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The infamous reputation this song has obtained through the turbulent era that it came out of in Metallica’s history and its connection to the Napster scandal and the natural accusations of corporate greed a la Lars Ulrich’s gratuitous campaigning in response is unavoidable in any conversation about it. Those who had either a positive or negative reaction to their shift in musical direction in the 90s became a side issue, and with it were lost things of much more importance, chief among them being the actual music. It is with a good 10 years plus of distance from the public debate on Lars’ sincerity as a musician of that time period that I endeavor to showcase a valid reason for hating this song, rather than just lumping it in with the rest of Metallica’s post-thrash musical failures in the usual arbitrary fashion.
To keep things in perspective, those who associate “I Disappear”, the famed featured song on the lackluster sequel to Tom Cruise’s “Mission Impossible”, with the commercial boons that were the “Load” albums are only partly off base. This is revealed, ironically enough, when parsing the instrumental b-side that removes James’ over-processed vocal tracks. What emerges is a variation on the loose, sloppy, dumbed down guitar style that typified “Load”, but featuring Lars moving dangerously close to that trashcan sound that came up on “St. Anger”. It’s buried under a slightly thicker guitar tone and an obnoxiously pervasive wah pedal counter-theme coming out of Hammett and it has a small helping of reverb to give it some extra depth, but minus the vocals, it can be heard in all its popping, tinny glory.
The drums are not the only disaster to behold on the instrumental side of things, and they wouldn’t really be noteworthy except for how they foreshadowed future decline. The real offender here is the utter banality of the entire song, plodding through a redundant set of rock grooves and a sloppy atmospheric interlude with the usual clean tone nods to U2. Topping it all off is a comical lead guitar break out of Kirk Hammett that sounds like a reject from Jimi Hendrix’s lost recording sessions; fodder for the idiots who believe everything they read in Rolling Stone, but first slightly humorous then awkwardly annoying to anyone who looks to a guitar solo as a point of contrast or climax. And leave us not forget the clashing low tone of the solo in comparison to the slightly less bass-steeped rhythm guitar tracks, leaving the drums to play the top end (again, hinting at what occurred on “St. Anger”).
So the question becomes, why is this poorly written, poorly performed pile of rehashed hard rock still hailed as a commercial breakthrough? The answer is quite simply, most people who hear this song never get beyond the vocals. Sure, there are a couple of brief breaks from James’ semi-gritty performance, but this song is specifically tailored so that the listener hears the music, but isn’t really listening to it. Furthermore, the seeming inability of most to disassociate the song from the post, special effects steeped music video probably further feeds the illusion that this is an intelligent, well crafted rock tune. In many respects, this song lives up to the motion picture that it is associated with, all visual and virtually no depth to speak of.
Now putting aside the objective properties of this song for the final verdict, while most are dumbfounded at just how much of an industry whore Lars is, I’m dumbfounded as to why the fuck anyone would download this song for free, let alone pay money for it. It is not merely a bad listen with a confuted intent (aka “St. Anger”). it is a blatant exercise in musical dishonesty that is actually more common amongst mainstream MTV oriented rock music than most would like to admit. They say that video killed the radio star, but truth be told, video has largely killed any interest in dynamic and intricate music. While not every song that transfers into the video medium ends up losing its inherent value (see the video for “One” and “Nothing Else Matters”), ones like this that are basically written for the video medium never really have any to begin with.
Everything's wrong with this song. Metallica was given a chance to compose a kick ass soundtrack and mysteriously failed. Yes, I'm ironic. "I disappear" is in fact a preview of all the disastrous releases Metallica would have published for the next years, and continues doing until nowadays.
As I said, everything in this song is utter shit. Starting from the initial lyrics:
Hey Hey Hey
Here I go now
Here I go into new days
Hey Hey Hey
Here I go now
Here I go into new days
I’m pain, I’m hope, I’m suffer
Yeah Hey Hey Hey Yeah Yeah
Here I go into new days
...which are pretty much the same during all of the song, except for a repetitive "don't bury me when I'm gone". And yes, the singing is horrible, the voice is really disturbing, sounding more like a tough redneck rather than Hetfield's voice. If there isn't this disastrous non-melodic voice, there is the choruses pleading whine, which makes things worse.
And for the other musical parts, it's just the same crap, an enormous evidence that Metallica have sold out since their beloved/blamed "Black Album". Kirk Hammett's guitar parts are the real big frustrating detail. I mean, it's just incredible: a faint wah-wah effect during the song and a basic bluesy solo in the chorus. The bass parts don't even exist, while the drum parts are simply reduced to a simple crash/hi-hat-pedal-snare drum tempo, with NO double bass. Forget the acoustic version of this awful song, it's just more proof of Metallica's awful sellout.
