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S&M - Metallica

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      11.03.2011 17:19
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      Metallica and symphony; bonkers but beautiful!

      METALLICA - S&M

      Music fans are a fickle bunch of easily offended twunts. Take the standard rule of thumb that applies to Metallica for instance. The long haired, speed-metal merchants creating the complex, orchestrated tracks of the eighties are to be revered; the more polished, manicured, hard-rockers of the nineties are little more than sell-outs taking a massive shit in your cereal. Talk about a slight over-reaction. It's not like they've been out clubbing baby seals, or voting David Cameron into head office. Seriously, children, rather than become stale and insipid, as is your want, Metallica just tried something a little different, as is theirs. Where's the harm in that you horde of gibbering baboons? Metallica rock, no matter which Metallica you listen to!

      That even goes for their most obvious decent into Spinal Tap styled wankery. Metallica sharing the stage with a full blown symphonic orchestra might sound about as mad as using a box of soapy frogs to help conduct the electricity during foreplay, more so when you consider the project to be a live event, but it's really not the case. Despite the thrash and bash of their metal approach, Metallica have always crafted carefully articulated and orchestrated riffs that weave majestically into the pulsating noise of their sound (thanks mostly to the late, great Cliff Burton); little surprise then that their arrangements hold more than a passing nod to the compositions of a symphony orchestra. So, as left-field as it seems, symphony and metal are not the mere passing strangers one expects, and such a fusion makes for a tantalising prospect on the album's first play.

      Indeed, after an initial listen your first response is likely to be thank the monkey gods Mark Ronson wasn't involved to bastardise Master of Puppets. We all know how Ronson near enough destroyed Radiohead's 'Just' with his wacky trumpets and silly trombones and as a consequence rightly deserves to be kicked in the bollocks for all eternity. Anyway, S&M sounds nothing like that rubbish. Instead real musician, composer and maestro Michael Kamen (whom approached Metallica with the idea of this collaboration) was on hand to conduct the San Francisco Symphony in providing the orchestral accompaniment to classic Metallica tracks where such an association might work. Accompaniment, key word that. Rather than smother the original tunes with unnecessary strings and horns (or wacky trumpets and silly trombones), Kamen's approach is much more subtle and refined, adding something to Metallica's electric, fizzing sound rather than attempting to out-gun and overwhelm the wah-wahing guitars and thumping drums. It makes for a rather unique and hugely spectacular combination.

      More on that in a second though, as the key to enjoying S&M immensely, apart from getting past the somewhat pretentious gimmick, is getting used to the sensory onslaught the concept at first provides. Your precious little ears really will not know where to listen. Is it Hetfield's notorious growl that is the focus? The swooping violins? The fizz of a Hammett solo? Ulrich's ever-rumbling drum tempo? The crowd going nuts? Even though the orchestral accompaniment is well placed, such a unique sound is something the human brain has barely comprehended before. As such, it does takes a couple of listens of S&M for your mind to stop focusing on individual elements of the set - chiefly, how does the symphony actually fit against well known Metallica tracks and does it meet ones expectations - for all the components to glue into one glorious whole. Like any head-scratching conundrum (how to pee at a urinal next to someone much taller than you and with a hose like a donkey, for instance), stick with it and once everything fits into place it seems like perfection. And then you feel like an idiot for doubting Metallica's sheer awesomeness.

      Master of Puppets has sounded little better and is an absolute rollicking ride (audience participation and all). The slow pace of Nothing Else Matters and the instrumental rhythms of The Call Of The Ktulu were made for an orchestral score and swoon with delight here, as does the swooping violins on Hero of the Day. By the magnificent transition at the end of the tup-thumping The Thing That Should Not Be into Fuel you soon realise this is no novelty album. The more muted symphony composition on Fuel and The Memory Remains stand out as the highlight of the whole set and certainly two of the more accomplished ventures of symphony and metal. Classics such as For Whom The Bells Toll and Sad But True are given a whole new lease of life. Perhaps most surprisingly is how well the speed metal on One and closing track Battery sound, with the fizzing guitars being relentlessly pursued by screaming strings and booming horns in a dash to the finishing line. Woah! Simply breathtaking.

      Sure there is some filler included. Human, one of two tracks created specifically for this spectacle, is distinctly 'meh'. The inclusion of Until It Sleeps, Devil's Dance and Of Wolf Of Man also seem a little odd considering Metallica's extensive back catalogue (a necessity rather than choice, unfortunately, considering not all the most popular and classic tracks combined well enough with an orchestra). So whilst this is the closest you're ever going to get to a Greatest Hits it doesn't reach the heights possible due to the lack of Ride The Lightning, Fade To Black, Orion, Welcome Home, ...And Justice for All and Dyers Eve. Still, the replacements do a fine if not overly spectacular job. The only track where the ball seems to be dropped is, rather sadly, Enter Sandman. The S&M combination just does not work here and one of Metallica's most outstanding songs is relegated to something little more than slightly grating.

      Still, these niggles aside, the album remains an absolute blast (and that's without even mentioning the joy of Bleeding Me and The Outlaw Torn). And the best thing about the whole endeavour? This is a live album. Some bands wish they could have studio sessions, with all the refinement that allows, which sounded this magnificent. Hetfield's vocals are on fine form, Ulrich and Newstead rarely, if at all, miss a beat, Hammet's solos are electric and suitably loud and the San Francisco Symphony are equally on the money. It's only the cheers and participation of the audience that remind you this whole crazy shindig is a live event. That's the true sign of how good this album is. Not just trying something barnstormingly bonkers and getting away with it by the skin of your teeth, but taking the time to re-create classic tracks, not destroy your legacy in one fell swoop, and to play with the utmost confidence that it will work. Work it bloody does!

      So, what could have been way too high concept and gimmicky and sounded like pure nonsense on paper, has transformed into something sublime. Told you Metallica rock, no matter which Metallica you're listening to!


      Overall - Turn it up to eleven, chill and relax to such wonderful noise!


      Disc 1

      1. The Ecstasy Of Gold
      2. The Call Of The Ktulu
      3. Master Of Puppets
      4. Of Wolf And Man
      5. The Thing That Should Not Be
      6. Fuel
      7. The Memory Remains
      8. No Leaf Clover
      9. Hero Of The Day
      10. Devil's Dance
      11. Bleeding Me

      Disc 2

      1. Nothing Else Matters
      2. Until It Sleeps
      3. For Whom The Bell Tolls
      4. Human
      5. Wherever I May Roam
      6. Outlaw Torn
      7. Sad But True
      8. One
      9. Enter Sandman
      10. Battery


      © clownfoot. March 2011

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        17.06.2009 15:31
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        Top-notch stuff

        That this concert is going to be different from anything else Metallica have ever offered before becomes immediately apparent - as the 'Ecstasy of Gold' (the theme tune from 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' that has accompanied a great many Metallica concerts since the 1980s) is played live by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

        Call of the Ktulu follows, and one can only imagine just how tremendous the performance would have been to experience live, judging from the CD. However, it is not only the instrumental and 'lighter' songs, such as Hero of the Day and Bleeding Me, that work well with the orchestra - classics such as Master of Puppets and Battery - where the whole of the introduction is played by the orchestra, before the band return to the stage for an encore, also work very well.

        Clearly, Metallica have a great many songs to choose from, and so the setlist does not disappoint. Although there is nothing from Kill 'Em All, highlights from Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, And Justice for All, Metallica, Load and Reload all appear, and the orchestra generally adds to the experience nicely. Nothing Else Matters, Bleeding Me and Memory Remains are particularly worthy of a mention, as these really come alive in this performance, and Michael Kamen should take some credit for writing a beautiful score to accompany the guitar parts in these. It is, however, difficult to find a favourite song, given this array of best ever performances of each.

        The quality of the recording is excellent, with the orchestra and band levelled very nicely, and it is worth noting that Hetfield's vocal range and tone is particularly pleasing throughout. It has to be said that for the all-round experience, the DVD has an edge here; the wide range of camera shots (including the ability to focus on particular band members for some songs, such as Enter Sandman and Sad But True from just behind Lars) and well-synchronised lighting and effects make the concert even more enjoyable to watch than just to listen to. Other than this, however, the DVD has no real extra features worthy of mention, but personally I would choose it over the CD set any day!

        This is comfortably my favourite live performance that Metallica have formally released, and the DVD in particular does it great justice. There can be little doubt that, on either medium, the concert offers an insight into a great piece of Metallica history, and is a must own for any Metallica fan.

        I have a similar review posted on ciao.co.uk, under the same name.

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          21.01.2009 19:25
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          love metallica you dont have this album...go get it!

