (see Jason destroying a violin!) and separate audio tracks for band and orchestra (this means that you can even select ?band only? or ?orchestra only?!): a great live concert.
|Ten years after hitting their highest standards, Metallica felt that it was the time to make a change in their overall sound. "...And Justice for All" was certainly a major contribution to progressive music, but to their own opinion, not their best product. After having felt that they over-produced the Justice album, shorter songs, simpler riffs and less experimentation followed. The "radio-friendly" period, The 90's, were certainly the most successful and controversial times for the band.
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