St. Anger

Album: St. Anger (2003)
Charted: 9
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about venting anger in a positive way. The lyrics describe how the band felt restrained in the past - having "St. Anger 'round my neck." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Anthony - Wichita, KS
  • "St. Anger" is the title track from Metallica's eighth studio album, and the first single released from it (hitting the market on June 23, 2003). It won a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance and hit #2 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

    Metallica made St. Anger during a rough time.

    Frontman James Hetfield was battling alcoholism, and at one point he interrupted the recording sessions to do a stint in rehab. He's been clean ever since.

    Beyond the booze troubles, the band was generally at each other's throats. Bass player Jason Newsted, who'd been with the band since shortly after the September 27, 1986 death of Cliff Burton (who'd played bass for Metallica since 1983), left after requesting a hiatus to work on his side project, Echobrain.

    The friction came mostly from Hetfield, who wanted all band members to focus their energy on Metallica. Newsted countered that Hetfield himself had been involved in numerous side projects. They couldn't find compromise and Newsted left (their producer, Bob Rock, played bass on the album).

    Hetfield later came to see himself as being too controlling (something he explored in "All within My Hands") and admitted that Newsted's absence hurt the quality of the music.

    All of these challenges led to the band seeking a sound that was rawer than the one their fans had become used to. They didn't try to polish things or go for grandiose solos as they had in the past. They intentionally sought out a rougher garage-band sound and even phased out the guitar solos that helped make them legendary - there isn't a single one on the entire album.

    "St. Anger" personifies both the personal turmoil and the artistic vision at the core of the album after which it was named.
  • Catholics commonly decorate their homes and themselves (necklaces and rings) with iconography of Christian saints. This is what Hetfield is referencing when he sings, "Saint Anger around my neck." There's not actually a Saint Anger in Catholic tradition, but Hetfield is using the idea of the Catholic-saint necklace metaphorically; "St. Anger" is a patron saint of his own making.

    He's singing about using anger in a positive way. Rather than allowing it to drive him to drink, he's using it to fuel his drive and creativity and to shield himself from distractions.
  • Metallica thought about naming the album "Frantic" after another of the album's tracks, but ended up going with St. Anger.
  • The line, "I hit the lights on these dark sets" is a reference to the song "Hit The Lights," the first song on their first full length album, Kill 'Em All, highlighting Metallica moving into a new era after recovering from addiction and a long hiatus. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    iain - edinburgh, Scotland
  • The video for the song shows Metallica playing at San Quentin State Prison in California on May 1, 2003. The show was the opener for their St. Anger promotional tour. Some prisoners in the audience held up a banner reading "METALLICA RULES THE WORLD."

    The video ends with a sentence reading, "For all the souls impacted by San Quentin, your spirit will forever be a part of Metallica."

    The show was the first one Metallica played with bassist Robert Trujillo, who replaced Newsted.

    The Malloys directed the video. They've done many other prominent music videos, including "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne, Don't Phunk With my Heart by The Black Eyed Peas, and "Icky Thump" by The White Stripes.
  • Metallica has a tendency to place the songs that the albums are named for on track #2 of their albums. That's the case here, and also for "Ride The Lightning," "Master of Puppets" and "...And Justice For All." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2
  • The line, "F--k it all and f---king no regrets," is taken straight from "Damage, Inc." on the Master of Puppets album. Another line taken from this song is, "Never happy ending on these dark sets," slightly changed to say, "Hit the lights on these dark sets." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Colin - Cooperstown, NY
  • Metallica thought about naming the album "Frantic" after another of the album's tracks, but ended up going with St. Anger.

Comments: 47

  • Zero from Nowhere, NjI used to go to Technical school with a dude who was a punk rocker and liked this album. I didn't like it at first but I began to appreciate little by little over time (and from watching the live DVD portion on you tube). I still think it's subpar but every long-running band has a few clunkers in their discography. I think they were going through a lot of turmoil along with trying to keep up with current music trends (which most of the time doesn't EVER work with an older band). I just kinda like to think of it as the best album KoRn never made.
  • Jacob from Jackson, TnActually, the "I hit the lights on these dark sets" is from Damage, Inc. In fact, the entire line in the chorus "f--k it all and no regrets, I hit the lights on these dark sets" is from Damage, Inc. The lyrics go, "f--k it all, and f--king no regrets; Never happy endings on these dark sets." And, of course, the second time the line is said, James brings in "...f--king no regrets" in, which is a real reference to the song (Damage, Inc.). Anyway, great song, and beat up on far too much.