          Metallica S&M


          As a fan of Metallica(thanks to my uncle) i got all of the albums and i intend to review on them all in time, but for now i'll focus on this one.

          Genre: Hard rock & Metal
          includes the San fransisco symphony orchestra
          Release 1999 by mercury records ltd
          2 Discs


          Disc 1

          The ecstasy of gold 02:30
          Hmm well with most albums i get the first song tends to push me away rather than pull me in so i was quite surprised when this pulled me in it has great tempo

          Call of the Ktulu 09:34
          I love the way Lars Ulrich (drummer) enters in the song with a steady beat. Again i was much surprised of the fact that i love listening to it even though it has no lyrics. There is a great rhythm going on with the guitars as well.

          Master of puppets 08:54
          Loving the start of this track this is infact one of the first Metallica songs i ever listened to...and i loved it, I love the lyrics to this song...they are just so catchy.

          Of wolf and man 04:18
          After listening to this twice i had learnt all the words and went around singing it for days, i got on my friends nerves and i must admit i was begining to get on my own nerves too. If you love a song with a bit of tension to it i guess this is the song for you, it has everything including an awesome riff!

          The thing that should not be 07:26
          i like classical music and didnt actually think that Rock music should be mixed with an orchestra but Metallica pulled it off. i think the riff of this song is a little bit messy(about 4:25 into the song). I gotta admit it isnt the best song but blends well with the orchestra behind them, it gives it a bit of an edge to it.


          Fuel 04:35
          One of my favourites espesially with the orchestra it makes it so much better than the origional in my oppinion. The beat gets the adrenaline pumping around your body and the rhythm of the guitar gets your head going too. I think this is one of the best riff's kirk has done in my eyes/ears.

          The memory Remains 04:42
          i've got to admit i have never heard such an awesome rhythm in my entire life, it keeps the song stable and likeable i think that if they did a different rhythm i wouldnt like this song. The riffs in between are flawless they seem to stick in my head and i find myself humming them from time.


          No leaf clover 05:43
          This one gets my foot tapping and my head nodding and i think if you are into this sort of music you should listen to this song.It's got a nice easy beat to it and the violins make it simpler and around 03:09 there is a really awesome riff that just makes the song 10 times better

          Hero of the day 04:44
          didn't really tune into this song to be honest, its a bit la-de-da for me so i can't really say much about it.

          Devil's dance 05:26
          The lyrics are awesome i wish there was a video for this song i think it would be amazing. try typing the name in on youtube if you want to listen to the song i highly recommend as it is a truly amazing song.

          Bleeding me 09:01
          The last song on CD1 not really a good one too slow on getting the beat up and it takes a while for the riff to come along. its not one i listen to everyday but i do once in a while just for a change.


          CD2

          Nothing else matters 06:47
          Probably my favourite slow song of metallica's its got a nice feel to it. Nice steady simple beat great guitar work. i recommend this to any-one as it isn't heavy metal at all even though there is an electric guitar riff slotted in somewhere but it fits and doesnt really give it a metal feeling to me.

          Until it sleeps 04:30
          Not really sure what to say about this one, i love the tempo rhythm and bass but not sure about the lyrics and beat.

          For whom the bell tolls 04:52
          Now this is a beat i love and the orchestra did a great job blending in. The tempo is spot on, perfect if you should say

          Human 04:19
          I love the start of this track its a kind of sound you hear the native americans chanting too (amazing thing) the rhythm caught me off guard i really didnt know what to expect and was blown away when it started.

          wherever i may roam 07:01
          Cant sat much about this one it is not a favourite and i dont listen to it all that often.

          outlaw torn 09:58
          again not a favourite, the start did not pull me in at all not the best of metallica i can say that.

          Sad but true 05:58
          what a name 'sad but true' what a song though! great rhythm and awesome beat keeps it going and strong. amazing lyrics, it always makes me wonder how they come up with them

          One 07:53
          a song which is on GH3 and done for a film called TOM. it is a rather creepy song but nether the less such an awesome riff...the orchestra gave a kind of sadness with this one which i really didnt like to much but anyway...

          Enter Sandman 07:39
          a great song that is consistant on TV Music channels such as Scuzz ang Kerrang! not this version but the origional and it has made me very bored of the song...its a shame really

          Battery 07:24
          i kind of like this song and i kind of don't i like from 01:30 to the end but the start is completely off it doesnt really need to be there.

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            05.01.2009 23:02

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            A brilliant combination of evolving metal and awesome orchestral power

            I listenened to this as someone who was not a massive fan of Metallica to begin with. This, it seems, is advantageous. Because a lot of true Metallica fans were left isolated by this record, especially coming not long after the Load/Reload records which were already seen as selling out their metal roots in favour of a softer, more commercial sound.

            The sound generated on this live performance with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra is absolutely stunning. Pairing an orchestral sound with guitars isnt an entirely new concept- but is still not a match you would expect to work. And on some tracks it doesnt. But for most of the performance, the orchestra beautifully supports the power of the band. On the more ballady MEtallica tracks, the stringed orchestra beautifully probe around the music, adding their own riffs and subtly enhancing the melodies. On the more powerful tracks, Maestro Michael Kamen gets immense sound and drama from his musicians, matching the immensity of the band's playing.

            I absolutely love this peformance, being a big fan of both classical and hard rock. If you are not a died in the wool metal fan and enjoy both the power and subtleties of both forms of music here, you must give this a try.

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            28.12.2005 16:17
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            Its nice to see the suprise on peoples faces who think they would hate this

            Heavy Metal mixed with Symphonic Music is nothing new. If you always thought that classical music was boring then this double CD may make you think again.
            Many metal artists have either been educated in , or heavily influenced by classical music. The infusion of these two genres can be found in numerous songs and albums across spectrum of metal bands. Leading sometimes to surprise when people discover the popularity of classical music amongst many metal fans.

            Being at the forefront of what is termed "intelligent heavy metal," it seemed only a matter of time before Metallica would eventually mix their classic songs with a full symphony orchestra. In fact, S& M is not the first foray the band has made into using classical music to enhance their songs. When recording The Black Album" Nothing Else Matters" in 1993 they worked in collaboration with the composer Micheal Kamen who scored an arrangement using a forty piece orchestra for what is termed as the "elevator" version of nothing else matters.

            S&M is a unique live approach taken by Metallica to push their music beyond the perceived image of a purely heavy metal band. After working with Metallica before and fresh from a project with Pink Floyd on "Division bell"
            Michael Kamen approached Mettalica with the idea of performing some of the their most well known songs live with a full symphony orchestra.
            Metallica deliver a powerful and stunning performance and Kamen and his 100-piece orchestra fill in the gaps that as a fan I never though were missing and add a special touch and a depth, complimenting the band so completely that just sets those hairs tingling up your spine.

            The concert, itself a rather low key affair, was recorded at the Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, California between April 21st and 22nd 1999. The double CD album of this concert S& M was then released on November 23rd 1999.

            The combination of an world class orchestra and a powerful metal group, is so inspirational that it crosses enough musical genres for it to appeal to nearly every person who appreciates good music.

            NOTE: There are twenty-one songs on this album, so this is a long review - I hope I do not loose anyone along the way.

            DISC ONE

            Disc one opens to cheers and applause from the fans

            1. The Ecstasy of Gold (2:30)
            (Originally from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly soundtrack)

            The Ecstasy Of Gold is the intro Metallica always uses to open their concerts, but this time its different. A 100 member orchestra certainly brings out those goose bumps.

            2. The Call of Ktulu (9:34)
            (Originally from Ride The Lightning, 1984)

            This song is rarely performed live so that it self is a real treat. The use of strings in opposition to the electric guitars in this production, takes an already excellent song to new heights. Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony won a Grammy for this remake.

            3. Master of Puppets (8:54)
            (Originally from Master of Puppets, 1986)

            Master and puppets is something of an anthem amongst Metallica fans. It is about drugs and their destructiveness (Something Metallica are well known for) The harmony is sung beautifully and the orchestral arrangement is just stunning.

            4. Of Wolf and Man (4:18)
            (Originally on Metallica, 1991)

            This is a monster song - Not in the sense that it is a hugely popular song with the fans, rather than it has Werewolves as the subject matter. The vocals and strings meld together superbly, adding a level of menace that is missing off the album .

            5. The Thing That Should Not Be (7:26)
            (Originally from Master of Puppets, 1986)

            Another monster song, about sea monsters this time, , The haunting compliment by the orchestra to Metacllica's full on style just blows you away

            6. Fuel (4:35)
            (Originally from Re-Load, 1997)

            Not my favourite song. Maybe its me but hot rods and classical music just don't gel here. Sounds a bit rushed - as if they realized they had made a mistake and just wanted to get it over and done with.

