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The song 'the unamed feeling' is one the worst examples of why the new album was so weak and universally panned. Horrible chugging riffs, lack of present and deep drumming, weak, rough and placid vocals. The song was never worthy of album, let alone single material.
Ep's as far as I am aware are chock full of the rare. ON Iron Maiden's 'No More Lies' you got mulitmedia videos, rare studio cuts, a commemorative wristband. in Iced earth's 'Melancholy EP' you got rare and since unreleased covers plus the exceptionally rare live rendtion of 'colours'
On this Ep you get the studio cut of 'unnamed feeling' and then hordes of live tracks. Only a couple of which are that rare or even special. They had the chance here to chuck in a few garage era demos, the infamous 'boom box' live recordings, remastered footage from 'Cliff 'em all'... But nope, all we got were soundboard recordings of tracks from the last tour, which if anyone is familiar with the 'frantic' single will see were available there.
for die hard fans who collect everything then this is for you, or if you want what is in theory an up to date mini-live album then it is worth picking up. But I don't know this could have had so much more thrown into it, a shame and a waste really.
I joined the Metal Archives fairly recently, so I didn't get a chance to do a St. Anger review (it would've received an 84), so this is the next best thing. What you've got here is one of the better songs on St. Anger (issue "Sweet Amber" as a single dammit!) plus a bunch of really solid live cuts. Whatever you say about Metallica, they've always gotten the job done live, and they've been really on for this tour, much more so than the rather limp performance captured on the S&M album and DVD.
I'll start with the title track. Like the album itself, ï¿½The Unnamed Feelingï¿½ owes itself to both old and new Metallica. It's sort of a statement on the metal scene in general in that regard. We sit in the middle of a paradigm shift in metal history. The definitions are changing. Just as the 80's metal crew started declassifying traditional metal like Aerosmith into the vague "hard rock" category. now metalheads, the hardcore ones, are starting to re-visualize the genre, to expand it's boundaries. But there are some who resist. Fuck you, maybe SlipKnot and Disturbed are louder, faster, and harder than anything Iron Maiden ever put out but I'll be damned if I call them metal. They are "hardcore", "metalcore", or worst of all "mallcore". Pffft.
St.Anger is not a hardcore album, "The Unnamed Feeling" is not a mallcore song. It's a metal record. On the whole the St.Anger got more in common with traditional metal than with The Deftones, but still it's being flayed for being progressive and new. We may look back and find out that St.Anger is a true landmark in the progression of metal. But maybe it won't, so let me step off of my soap box and talk about the release at hand.
Like every other Metallica song (except "2x4") it's good, and in fact "The Unnamed Feeling" is probably one of the best songs they've ever done. Fuck calling this nu-metal. No nu-metal act hits this hard, feels this passionate, is built so raw. It'd be like calling Accept a hair band because they have a singer with a high pitched voice. Make no mistake, the St. Anger record shares some common characteristics with nu-metal, and as a fervent hater of Linkin Park and company, and all they represent, it upsets me a bit. But I look beyond.
I see this as a throw back to both ï¿½Until it Sleepsï¿½ and ï¿½Welcome Home (Sanitarium)ï¿½. James is at the top of his game with little of the slightly punky tone he'd acquired by Reload. This a real a gem of a performance throughout over a truly rocking riff that has that slow but unstoppable feeling of ï¿½No Leaf Cloverï¿½ or ï¿½The Outlaw Tornï¿½, with lyrics that, while reminiscent of ï¿½UISï¿½ are among the most dependably solid on the record(sorry boys, but not every song here is "One"). Itï¿½s a straight ten, even if James does a passable Jonathan Davis impression towards the end of the song. The difference is that while KoRn bitches and moans so much that it loses its power within the first twenty seconds, this comes after a singularly forceful performance by Het and feels much more honest and exposed. Of course, I love Metallica so what do I know?
Of course, if you're one of those who despises new Metallica in any form, the live stuff is still well worth the price of admission. "The Four Horsemen" kicks into overdrive like nobody's business, and you can practically see Dave Mustaine moping about how "Mechanix" was really never as good. "Damage Inc." has always been one of the most intense Metallica numbers, truly shredding the melodic elements that had started to creep into the band's music by the time Master of Puppets came out, and the band does it justice here.
Although it was much publicized that Lars didn't even touch his double-bass live on this song in recent years, he doesn't skimp on it here. I've never really loved this song, but it is a convincing chugger with great lyrics. Don't forget "Motorbreath" either, always one of the better songs on Kill 'Em All I felt. I still don't think they need to do every song from it on this tour, but people have missed it after such a long absence so...
"Ride the Lightning" works very effectively live, and it makes you wonder how they dropped it from the set for so many years. Did you really need to play "Nothing Else Matters" so often? "Hit the Lights" has such a great chorus, and the punky vibes of the verses work even better now than they did before. Well worth a spin, particularly for it's huge historical significance.
In the end, this is not an essential release, but it is a good one. The songs could be better chosen, but I'm sure classic thrash-heads will get all misty eyed for tender youth and lost brain cells. A good combo of new and old, but not a great one. Perhaps if Tallica had added more really interesting material (out-takes anyone?) rather than simply dipping into the back catalogue again thisï¿½d be worth it.
However, I will not be nearly so kind towards the next EP of this nature.
Stand-Outs: Meh, it's a bunch of classic live tracks and a really good new song, just like the SKOM EP. You already know what you like I should think.