    (And, yes, every Metallica album that is named after a song, that song is second on the track list.)
  • Matt from Bakersfield, Casome people don't like this album because there are no solos and the snare drum "sounds bad". but i say screw them if thay like Metallica thay wont bitch about it. i think the album is great and the songs are great. also i like how they mad the guitar EVEN MORE heavy. and i like the way the snare drum sounds it makes it better. if i could talk to Metallica i'd praise them for making a great album as always. METALLICA RULES FOREVER!
  • Sam from Adelaide, AustraliaIf metallica like what they are playing then im happy with it.
    they only did these kind of songs to try to fit the curve of a new generation.
    but it is awesome to see kickass songs like all nightmare long on death magnetic.
    METALLICA RULES
  • Mitchell from Murrurundi, AustraliaTo the people who were discussing the "solos or not solos" thing. The way it went down in the SKoM movie was that they didn't want a rule of no solos, but that didn't mean that there was definitely going to be solos in the songs. Ultimately they decided that the solos didn't really fit the songs so they weren't included.
  • Jason from Denver, CoMany people say that the St. Anger album or recording is "crap" ! People said that about Kiss' Music from (The Elder). I really DO NOT care what paople say about either one. I like them both. The only thing I don't like about the St. Anger album is the sound of Lars's snare drum. It sounds as if he was playing on the bottom of a metal 5 gallon paint pail. I work in a paint factory I know how they sound.
  • Joel from Dothan, AlChad from France: That was some of the funniest s--t I've ever heard. LMFAO! Amazing, totally agree.
  • Mark from Londonderry, Nhi like St. Anger, and you can't at least appreciate it, then ur not a real metallica fan.
  • Chris from Brooklyn, NyI just wanna no why everyone is hating on this song, yes this was a bad album, but only in comparison to any ohter metallica album, even though the album is just ok this is the best song on it and my only probly with it is there is no solo, but still the music video is awesome for this song and it is still good.
  • Kevin from Chicago, IlPlease are there any songs in the Album that do not have anything to do with james' alchoholism
  • Chad from Grasse, FranceNo question their best album! I love how all the songs sound the same and yet they get less and less organized as the album rolls on. Lars does an excellent job making sure all his drum beats are un-timed with any rythm. Keep up the good work boys!
  • Jeff from Austin, TxI was a huge Metallica fan when I was younger, back when they made sense. This is one of the most disappointing albums I've ever heard. It sounds like a great band got together and said, "Let's make a really crappy sounding album and see if we can trick our fans into saying it's cool"
  • Austin from Smallsville, NeThis album was panned by critics. It was too bass heavy and not really a single decent riff. But I thought it was better than people think.
  • Ryan from Chicago, Ilgo bears! devin hester is god with cleats
  • Justin from Ft. Luaderdale, FlUm, that might be why you think St. Anger is there best: becuase you're not a Metallica fan. The song itslef is alright, but the album as a whole just lacked something. It's simply not up to par with their former albums, almost like they were trying to modernize and be like some modern acts, changing up their style. Now, St. Anger isn't their best but let's face it: a bad Metallica album is an incredible album by anyone else.
  • Rj from Rushville, NeI have lost alot of love for metallica since st anger...

    This album sucks...
  • Justin from Ft. Luaderdale, FlAnd to clarify: By other crap out now, I was not referring to anything from Metallica, but rather certain bands I choose to dislike.
  • Justin from Ft. Luaderdale, FlMetallica is my hands down favorite band, and I hate to say this, but this CD was probably my least favorite of all. I'm not gonna say it sucked completely, cuz its better some of that other crap thats out now, but I don't feel like I'm listenting to Metallica. The song itself isn't THAT bad, but again, its not the best. The best part of this song is when you're in a pissy mood and you just don't care what people think. *BEEP* IT ALL AND NO REGRETS...such a classic phrase.
  • Jello from Sarnia, CanadaWow...St. Anger sucks the paper bag sideways...what the hell were they thinking by banning solos? That is an insult to all metallica fans if you ask me...someone needs to give them a heavy metal kick up the ass...at least megadeth sticks to their roots instead of this banning solos bullsh*t
  • Jordan from Calgary, CanadaGreat song, great song
  • Deco from Sligo, IrelandOriginally there were guitar solos written for all of these somgs but were removed at last minute. As to why I do not know but I have heard 4 brand new Metallica songs and the are really heavy and have kick ass solos in them so we are going Old School
  • Jim from Clarmore, Okthis is a good album. the old days where great shure but come on they have to try new stuff or it will all run to gather. james voice has sounded the same for so long its good to try something new. my favorite song on this album is eather dirty window or unnamed feeling.
  • Dallas from Viking, Canadathis album is good because of the sound but the lyrics are repetative, like they are running out of things to say
  • Angelo from Las Vegas, Nvhow can metallica go from stuff on the black album to stuff like st.Anger?
  • Niall from Ireland, Ireland"james didnt put a ban on any solos.kirk himself said that he was boreed of solos"