            7. The Memory Remains (4:42)
            (Originally from Re-Load, 1997)

            Perfect song to mix with the symphony. It's about a has been celebrity who can not accept his decline . This version lacks Marianne Faithfulls vocals from the original version. I can't say I particularly miss her tuneful "DA DA DA DA DA" during the chorus.

            8.No Leaf Clover (5:43)
            (Original for S & M)

            This one of only two songs written solely for this album. Starts wonderfully clean then bangs straight into the classic Metallica riffs. The string section must have had really bad cramp on this one but thankfully they keep up with the pace.
            The premise of the song is basically " good things turn bad, but it's nobody's fault but your own"

            9. Hero of the Day (4:44)
            (Originally from Load, 1996)

            This is a really beautiful song and the vocals are sung superbly - Better than their original I have to add

            10. The Devil's Dance (5:26)
            (Originally from Re-Load, 1997)

            Its all about Sex - This is heavy metal, sex and classical music all done with a lot of attitude. It's one of those songs you just never want to end.

            11. Bleeding Me (9:01)
            (Originally from Load, 1996)

            The long song all about the search for a better life. (wouldn't be right considering the subject matter to make this a short song) This song almost seems that it was always intended to be performed with a symphony. The build up they give to it has a certain majesty as they sweep through the sections giving this an epic feel.

            DISC TWO

            1. Nothing Else Matters (6:17)
            (Originally from Metallica, 1991)

            It's a love song. The original was beautiful. This version is better than the original. James Hetfield puts so much emotion into this beautiful love song - It has been known to make big, butch, bearded bikers weep.

            2. Until It Sleeps (4:29)
            (Originally from Load, 1996)

            Very dark and mysterious song, both musically and lyrically. It's about how dark personality trait comes back and hurt both you and the people you care for. This version sounds a bit jumbled but in away that compliments the lyrics.

            3. For Whom The Bell Tolls (4:52)
            (Originally from Ride the Lightning, 1984)

            This track comes from Metallica's more social and political early days, Where they were trying to convey the savagery and pointlessness of war. The intro to the song, is somewhat long and dedicated to the symphony. However Metallica punch their way through and dominate the rest of the track.

            4. Minus Human (4:19)
            (Original for S & M)
            This is the second track writen for this album. Good and heavy Metallica song - Not disappointing

            5. Wherever I May Roam (7:01)
            (Originally from Metallica, 1991)

            It's about the joys of the open road and being free. Good use of strings here from the orchestra, along with the guitars again gives a real feeling of depth and space to this song.

            6. The Outlaw Torn (9:58)
            (Originally from Load, 1996)

            This is a very moving and powerful song, about waiting for miracles The music, lyrics and orchestra yet again all blend well to gives the song an epic feel.

            7. Sad But True (5:46)
            (Originally from Metallica, 1991)

            Another song about struggles within. The music has a slightly slower tempo than the album track, and unfortunately, the orchestra and melodious guitars make this a rather monotonous track.

            8. One (7:53)
            (Originally from ...And Justice For All, 1989)

            Based on the book Johnny Got His Gun, This is a very haunting song about a soldier who has lost his arms, legs, sight, hearing, and speech. It concentrates on the horror he is experiencing. It is about how he did not die, but he feels he should have, as he cannot really now face life. This song does contain quite a lot of "thrash" which I supposed signifies his anger, unfortunately with the orchestra it just sounds a bit messy.

            9. Enter Sandman (7:39)
            (Originally from Metallica, 1991)

            "Enter Sandman" is probably the most famous Metallica song among mainstream music fans . I have heard a lot of hard core fans complain that this is not as good as the original - However, although I agree it has a different tempo, which takes a bit of getting used to, I really like this version.

            10. Battery (7:24)
            (Originally from Master of Puppets, 1986)

            For all fans of Metallic of "Trash" days you will love this track. All I can say is its very fast, very loud and very messy. I have no idea what it is about and really don't want to.

            The Band:

            James Hetfield - Guitar, Vocals
            Lars Ulrich - Drums
            Kirk Hammett - Lead Guitar
            Jason Newsted - Bass

            Michael Kamen - Conductor
            with The San Francisco
            Symphony Orchestra

            Producer: Bob Rock with James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich & Michael Kamen

