Metallica - St. Anger
I remember how excited I was when this album was about to come out in June of 2003, and how excited I was when it was released early and I was able to buy a copy 3 days before it's release and immediately put it on. This album has always had a special place in my heart for the time it came out and various times since. When it came out, I was angry and fruious because art school wasn't working out the way I thought it should, I was stuck in a job I hated, and I wasn't happy with my life overall. I had started working out and the album was my workout tape.
In 2004, my mom went into the hospital for a brain anyersum, and I now had to face and deal with emotions and feelings I never had before. This album became theraputic for me at times, namely the last song on the album, "All Within My Hands". There is no greater, for better or worst, feeling than to know that someone's life is within your hands. That in a mere instant you can choose if they live or die. It's the type of power that you don't give a 19-year-old, at least not by choice, especially if they have little or no support from their immediate family. I remember one time coming home from school and the song came on shortly before my stop. The feeling I had, I can only describe it as one of intense pain and sorrow over what I had to choose. That my mom's life was within my hands. That, with nothing more than a phone call, I could call the hospital so she could gently pass on.
When she did, and not without me, it was a painful feeling.
For untold months since then, the song has had a double-meaning for me. There are times I get incredibly angry, but at it's worst, it's when I try or begin to take it out on my very good friend. This same friend came to me and shared more with me than anyone else, especially at the time, a year later, after my mom had passed. Today, I yelled at her. I told her to get out, to go away. I wasn't angry at her; I was angry at myself. All this anger and rage went through me after I appologized because I was so angry with myself. And then... then I looked at my hands. Whenever I get angry at someone I love, the words "All Within My Hands" or "Somekind of Monster" will echo through me. Whenever they do, I think.
There I stood, in the kitchen, only a few feet away from her. I looked at my hands, at how they were covered and calicuses, of how the skin was peeling off, and how beat-up they were. I looked at them, and thought about what I felt. What happened next was all within my hands, and I knew it. I walked over to my CD collection and took out St. Anger. I appologized and told her that I needed to hear a song really quick.
As the opening notes of "All Within My Hands" began to play, she had walked away and came back as soon as the first lines came on. She sat back in her chair, and just watched me sit in a chair in the next room with my head in my hands. I walked over to her, and started to tell her what the song meant to me... about what it had to do with mom... about how it feels that I could do something stupid when I get angry... about how all of it is within my hands.
And then I fell to the floor and started sobbing uncontrolably. I couldn't hold it back anymore. For the first time, the very first time in a year, I was actually crying about mom. It was the "Unnamed Feeling" that I had constantly tried to repress. It took me away from myself and made me reflect. She understood and gave me a hug.
James, Lars, Kirk, and Rob, thank you for releasing this album. I love "Dirty Window" because it reminds me of me, and how I simply dismiss all the people who look at me weird and how foolish it is. I love "Frantic" because, well, it kicks-ass! Today, I heard "St. Anger" and actually felt a way to express my anger in a healthy way and to keep it under control. And I heard how I became "Some Kind of Monster" because of myself.
I won't lie and say it's one of my favorite albums from you, but I sincerly want to say it's the most lyrically honest album I heard since anything by Devin Townsend. Trust me, when I say that, I'm saying the world of you guys.
Again, thank you for everything and may the new album rock!
For all you readers out there, I give this album this note: This album is therapy for both Metallica and you, the listener. If you are in a place similar to myself or the band, then the album, for that moment, will be the best thing in the world. IF you at listening to it and find that it is inferior to their other albums, I will agree with you musically. But lyrically, it's the single best thing they have ever done because they did something no artist in their position do; They're honest about how they feel.
Buy The Album