    Ahem, no. If you watch the film it can be misinterprate that they all agreed on no solos but realistically, Lars wanted to "not date the music" and suggested no solos and Kirk being alone in his argument didn't really have a choice
  • Necromancer from Stockholm, Swedenjames didnt put a ban on any solos.kirk himself said that he was boreed of solos
  • Necromancer from Stockholm, Swedenjames didnt put a ban on the solos,kirk himself said that he was bored of the solos.
  • Matt from East Hampton, NyI can relate to this song because I have had a LOT of anger inside me. I also under stand where he is coming from cense I grew up in AA meetings (Alcoholics Anonymous ). Its not easy recover form alcoholic because it is an every day battle. You need to find a way to vent your anger or you will fall back into the daemon?s layer. It may not have a solo or different lyrics but it?s a good song.
  • Josh from Brisbane, AustraliaI love Metallica to death - but this album really puts strain on the relationship. Mayby the band should start drinking again, and let poor Kirk have a dew solos (to which almost every Metallica fan will love). Long Live the Early Days of Metallica!!!
  • Paul Carter from Tifton, GaOkay.. There are no "conventional" solos on St. Anger because the group collectively decided on not putting them in there; watch the documentary. Also, as far as the CD goes, Some Kind of Monster is my favored song, and the snare drum isn't really that bad on the dvd that came with the album, and even on the album itself the snare's mainly horrid on frantic's intro, in my opinion atleast.
  • Steve from Trooper, Pathere's a solo in some kinda monster near the begining, right?
  • Steve from Trooper, PaThis is a pretty good song in the terms of sound, (even though the drum is distracting). but in the terms of lyrics this song kinda sux. the song uses mainly the same lyrics several times.the best song on the album is probably some kind of monster, or unnamed feeling. this is still a great song.
  • Joseph from Marikina, Other"The lack of solos is for 2 reasons. A) Hetfield put a ban on them, being as the solo-ist takes attention off the rest of the band. and B) They can't write decent solos, considering they stole the long, complicated GOOD solos from Mustaine.
    - Jess, Milford, PA"

    complicated good solos from Mustaine? ROFL.
  • Prophet from East Haven, Vti knocked a kid out to this song once...
  • Anon. from Twin Cities, MnSt. Anger is the name of the song and the album because the band is trying to vent their anger in a positive way ("...and I want, my anger to be healthy"), since keeping your anger inside you is supposed to be bad for you. "Saint" naturally brings positive connotations.
  • Daniel Roberto DÃ?az from Panama City, OtherDuring the recording of the St. Anger album, Hetfield went into rehab for alcoholism and "other addictions". Alcohol had long been a problem for Hetfield; indeed, the band's alcoholic antics earned them the nickname 'Alcoholica' by the music press. Hetfield came out of rehab after 11 months, rejoined the band and continued with the album.
  • Jess from Milford, PaThe lack of solos is for 2 reasons. A) Hetfield put a ban on them, being as the solo-ist takes attention off the rest of the band. and B) They can't write decent solos, considering they stole the long, complicated GOOD solos from Mustaine.
  • Jess from Milford, PaFirst off, stop calling the Ordo Templi Orientalis a "secret society." Obviously, it's not too secret, now IS it? Second, I'd like to point out that this song blows, along with the rest of the album.
  • Disasterpiece089 from A Place In, OhWhy does the chorus have the line from Damage, Inc. in it? anyone know...? BTW i wish they would stop trying...albums are getting progressively worse and more pointless
  • Cyrus from Antwerp, Belgiumi have to go with peter from berling. Jamyz said, just weeks before the album cam out, that they called it like that because he thought it was strange there are tons of (roman catholic)saints but no st. anger ...
  • Tim from Leuven, Belgiumgreatest song from the album , but i'm not a great fan of the new style
  • Jason from Monterrey, MexicoWhy would Anger be called a saint if there wasnt a secret meaning to it? Think about it. There is nothing holy about Anger, unless anger is a man considered a holy man by the Ordo Templi Orientalis, a secret society of wich Hammet is an active member.
  • Jason from Monterrey, MexicoSt. Anger is dedicated to one of Hammet's major influences: Kenneth Anger. Anger was an active esoterist (which some of his films reflect) and a sympathizer of Aleister Crowley's "Thelema" philosophy. Anger is also a member of secret society the Ordo Templi Orientalis. Anger is well known in hollywood for movies such as "hollywood babylon" (wich is also the title of a song by Misfits). Anger was a friend of the Rolling Stones, Jimmy page and a huge influence on Hammet.

  • Charlie from Ionia, MiMetallica has strong feelings about the song...but they went the wrong direction in the vocals.
  • Mike from Drayton Valley, CanadaI think st.anger is how james felt after he went to rehab... He was angry at his alchoholism... have u notcied how the cd St.anger.. sounds like they are very amngry at something?
  • Peter from Berlin, GermanyI personaly think that the song compares Anger with Love and wants to protest against the " bad Name " its been given
  • Jake from Las Vegas, NvSt.Anger is a metphor; James Said "you need to give ol' St.Anger some respect or he might blow up on you" he meant go to therapy or listen to music....thats why the video is set in a prison
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