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              04.05.2004 01:21
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              In 1999, Metallica released a live album that saw them performing twenty tracks spanning their musical career, accompanied by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. The idea of mixing hard, heavy metal anthems with soft, orchestral overtures had not been attempted often, and deservedly awarded the band an amount of media interest. S&M is a very interesting album that deserves a number of listens, and manages to recreate some great Metallica songs with great success, and some poor ones with little success. GENESIS The band?s former bass player Cliff Burton, who tragically died during the band?s 1986 tour, had a large impact on the style of the band?s earlier albums, his passion for classical music leading to more intricate and layered tracks than those of competing bands, with mellow guitar sections creating an epic and orchestral sound with only four instruments. Following Cliff?s death, the band were forced to pursue other avenues, which led to the eventual release of their more commercial rock album ?Metallica? (aka the Black Album) in 1991. Many fans felt that the band lost the plot after this, and the next albums to be released after a lenghty gap of touring and enjoying their profits reflected a far more bluesy, soft-rock approach. It was obvious that the band?s appreciation for other musical forms was impacting on the music they enjoyed creating, and in 1998 their experimentation with orchestral accompaniment was seen by many metal fans as the ultimate sell-out act, despite the fact that their earlier works had such a classical and baroque influence, however much the surviving band members had not realised this. Metallica?s founding member and drummer, Lars Ulrich, contacted composer and self-proclaimed heavy metal fan Michael Kamen with the band?s idea, and the composer set to work dec
              iding which songs would most benefit from the orchestra?s input, taking into account that the band?s live set-lists reflected both their classic and contemporary tracks. Kamen had previously composed the soundtracks to a number of prominent films, while working with bands such as Queensryche and, yes, Metallica, in adding symphonic elements to some of their album tracks. PERFORMERS VOCALS, RHYTHM GUITAR ? James Hetfield LEAD GUITAR ? Kirk Hammett DRUMS ? Lars Ulrich BASS ? Jason Newsted COMPOSER ? Michael Kamen, conducting many talented musicians on violins, violas, violincellos, basses, flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets, trombones, tuba, harp, timpani, percussion and kayboard than I can list here. THE S&M EXPERIENCE DISC 1: The Ecstasy Of Gold The Call of Ktulu Master of Puppets Of Wolf and Man The Thing That Should Not Be Fuel The Memory Remains No Leaf Clover Hero of the Day Devil?s Dance Bleeding Me DISC 2: Nothing Else Matters Until it Sleeps For Whom the Bell Tolls - Human Wherever I May Roam The Outlaw Torn Sad But True One Enter Sandman Battery FIRST HALF The album opens calmly with the qu
              iet roars of an expectant crowd, and the first notes of the orchestra for THE ECSTACY OF GOLD, a short and relaxing excerpt from the soundtrack to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, performed here by the orchestra. As soon as that is completed and the band have taken their positions, the haunting guitar intro of THE CALL OF KTULU is played by Kirk and James, and the sound of Metallica and the symphony are shown to their full potential. Ktulu is an epic in its own right, and the orchestra only compliments its dark and moody sound, using horns to great effect. As with most of the band?s early material, Ktulu already felt complete and epic in its own right, so while the orchestra doesn?t make it any better it is a great track to begin with. James? distinctive vocal growls begin on the third track, MASTER OF PUPPETS. One of the band?s most popular tracks, originating in their 1986 album of the same name, the progressive nature of this track means that the orchestra works in varying degrees of success. Personally, I find the orchestration a little over-the-top during the speedy verses and chorus, but the mellow sections of the song work excellently. It takes a while to get used to James? vocals accompanying such orchestration, but once he calms down on the band?s softer songs there doesn?t seem to be anything awry. There is some excellent use of violins towards the end of this track also, which is a nice touch. OF WOLF AND MAN is what I consider the first ?mistake? of this album; taken from Metallica?s self-titled 1991 album, the less intricate style of this track doesn?t lend itself to the orchestra, and this is one of the unfortunate examples of a song w
              here the rock element and the orchestration have clearly been planned independently. In contrast, THE THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE is one of their older and darkest tracks, and this works with the orchestra in the same way that the instrumental Ktulu did. Sounding better and more interesting with the orchestra in many places, this is one of the tracks that definitely does ?work,? and features an improvised rendition of the Funeral March before leading into the next tracks. FUEL and THE MEMORY REMAINS were tracks released from the band?s 1997 album ?Reload,? the band?s most recent studio release at the time of this recording, and as such they seem mainly included out of necessity. Still, the symphony adds to the commercial rock sound a lot more successfully than in similar tracks, especially in the slower ?The Memory Remains,? but ?Fuel? still sounds a little forced, adding unnecessary depth and grandeur to what is essentially a fast-paced hard rock anthem. The melodic vocal sections on Memory are handed to the crowd, providing the album with that element of audience interaction. Overall, a couple of songs that were a little lacking, but aren?t really helped by this arrangement. NO LEAF CLOVER is one of the most interesting tracks for the reason that is was released and performed for the first time with this CD. Much more impressive than releases from ?Reload,? this has been designed with the orchestra in mind and as such it really benefits from the addition. A great soft chorus has some of James? best vocals, while the hard rock isn?t lost in the verses and chorus. It seems Metallica only needed a little inspiration to start producing great songs a
              gain. I consider HERO OF THE DAY to be one of the best examples of S&M here, which is surprising as it took me a while to appreciate the original version of this ?Load? track. The band?s most commercial release, this mixes elements of very soft acoustics with a hard rock ending, but the orchestra gives it the depth necessary to elevate it into a beautiful piece of music. Very sombre. An unfortunate return to failed efforts sees DEVIL?S DANCE, possibly the least memorable track on this whole album, getting the unnecessary S&M treatment. The orchestra is mainly comprised of horns here which is a nice touch, but can?t save the fact that this isn?t a very impressive track that could have been replaced with something much better. The first CD ends with one of the longer moody tracks from the ?Load? album, the quite impressive BLEEDING ME. Interesting and a little moving, with great vocals on the chorus, this is helped by the presence of the orchestra, but it is so subliminal in places that I can never remember the orchestral additions unless I listen to the track fresh. Still, a nice end to the first half which promises that, if nothing else, there can?t be much more from the Load and Reload albums to follow. SECOND HALF The second disc opens in style with one of the band?s most popular tracks, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS. Their emotional, semi-acoustic number from the Black Album, the symphonic arrangement is so good here that there is plenty of debate amongst fans as to which is the best version. I personally prefer the album version, as the drums are used throughout and there is
              some great background electric guitar work that is lost here, but in terms of beauty I have to admit that this is one of the best examples of the S&M experience. Following on is a track from ?Load,? the controversial UNTIL IT SLEEPS, which is only controversial for being the first sign of the ?new? Metallica in the mid-90s. The orchestra works very well with in adding atmosphere to this dark track, and it is another sign that the partnership is performing very well. But no matter how loyal and appreciative the long-time fans are of the band?s musical changes, it is obvious from the appreciative uproar that their 1984 classic FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS is still considered a much finer work than anything from recent years. With great sections for the bass, guitars and drums, ?Bellz? (as it is referred to in shorthand on the album sleeve) is an excellent metal song, and while the orchestra is again largely unnecessary, it does add quite a nice Batman-esque feel to the song. Following this is -HUMAN, the other original track on here along with ?Clover? from Disc 1. Not quite as classic or impressive, largely because it had been ?lingering around for some time now? according to Newsted and therefore not composed with the symphony in mind, is it a good hard rock song that shows signs of where the band may have headed if not for Newsted?s departure and their temporary time away from it all. WHEREVER I MAY ROAM benefits from the orchestra more than I would have expected, considering it is again fairly recent, but I still don?t like this track too much in any incarnation, mainly as it is incredibly repetitive and seems to drag on for far too long. I think I
              like this symphonic version more however, and as it follows some great tracks on here it is an excuse to listen to it more. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, THE OUTLAW TORN is quite a good track from ?Load,? but it feels a little annoying in its placement here due to its ten-minute length, along with the fact that the similar and equally lengthy ?Bleeding Me? has already featured. The orchestra don?t really add to this too much either, and it certainly suffers from its placement amongst the Metallica ?classics.? SAD BUT TRUE is one of the band?s best hard rock releases, but the orchestra once again fail to make anything too grand of it due to the limitations of its original style. Still a great song however, but it is overshadowed by the next track. ONE was the band?s first music video release and has been a staple of their live shows for over ten years, and a great deal of effort has clearly gone into the orchestra arrangements of this track, although it has to be heard to be appreciated. The power of the drum sections towards the end do seem a little dampened, but the sombre first half benefits exceptionally well. One of the very best tracks on here. The band?s most well-known track is always used as the crowd-pleasing ending, and ENTER SANDMAN is a good track, but isn?t really aided by the symphony. There are interludes and encores later in the track which keep it interesting, but it doesn?t work as well as it does with the band members alone. Fortunately, the band still have some tricks up their sleeve and an orchestral rendition of the start of their Master of Puppets album leads into BATTERY, one of their best thrash songs and a feature that probably came as a welcome surprise to those gathered. The orch
              estra is good in this one, but it is completely stolen by Metallica?s power as a group. AFTERMATH Judging by the sounds on the CDs, the crowd were very pleased with the result of this unholy union of symphony and rock, and they even shout out their appreciation for the composer at the end. In his introduction within the album?s booklet, Kamen describes how the symphony were unused to receiving roars of approval from metal fans, and while at first being a little apprehensive about this it would evnetually fuel them into putting in even more energy. ?The crowd?s reaction was like adrenaline on stage, and we all thrived on it. That kind of approval is inspiring!? In an interview, James recalls how Kamen would deconstruct some of their songs and point out the kinds of musical changes they had implemented; something he, Kirk, Lars and Jason had never even realised, which is a tribute to the late Cliff Burton. Lars Ulrich also criticises fans who condemn this album as far from the Metallica angle, pointing out that Cliff was the only one of them that used to be influenced by classical music, and that it is an element of their early albums. ?Cliff would have loved this.? VERDICT The inherent problem with live albums is that not all of the listener?s favourites are included, and this feeling is certainly present in S&M (Symphony & Metallica in case you were a little worried), but to a greater extent when considering which tracks did and did not ?work.? It is obvious that the band?s older and more intricate tracks, as well as their more modern mellow releases, work far better than their hard rock songs, but Kamen and the band did not seem to realise this. This leads to the disappointment that ?Devil?s Dance,? ?Of W
              ;olf and Man? and ?The Outlaw Torn? could have been replaced by songs that really would have added to this experience, such as the classics ?Sanitarium,? ?The God That Failed? and, especially, ?Fade to Black.? These seemingly bad decisions do dampen my enjoyment of the album somewhat, but once they have been accepted it is easier to appreciate this as a ?best-of? that takes and interesting approach. I do like the orchestra accompaniment in general, even though at times it seems unnecessary or over-the-top, but when it fits it makes for more interesting songs, especially when the listener already owns the originals. The musicians are all very talented and the band themselves make no mistakes, although whether there was any Kiss-style studio tampering is unknown, and also irrelevant; the guys rock live anyway. The album?s design is incredibly stylish, with a mostly black cover featuring a colourful photo of James? legs and guitar, with assorted musicians behind him. There are no lyrics which is a bit of a letdown, instead opting for far more blurred photos of the band than are really necessary inside the booklet. There is a section at the end which details the original albums that the songs are taken from, which would be very useful for newer Metallica fans to plan their next CD purchases and also gives insight into the band?s minds; apparently they did not find anything from their thrashy debut ?Kill ?Em All? would cut the symphonic mustard, and the thrash songs from ?Justice? are also ommitted. Thankfully the band do not use any of their cover tracks here, something which can get a little annoying on the band?s other live albums. S&M was an interesting idea that involved the band putting in a lot of effort and extending their musical variety, and there is nothing ?sell-out? about it. There is a striking contrast betwee
              n the melodic nature of this album and their next release, the hard and heavy St. Anger in 2003, but that?s evolution. Love them or hate them, Metallica may not know much about art, but they know what they like. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Merchandise: A double DVD version of S&M is also available, while ?No Leaf Clover? was released as a single. An in-depth documentary featuring interviews entitled ?Metallica: Four Men and an Orchestra? can occasionally be found on appropriate music channels, as can S&M live music videos of ?No Leaf Clover? and ?Nothing Else Matters.? The official S&M shirt, sold over the several performances and featuring a quite funny tuxedo design on the front, is still available from many retailers.

