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What's Up With The Sound On The New Metallica Album?

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No other contemporary chart-topping rock album sounds remotely like Metallica's St. Anger. Never mind the whirlwind tempos, multiple rhythm changes and seven-minute songs. What's really unusual are the lo-fi tones and unconventional constructions. The drums don't crack, they clang, and cymbals cut out abruptly. There are no guitar solos. Once in a while a guitar lick lags behind the beat, and frontman James Hetfield's vocals occasionally veer off key. Stranger still, that's exactly the way Metallica and producer Bob Rock wanted it to sound. "I wanted to do something to shake up radio and the way everything else sounds," said Rock, who helped write the music and lyrics and played basslines on the album. "To me, this album sounds like four guys in a garage getting together and writing rock songs." The genesis of Metallica's raw new sound had as much to do with art as with anger. Shortly after Metallica hired Rock — who had worked on their last three studio records, including the ... more
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