Recently, after finding a few unpacked boxes from my last house move, I discovered a lot of old tapes of mine, which friends had recorded for me when I was in year 8 (we had quite the tape trading underground at our school!). It consisted mostly of the usual year 8 in 1999 fare- some Limp Bizkit, some Korn, and a few played to death Metallica albums. Being somewhat short of money back then, I had a tendency to buy singles instead of full lengths. This was one of those singles, and I'd totally played this death. So, upon discovery, I gave this a couple of listens, basically expecting I'd hate it.
But you know what, this song really isn't too bad. In terms of creativity and integrity, then this would easily be Metallica's nadir. However, it's also a very entertaining single, and to say anything less does Metallica a disservice.
Yep, this is so catchy and commercial that it makes The Black Album sound like a Under a Funeral Moon in comparison. The guitar riffs are incredibly easy, basically consisting of two chords, the lyrics are extremely simple and totally scream 'sing along', and everything else, from the guitar solo to the straight forward drums is extremely accessible, melodic, and easy to get into. It's some extremely simple hard rock/metal stuff that's really catchy and great to sing along too while drunk.
Basically, then, this song succeeds. What most people seem to forget is that this song was written for a soundtrack to an (extremely bad) action movie. It's not meant to be a freaking 9 minute long prog epic! It's meant to be something that will go over well when the producers play it on closing credits. And that it is.
To conclude then, I would say: Yes, this is an extremely poppy, simplistic hard rock/metal song- which is both a pro and a con. This doesn't have the integrity of AJFA, Load, or even St.Anger, and while it is a bit of a cash grab, it's still a good bit of party music. Don't expect anything else from this and you won't be disappointed.
On a final note, the video of this song is extremely entertaining, and it's the video that made me want to play guitar. I'm adding another 10% to the rating purely because the video was so good.
Since I've been getting more and more into metal, certain rock songs and hard rock in general has become more bland to me than it used to, and it just doesn't get my juices flowing .
It also has to do with the sheer amount of times I have heard certain songs on the radio, and this song from the MI:2 soundtrack is one of those. I've heard it so many damned times that it's lost its hard-rocking appeal and serves only to clog my eardrums.
This isn't necessarily a bad rock song, but it's not a good metal song either. If it is metal, it's metal in one of its most commercialized forms. I
t begins with guitars that sound like sirens and corrresponding drum fills that give way to a nonchalant, thick groove. This song wouldn't be too out of place on the Black album or one of the earlier Metallica releases. It has enough aggression and melody to stand out, but is evident of Metallica's transition to Selloutica, which had actually already begun somewhat with Load.
Fortunately, this song is much too good to be on Load, and maybe even Reload. Load is 'country' for crying out loud, right?
Hetfield's vocals aren't as sharp as they used to be, but that's to be unexpected. Plus, he's doing a different style of music now. Thrash requires harsher, more forceful vocals anyway, unless you're Dave Mustaine.
The climactic guitar 'solo' is very wicked and will get you moving if you're feeling ancy. It irks me that many metalheads seem to think it taboo to 'headbang' or move to metal/hard rock. Somehow they justify it as making them seem less intellectual, and though is it true in some ways, I also see the need for us as human beings to give into our primal instincts and feelings.
I just don't see how this song initially wouldn't make you want to get up out of your seat. It's not a prodigy of a song, but it's still damn good. The way I see it, Metallica fans should be rejoicing that this song isn't a rehash of anything from Load.
Unfortunately, this song is put on the next abomination of an album, St.Anger. Poor thing, it's much too good to be put on that album. I haven't even heard the album, but from what I've heard from the self-titled single and the reviews I've read of it, it's sure to be pretty bad. So sad.
This song is probably little more than a weak Load track which didn't make the cut. In other words: it sucks. Jaymz' cheesy redneck vocals are probably the best part about this song as they actually really add to the the Southern Boogie Rock atmosphere. The main riff however is just dumb. We're seriously looking at Nickelback material here. As for the lead guitar? More shitty wah-wah crap from Guitar God Kirk Hammet. You won't even notice the drums. Seriously. They're there but...they're not. The bass is standard Nickelback thumping with no real purpose or direction. And lyrics are some of the worst ever written. "Hey, hey hey! Here we go now!". What the fuck is that!? Well despite these flaws, keep in mind that it could and did get worse with the follow up to Load. As the title suggests, this song blows but its a hell of a lot better than St. Anger. If you don't already know, avoid this shit. When it plays on the radio, turn it off and spin the new Maiden. With that said and done, I'm out of here like Shitallica's credibility.