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                12.06.2003 21:18
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                When I heard that Metallica, my favourite heavy metal band , were going to combine with the San Francisco Symphony to perform a concert together, I immediately thought 'What the hell are metallica playing at?' Now I am not that big into heavy metal believe it or not, but Metallica really are something else, and for me to have 5 of the albums and really like them, even though its not my preffered genre, shows you just how good they are. This album surprisingly combines the 2 genres and turns Metallica's famous songs into something quite amazing and extremely innovative. The way that the electric instruments of Metallica and natural instruments(orchestra) gel together is incredible. It is pretty must a best of Metallica set on this double CD album, I will run through the highlights: CD 1 Call of Ktulu: an absolute anthem, It is quite an epic anyway without the orchestra. This was an early Metallica piece taken from 'Ride the lighhtning' album. Early Metallica tracks are certainly a lot heavier then recent albums Load and Reload. The orchestra combined with Kirk Hammets Guitar solo's is something special. Master of Puppets: One of my favourite Metallica tracks taken off the Puppets album. Again it typifies the way Metallica can give you really haevy metal ,moshing verses, catchy chorus and put in the middle one of the most beautiful guitar solo's of all time which lasts about 2 mins(and the orchestra combined with it to make it even more euphoric), You have a 9 minute masterpiece! Fuel: Recent Metallica track, very catchy, short track by Metallicas standards. Not sure whether it goes with the orchestra really. The Memory Remains: Taken off recent album reload, same as above really, good track but doesnt combine well. CD 2 Nothing else matters: Fantastic ballad in which the strings of the orchestra combine with the instant recognisable guitar riff in this track. This is
                brilliant, One of Metallicas best songs working well with Michael Kamens orchestra. Until it sleeps: Taken off the Load album, The orchestra adds a very euphoric uplifting feel to this track. Surprisingly unlike the other shorrter newer tracks this works very well. For whom the bell Tolls: Another epic heavy old tune. which has the beat of people marching to war to it. As the crowd punch the fists in the air to the beat of the drums. The guitar in this track is amazing and the Violin from the Orchestra combines well. One: possibly one of my favourite ever metallica pieces. This is the best track on this album because the Orchestra really does excel in taking this songs to new heights. A beautiful uplifting minute intro from the orchestra then the unmistikable guitar solo which introduces 'One' combined with the orchestra make this track out of this world. 2 fantastic Verses and then it turns into a metal heads dream with the thrashing fast guitar, heavy drums and the orchestra playing so quickly along side them. Fantastic track, really takes you on a journey! Basically This album I would recommend to everyone, Obviously 2 sets of people would buy this Metallica fans and Orchestral Enthusiasts. Both will enjoy it. In all honesty though, the orchestra does take away the legendary lead guitar solo efforts of Kirk Hammett, which is normally the highlight of Metallica songs for me. It still takes some getting used to and while I appreciate the marvellous effort of both parties, for me I would have enjoyed this more If it was just Metallica because it was basically their best tracks. Saying that where was undoubtedly Metallicas best ever track, the legendary Fade to Black, surely that would have worked well with the orchestra! Overall, I think the earlier tracks from Metallica which are generally normally about 7 minutes on average in length work better with the orchestra because they are normally more symphonic pieces(
                Ktulu, One, Puppets). The newer Metallica songs do not as they are a little bit 'lighter' in metal terms and just don't combine so well. Well worth a purchase though!

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                  05.07.2002 08:43
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                  When you first think of Metallica, an orchestra is not the sort of thing that springs straight into mind, so, when the biggest metal band of all time combined with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (a mouthful in itself would you agree) to conduct this concert in 1999, there were a few heads turned as they made their attempt at changing the music industry's whole snobbishness towards classical music attitude. In fairness, that was not the idea behind the concert; the idea was to experiment and to push the boundaries even further still of metal as we know it. I have to say, I know very few people who see the album as anything less than a roaring success, with the odd exception, who generally tend to only appreciate the true old school ruggedness of Kill Em All, Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets anyway. The concert was done over 2 nights, and the CD is basically half from the first night and half from the second. Michael Kamen, the world renowned composer, was the maestro for the two nights, and his superb composition created a concert that was not only memorable, but also allowed he and the orchestra to join Metallica in their status as being one of the best of their era. As Hetfield himself says "thanks to the San Francisco Symphony for having the balls to come out here and play with us tonight", these words say it all, not many people in the world could keep up with the sheer speed and power of 'tallica's music, but the orchestra managed to achieve this, and to make the entire concert work to perfection. Anyways, on with the tracks: Disc 1 1/ The introduction to the concert is the instrumental "The Ecstasy Of Gold". Most will know this from the old western movies such as "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly", however, it has become quite a popular concert opener for Metallica as the boys hit the stage. This song is performed entirely as a warm up song and an introducti
                  on for Metallica to make their entrance, and as such, the orchestra performs this song alone. Te song itself is very short by Metallica standards, bearing in mind it is followed by the 9.34 "Call of Ktulu", 2.30 doesn't seem a great deal overall. However, a great song to start this kind of concert with though. 2/ "The Call Of Ktulu", perhaps my favourite track on the album! Although I would not say that as a definite, that honour changes like the wind! I love the whole concept of the technicality of the song, it is enhanced a great deal simply by the presence of the orchestra and it sounds astonishing! The orchestra adds a whole new dimension to an already incredible song! There is not a dull moment throughout the entire 9 minutes of the song, ranging from excellent guitar work, and full on symphony combining with Metallica sections, the string sections of the symphony really do accompany the power of the guitar playing to perfection. Taken from the 1984 Ride The Lightning album, this song is one of the true old school classics for those of us who appreciate powerful music that depicts a tale without words. 3/ ?Master Of Puppets? really is a classic in its own right. Possibly the most renowned Metallica song behind Enter Sandman (Metallica's only UK number 1), and it sounds even better with the orchestra, as indeed many of the tracks that are selected in this concert are. The old school power of this song is still there, however the maturity of the voice of James Hetfield has come on leaps and bounds since the track was originally recorder back in the 80s, and this also adds to the song, his voice is far more powerful, as is the band's playing skills, this is shown in this song, as it is throughout the concert. Hetfield?s voice has obviously matured with age, and since 1986, when the Master Of Puppets album was released, this maturity is apparent, and because of this, the S&M version of this song far exceed
                  s even the force and ruggedness of the original. Track Time: 8.54 4/ ?Of Wolf And Man? is the song that links the old school Metallica, with the new look, new sound Metallica. Taken from the Metallica self titled, or also known as ?The Black Album?, this is again a progression through the ages, and of course through the maturity of the band?s music, as they started with age to rely on the power chords they have available with their instruments, as opposed to the sheer speed and aggression that their early music depended so heavily on. The song itself is one of the tracks that is strange as far as it?s original album version is concerned, neither extremely deep, or extremely hard metal, as most of the tracks on the album were, this falls somewhere between, and as such provides the perfect complementation to the S&M album. The track sounds far better on this album than it did on ?The Black Album?. The orchestral content of the song adds depth to the instrumental side, and as with all of the tracks, with only the exception of the newer songs taken from the ?Load? and ?Reload? albums, the maturity of Hetfield?s voice adds even more depth to the vocals. Track Time: 4.18 5/ ?The Thing That Should Not Be? takes us back to the old days when the Metallica boys were kicking it old school style. This is not one of my favourite tracks on the album, I feel it is one of the weaker songs, although this version is better than the original. I like the way the ending involves several bangs of the symbols from Lars, and then goes straight into ?Fuel?, a song which I do like! Again, this song is taken from the 1986 album ?Master Of Puppets?, and thus holds a little more substance. The song itself is almost a ballad, involving heavier guitar work, yet retaining the mellow sound that is created in the Disc 1 section of the concert. I do actually like parts of the song, especially the emphasis that Hetfield adds to certain sections of the vocals, such as addin
                  g things like ?oh my god? to one bit, this in itself just gives the song a little more passion, and creates a more potent sound, this is also evident in the manic laughter that is cackled by Hetfield. Track Time: 7.26 6/ ?Fuel? is one of my favourites on Disc 1, it has a bit of everything so to speak. Even down to the very start of the song, there are several symbol bangs and the words ?GIVE ME FUEL, GIVE ME FIRE, GIVE ME THAT WHICH I DESIRE? hit us, this then leads into the orchestra and the band kicking in, and a much improved version of ?Fuel?, well in comparison to the studio version anyway (Reload, 1997). I like the fact that the pace of the original has been duplicated in this concert, and in fairness to the orchestra, they cope easily with the energy of the song, although in later tracks in the concert, on some of the faster songs, they seem to be able to cope with the speed of the music quite well, although I feel that vast amounts of rehearsal and the guidance of a certain Michael Kamen aid this greatly. Track Time: 4.35 7/ ?The Memory Remains? is a fantastic song in its original form on the 1997 ?Reload? album, and although this version is also fantastic, I feel that it really does need the eerie echo of the na na na na na na that Marianne Faithfull provides in the original. I do feel that the song itself is a hell of a strong song to use on the album, and I am indeed a big fan of the track, it is a little bit slower than ?Fuel?, yet it still provides great substance, I just feel that without the lady in white, it just doesn?t feel the same. I like the way the song cuts out half way through as the audience attempts to make up for Marianne?s absence with it?s own rendition of na na na na na na, and the Hetfield?s voice returns as he retaliates with ?AND IT FEELS RIGHT THIS TIIIIIIIIMMMMMMEEEEE?, that particular part of the song is better than the album version, but overall it does still need Faithfull to make the song complete. Tra
                  ck Time: 4.42 8/ ?No Leaf Clover? is ?just a freight train comin your way yay yeah?! This is a superb song. It makes the first Disc maintain some of the true Metallica spirit, and I feel that Hetfield and the guys know this. It is almost as if his ?YEAH? at the end of the song do reflect the movement of the crowd as he starts to move into the ?real? Metallica, I suppose is one way to define it, and they play the first of the two new tracks they have in store for the crowd (Minus Human being the second). The song itself as already stated is a little bit heavier, a little faster paced, but as a mark of things to come from Metallica on their upcoming album (3 years on from S&M), they are still maintaining their use of power chords over their old thrash style, something that I feel is of great benefit, as they have been slated as ?sell out?s? with their last two albums, and if they maintain the heavy feel of this song, and keep with their newer more sophisticated style of play, then I feel that the critics will have absolutely nothing to complain about because the album will have everything. Track Time: 5.43 9/ ?Hero Of The Day? is perfectly suited to this type of concert, so much so in fat, that if you listen to the original on the 1996 ?Load? album, you would almost say that they had intended this song for S&M even back then (this could reflect the desire that Metallica have stated that they had for this type of Orchestra/Metallica concert for a number of years). The song itself is remarkably mellow by Metallica standards, and once again tells a story, as so many of their songs do! Hetfield?s voice is not as different to the original version as it is with some of the other tracks, which I feel is something that is intended for the simple reason of, although his voice has got even stronger since 96, this song does not need too much ?tinkering? with in order to make it suit the Orchestra, and this also applies to his vocal work! Track Time: 4.4
                  4 10/ ?Devil?s Dance? was the song I loved the most off this entire album for a long time when I first bought the CD. I love the whole bass idea at the beginning (something that is uncharacteristic for me, I normally feel that songs sound better when you can hear the snare drum more than the bass), but this song is just superb. Taken from the 1997 ?Reload? album, I feel it is a great improvement on its studio counterpart. I heard the S&M version before the studio version even got near to my stereo, and I must admit I was none too fussed at the time, however, since then I have listened to the original a fair amount, and although I still feel the S&M version is far superior, I feel that the studio version also deserves ample credibility. I feel that the words that go into this song are extremely powerful, as they deliver the message that you only live once, have fun and participate in the ?Devil?s Dance? so to speak. In the end, we don?t live for long, and this song is basically telling us to enjoy it. Track Time: 5.26 11/ ?Bleeding Me? is one of the longer tracks on the CD at 9.01, it is also the final song on the first Disc. As one of the deeper songs of the concert, it is a perfect way to end the first half of the concert and leave the crowd wanting to move into the heavier second half. The song starts off fairly mellow, however this changes gradually as it builds towards the guitar work of a certain Kirk Hammet taking over towards the end, which again is followed by more vocals. The song itself is not particularly heavy, but the actual vocals are meaningful, which I feel is often a more poignant way of getting a song to work than making it downright heavy. Taken from the 1996 ?Load? album, this deepness is more reminiscent of the older songs of perhaps the ?Black Album?, which had more of a tendency towards deep lyrics, accompanied by deep thoughtful music, such as ?The Unforgiven? which also includes an excellent guitar solo within its
                  boundaries. Disc 2 1/ Nothing Else Matters is one of the best songs that is on the 1991 ?Black Album?. The cunning mellowness of the song does not reflect the true power and meaning behind the song. Perhaps classed as a love song, if metal bands are indeed allowed to perform such music, I feel the song itself best befits a rock classic that never quite got the recognition that it deserved thanks to the likes of ?The Unforgiven? and ?Enter Sandman?, however, it is the perfect way to warm the audience back up for the second half of this musical masterpiece. The almost acoustic mellowness of the song from the ?Black Album? is converted on stage to actually become an acoustic song, something I feel that is experimental in itself from Metallica, let?s face it, you don?t see an old school heavy metal band playing acoustic guitars very often, even in this case it is Hetfield, and not Hammett who plays the acoustic hehehe! Track Time: 6.47 2/ ?Until It Sleeps? picks up the tempo a little bit, and possibly leads us to believe that the songs are starting to work up to a true ?heavy? metal climax. I have read other reviews on dooyoo about S&M, saying that they felt there was an almost James Bond type of theme running through the concert, I feel that this statement is incorrect, although I do agree that the momentum of the concert definitely gathers pace as the concert draws on. ?Until It Sleeps? is another of Metallica?s more reputed songs from the highly criticised ?Load? album, on which they were criticised for turning their backs on hard metal, and going commercial (something that I feel they did with ?The Black Album? back in 91). This song is still fairly mellow by the standards set later in this CD, however it does maintain the build up work that Nothing Else Matters starts to create, and the momentum continues to increase with this track. Track Time: 4.29 3/ ?For Whom The Bell Tolls?, the album marches on! Sorry, that w
                  as a cheap attempt at a pun, however, this is the best track that Metallica could have chosen to create the old school feel that the second Disc needs. ?For Whom The Bell Tolls? is one of THE classic Metallica songs, and something like ?Master Of Puppets?, I feel that it does not get the recognition that it rightfully deserves, although most Metallica fans will beg to differ. Taken from the ?Ride The Lightning? album, it was recently on the ?World?s Greatest Air Guitars Album?, which in fairness did shock me, as I was expecting it to be ?Enter Sandman? that featured, if any! The orchestra adds an impressive dimension to an already excellent song, one of the all time best Metallica songs that there is just got even better with this version. The voice of Hetfield has come on leaps and bounds since the old days, something I feel may be a down side to this song as it sounds amazing with the extra cackle, or grunt so to speak, but the way in which the crowd plays for the song does make the song worthwhile. An important song for the concert I feel as it allows the flow to move to a heavier side of metal! Track Time: 4.52 4/ ?- Human? is the second of the brand new songs, and definitely the heavier of the two, perhaps the reason for the selection being on the second Disc as opposed to the first! A percussion introduction to the song allows for Hetfield and Hammett to kick in with a mean guitar riff. The song is reminiscent of the old days when the boys were the heaviest thing to have appeared from the rock world, only this time, their new style allows them to be as heavy, but to make it look even better! The song itself is the perfect way to follow on from the classic ?For Whom The Bell Tolls?, it offers a potentially new classic to lead on from an already established song! The song is true to Metallica fashion, in the sense that there is purpose and meaning behind the music, but then could we expect anything less from Metallica? The imagery that the son
                  g creates is fantastic, with lyrics such as ?come squeeze the world and drip it down my throat again?, I only hope that if this song does get released on the new album, it is somewhere near as good as this version. Track Time: 4.19 5/ ?Wherever I Mat Roam? is taken from the ?Black Album?, which is in itself a progression even further to what Metallica are truly capable of in the sense that they are a heavy metal band, and this song although not as heavy as some, is still a step in that direction. The song itself has some excellent riffs, and the old style Hetfield ?grunt? becomes more apparent as he puts a bit more oomph (I cannot believe they have oomph on the spellchecker hehehe) into what was an already fairly heavy song! The orchestra adds more depth to the song, and accompanies the band in making the song even better yet again than the studio version (how repetitive can you get, near enough every song is ?better than the studio version? hehehe). This is one of the songs that when first heard on the ?Black Album? I feel can be a little hard to swallow, don?t ask me why, I just think that, but once you have heard it a few times you begin to realise just how good a song it is, and then when you hear the S&M version it blows you away in comparison! Track Time: 7.01 6/ ?The Outlaw Torn? is a really deep and dramatic song, it is almost a moving cry for help from someone plighted by their own path of life, as the lyric ?and if I start to come undone, stitch me together? suggests! This is one of those songs that just sounds like it is meant for the S&M concert, even though it was taken from the 1996 ?Load? album. The original is ok, although nothing special, however, this is definitely fantastic, the extended guitar solo that carries on for about 2 minutes towards the end of the song is worth listening to the entire song just on its own! At 9.58 it is a long song, and the guitar solo sounds like it is just meant to carry on and on and on (you
                  are probably thinking ?something like this review?). Although not entirely old school, you would swear that this track was one of the older and heavier songs that they have performed down the years. I feel that this song also gives the perfect base for ?Sad But True? to follow on from as it is fairly heavy without going overboard. 7/ ?Sad But True? is definitely one of the heavier songs of the concert. The song makes its mark early on into the track, and Hetfield uses the true old school grunt he has within his voice, even though he does tweak most of the song in order to suit the music that the combination of the band and the orchestra provides. Te song is a success I feel, however I do think that the studio version was heavier, even though the S&M version isn?t half bad either! I like the version of this that I have heard where somebody has mixed ?Sad But True? (studio version) with the Kid Rock song ?American Badass? (the main music to the song is ?borrowed? from ?Sad But True?, so the mix runs fairly well). This song is one of the most well known tracks from the ?Black Album?, and as suck the crowds reaction to the music aids the band?s performance as they start to really crank the concert up, as they bound towards the finale where they will attempt to raise the roof (I can tell you now that they succeed too). Track Time: 5.46 8/ ?One? is perhaps the deepest and certainly on of the heaviest tracks within this concert. The song truly goes back to the real old school Metallica as the boys quite frankly let rip as they take it up another level and show some signs of what I can only describe as a ?mature? speed metal, yet even though the orchestra adds to this song, the band does not rest on it?s laurels in the presence of an orchestra, which I suppose is a more eloquent type of music, instead they give it the same amount of grunt that they would at any other concert on their tours! In fairness though they don?t exactly relax their intensi
                  ty of music throughout this concert, so why should they start now three songs from the end eh? A classic metal anthem is brought to life by Metallica and the Symphony, and it is without a doubt an improvisation on the studio version, which was in my opinion, already the best song on ?And Justice For All?, which was one of the early albums, being released in 1988, when Metallica were working towards their peak, which occurred with the 1991 ?Black Album?. Originally ?Justice? was seen as a brash and almost arrogant album from Metallica, almost like they had thrown an album together in five minutes and expected it to do well, I feel this is unfair, and although I think it is the weakest of the current 9 studio based albums, I still feel that there is some excellent tracks on it, which is shown with ?One?. Track Time: 7.53 9/ ?Enter Sandman? is the second to last track that the guys play during the concert, although the build up to the song would have you believe that it is the last! What true Metallica concert would be complete without this song being played! After all, it is the only number 1 that they have had on these shores, and because of that it is a must to have included it in the S&M proceedings. The song, as any Metallica fan will know, is fantastic, and could easily fit into any concert that any band played in the world. This song is the symbol of Metallica, and more often than not, it is the song that is thought of as soon as they are mentioned, with the thumping drumming of a certain Lars Ulrich providing the pulse from which Jason Newstead, Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield proceed to lead the orchestra in what is one of metal?s all time greats. Taken from the ?Black Album?, the song is the one track that could be guaranteed to appear on the playlist, although a couple of the aforementioned do also come a close second or third! I feel that this version is better than the studio version, although you could literally toss a coin to decide you
                  r own preference as both are very similar, something I feel that is intentional because of the song?s reputation, I feel that they must have chose to almost play safe and not risk wrecking the song with a concert that could have either been a major success or a burning flop! No more needs to be said about ?Enter Sandman? the song speaks loud enough for itself. Track Time: 7.39 10/ Battery provides what is an unlikely encore and finale to the evening?s proceedings, it also marks the peak of the concert as this I personally believe is the heaviest song that they play. There is a lot of build up to this song, and for those who have seen either the DVD or the video, they will know that the band actually goes off stage as if that is the end of the show, however, the orchestra starts to play the same introduction that is on the studio version of ?Battery? and after much deliberation the band finally starts to appear onstage with Lars cheekily sneaking back onto the darkened stage and sitting at his drum kit, then when the guitars kick in, the rest move back onto the stage and the performance continues, much to the delight of the fans! The track has the place rocking, just as we all thought that no one had any energy left in them, Metallica produce the hardest song of the night, possibly performing on adrenaline alone, either way, it is a fantastic song, and it suits the finale to the night perfectly. The orchestra once again does not fail in keeping pace with the band, and in fairness the song is once again actually better than the original version, which is partly credited again to the new found maturity in Hetfield?s voice, as the original was the opening track on the 1986 ?Master Of Puppets? album, and since then, although he has lost none of his grunt, he has developed his voice into a far greater instrument than it ever was in the early days! Track Time: 7.24, although there is some banter at the end of the track! Overall I feel that for such
                  an experimental album it is a raging success, I thick that CD 2 is the stronger of the two, although I would not discard either! This is my favourite album of al time, and when i bought it, it set me back £22.00, but i feel that even based on the amount of use it has had, the price was justified even then, and now it has been reduced to roughly £15.00 it is even more of a bargain. Thanks for reading this op, i know it is pretty long, but i feel that this particular album is worth the effort!

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                    05.07.2002 04:35
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                    The first thing i want to say is that i am not an english boy so my writings can be a bit horrible. I don?t write only to earn money, or toexpress my opinion, but to improve my english. So i would be grateful if you coment my opinion saying as much fails as you could find, only in vocabulary because gramar is almost imposible to carrect. Well now, i am going to write about the best heavy metal group i have ever heard. I know that Metallica is sometimes not considered as a heavy metal group, but i say this in order to try to clasificate them. They are a great group and they have demonstrated it in this last album called ?S&M?. The thing i am going to say is a whole truth. They tried to make something different and they asked the San Francisco orchestra to participate in their LP. They said it was a great and amazing project and they start preparing it. There were lots and lots of good songs to versionate, but I thing they chose the best ones. I am not going to write all the titles but you may recognize them if you are a great fan. The project became reality and the reality became an exit. The exit was so great that new groups are trying to follow this line. And these groups don?t know that the first time someone do something the name given is ?experiment?, the second time is ?copy?. I think i have no more things to say but the fact that this CD must be in each house where a metallica fan is living. And i can also say that the album i am giving my opinion of is one of the best LP?s from this group. Ah! One more thing to say: I know nothing of their lifes, I know nothing of their lives, I know nothing about their hobbies, The only thing I know is that they are good.

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                      17.04.2002 17:07
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                      People said that Metallica had gone mad when they decided to put on a concert with an orchestra!! NOT AT ALL. This is pure genius by the boys and Michael Kamen. What more could you possibly want. All the greatest hits, unreleased tracks that are performed superbly Live on stage. As metallica are one of the most powerful rock bands it is only fitting they should play with one of the most powerful orchestras in the world. It isn't that wierd that Metallica would do this as they have alot of orchestra based tracks already with the likes of Nothing Else Matters. Everything comes together beautifully in this concert and sounds out of this world. The power is just staggering. Alot of my fellow Metallica fans don't like the album and some don't even want to listen to it. I say it's there loss as I think this will go down in history of one of there best albums/concerts ever. My opinion is to give it a try and see how good this band really are.

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                        13.02.2002 20:23
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                        I've only recently got into Metallica, and this album really blew me away. I've now got all of their albums and this is one of their best. You'd never have guessed hearing the originals of some of these songs it would have been possible to combine a orchestra into them, and for the result to be better in most cases than the originals. The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra really adds a new dimension to their music and you really have to hear it to believe it. The whole album was recorded live and this adds hugely to the atmosphere created as you listen hearing the roar of the crowd as the band begin to play. I can't see this sort of thing being repeated by Metallica or any other band, it's a real new classic and you got to go out and buy it to believe me. I'll list the whole contents of the huge double disc album and give a brief description of each song. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DISC 1 1. The Ecstasy of Gold - Originally recorded by Ennio Morricone for 'The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly', not a Metallica song but the perfect introduction to the album 2. The Call of Ktulu - (from Ride the Lightning), big long instrumental song, not one of my favourites, but a classic all the same. 3. Master of Puppets - (from Master of Puppets), again not my favourite song on the album mainly because this is really the only track where the orchestra doen't work. It adds noise to the background and degrade rather than enhances the song. 4. Of wolf and man - (from Metallica) - This is sooooo good, one of my top few songs, with the orchestra this song really reaches its absolute full potential from the 'Black Album'. 5. The Thing that Should Not Be - (from Master of Puppets) - Another great track, its dark powerful nature is only enhanced further by the orchestra, not to be missed by any Metallica fan. 6. Fuel - (from Re-load) - This songs fast paced nat
                        ure is again enhanced by the orchestra, a great track. 7. The Memory Remains - (from Re-load) - Better than the original buit still not quite good, some like, most Metallica fans don't. It just doesn't have that Metallica aggression, the atmosphere with the live orchestra is very strong in this track, and this does improve it, but not enough in my view. I would have liked to see 'Fade to Black' from 'Ride the Lightning' replace this track. 8. No Leaf Clover - (New Track) - Sort of refined and yet manages to maintain the aggression of a Metallica song. A previously unreleased track and one of my personal favourites since getting the album. 9. Hero of the Day - (from Load) - Don't like this track, it's too slow and has nothing to recommend it. 10. Devil's Dance - (from Re-load) - One of the best songs on the album, it was a great song originally, but the orchestra again seems to add that certain something to make it really exceptional. 11. Bleeding Me - (from Load) - Although the first time I heard it I didn't really like it I've found myself liking it more and more each time I hear it. The intro is still poor, buit once it gets going its actually not a bad track. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Disc 1 is without a doubt the weaker disc, so heres disk 2. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DISC2 1. Nothing Else Matters - (From Metallica) - Despite what some people say, this for me is one of the best songs on the album. Its a completely different song from the others being ballad, it was the first one written by Metallica, and I think it works well, especially on this album, with the orchestra. 2. Until it Sleeps - (from Load) - Another of the best tracks on the album. It always was a great song with a seriously good riff in the chorus and the orchestra does enhance the song even further. 3. Fo
                        r Whom the Bell Tolls - (from Ride the Lightning) - My favourite track on this album at the moment it is perfect when combined with the orchestra. The live crowd add a further dimension to the song and add create a serious adrenalin pumping experience. Not to be missed, I can't fault it in any way. 4. Human - (Previously unreleased) - Another great new song and well worthy of a place on the album selection. The orchestra plays a big part and this is one powerful song. The introduction is supreme, and the song in general is very good in every way. 5. Wherever I May Roam - (from Metallica) - Great song enhanced hugely by the orchestra. 6. Outlaw Torn - (from Load) - Not the best but this track is still good and one of the better tracks from Load. The orchestra again plays quite a big part and enhances the track well. 7. Sad But True - (from Metallica)- Another great powerful track on the album. The orchestra again adding a new dimension to the song. 8. One - (From ..And Justice for All) - Very powerful, intense, and one of my most favourite songs on the album. Its a great song without the orchestra but with it, again, its enhanced to new levels. 9. Enter Sandman - (from Metallica) - Recognised as one of Metallicas best, and known worldwide after its single release, this song is even better with the orchestra. 10. Battery - (From Master of Puppets) - One of Metallica's most powerful songs and with the orchestra the power is simply increased. A powerful aggressive end to a great album. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ S&M is a great album and one Metallica's best in a new way as it enhances and combines some of the best songs from all of their previous albums. It's usually £18-£19 but buy it from 'cd-wow.com' where its only £12.99 and they deliver in only a few days.

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                          15.01.2002 15:26
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                          Add one thrash metal band and one high-class symphony orchestra, and you appear to have complete opposites, this could never work surely…or could it? Metallica appear to have done it in the best possible way. Combined with the San Francisco symphony orchestra, Metallica recreate some of their greatest masterpieces in front of a live audience. This is an album full of vibrant energy, and despite somewhat betraying their thrash routes, shows Metallica at their best. The idea is not original, as Deep Purple will no doubt testify, but the musical “odd couple” have combined to create a magnificent record, despite what “true” Metallica fans say this is an excellent album and worthy of any collection. Drama on the stage has never been so real and true, the music generated by this consortium is masterful and worthy of the original songs, plus you get the added bonus of songs not previously recorded by Metallica (Human and no leaf clover). This opinion will be contradicted and condemned but trust me when I say this is truly an all time great, and you will not be disappointed.

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                            07.01.2002 17:01
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                            My musical tastes could best be described as "eclectic". Nestling alongside Stereophonics, you'll find The Spice Girls, and Sibelius. Next to Meatloaf you'll see Megadeth, Mahler, and Miles Davis. Having been a fan of Metallica for many years, I was intrigued to learn they were due to release an album with an orchestra. Sorry? AN ORCHESTRA?! This double disc features orchestral arangements by Michael Kamen (the one that does the film soundtracks that John Williams doesn't!), and 20 Metallica "classics", which vary from the early to the more recent, from the very heavy, to the... um... slightly less heavy. I have always tried to persuade people that Metallica tracks are, despite popular misconception, musically very technical. One of the best examples of this is Track 2 on CD1, The Call of Kthulu (from Ride The Lightning). An instrumental, swinging from semi-acoustic lightness to heavy thrashing, it is one of several Metallica tracks which tell a story in music alone. The heavier songs, Master of Puppets, Of Wolf and Man etc. (I was sad to see they'd missed out Crash Course in Brain Surgery!) are well-represented as well, which surprised me (I expected to see them concentrate on the more technical, musical tracks. There is no denying that the arrangements are very clever. Michael Kamen isn't a world-renowned composer/arranger for nothing, you know, and he seems to have been sufficiently enthusiastic about Metallica's music, to make a good job of the collaboration. However (there's always a "however"!) Although the arrangements bounce off the Metallica tracks well, there seems to be a "theme" running through them. Or rather, two themes. I challenge anyone to listen to a few tracks and not think of James Bond Movies! And, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it's the soaring glissandos of the string section. Maybe it's the brass i
                            nterjections (with emphasis on the "softer" sounding brass instruments - the French Horns and trombones.) But, whatever it is, something reminds me of classic Bond soundtracks. And, to a certain extent, that ruins the fun!! The other theme I picked up on was a tendency towards Eastern melodies and counter-melodies. Sometimes Chinese, sometimes Indian, but I certainly found many of the arrangements being played in Eastern scales. To a degree, I think this works better than the "Bond Effect" - Eastern classical meets Western heavy metal... In summary, I think this album works well, but maybe not well enough. There's no denying it's clever. There's no denying it's fun. And there's no denying it's a giant leap for music-kind. But I was left with a sort of bad aftertaste - did the orchestra really "add" to the Metallica Tracks? Or did it, in fact, dilute it, and make the overall effect less potent. That's for you to decide!

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                              12.07.2001 19:35

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                              Well, not quite, but this is a double CD recorded live with The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. We see the band take us on a tour of their back catalogue and perform two new tracks, with the aid of symphonic arrangements, conducted by Micheal Kamen. Yeah, it’s not a new idea, but if you fancy something a little different, this album should suffice! Kicking off with the instrumental Call of Ktulu, the highlights of CD one are the perfect and innovative arrangements of Master of Puppets and The Memory Remains, along with blinding new tack, No Leaf Clover. CD two kicks off with an extra mellow version of Nothing Else Matters, guaranteed to bring a tear to any eye. It then goes on to showcase the second new track Human, as well as classics such as For Whom The Bell Tolls, Enter Sandman and Sad But True. Closing with the traditional Metallica Encore, Battery, this album is a must have for any fan and for anyone after something a little different.

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                              14.06.2001 17:37
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                              Once in a while an album comes along that you know you will listen to forever, no matter what happens to you or how your tastes change. Typically you might include Bowies Stardust, Beatles Sgt Pepper, Led Zep 4, Deep Purple Made in Japan or Aerosmith Live Bootleg. This is one of them. I have been in and out of Metallica since Lightning, but kind of drifted away after Cliff was killed, not for any specifi reason. Occassionally I'd listen to some of their stuff, but it was occassional. Then I happened upon this album. Looked interesting, a sort of greatest hits with a symphony orchestra. So I bought it and WOW!! The contrast between Metallica & the LA Symphony Orchestra is amazing. Both powerful, both melodic yet one from the world of heavy rock the other from the world of classical music. All the songs are great. Personal favourates include For Whom The Bell Tolls, Fuel and a new track, One Leaf Clover which deserves to be a massive hit. Last week I found a DVD of the concerts and this was even more amazing. Choose different angels, see a documentary on the project - and the sound qulaity seemed even better than the music CD. This is a must buy CD and DVD. If in any doubt, just do it - try it and see.

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                            • Product Details

                              Disc #1 Tracklisting
                              1 The Ecstasy Of Gold
                              2 The Call Of The Ktulu
                              3 Master Of Puppets
                              4 Of Wolf And Man
                              5 The Thing That Should Not Be
                              6 Fuel
                              7 The Memory Remains
                              8 No Leaf Clover
                              9 Hero Of The Day
                              10 Devil's Dance
                              11 Bleeding Me

                              Disc #2 Tracklisting
                              1 Nothing Else Matters
                              2 Until It Sleeps
                              3 For Whom The Bell Tolls
                              4 Human
                              5 Wherever I May Roam
                              6 Outlaw Torn
                              7 Sad But True
                              8 One
                              9 Enter Sandman
                              10 Battery