“Why use a drum kit when I have these perfectly good garbage cans?” Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich probably muttered to himself just before laying down the drum tracks for the band’s 2003 album, St. Anger.
The album serves as a primer in how not to produce a metal record, with its muddy guitar tone, off-key vocals, and the ping-pang-pong of the snare. So, what if you took that awful snare sound and inserted it into Metallica’s best-produced record, Master of Puppets?
One bored YouTuber found time this week to answer that question—for the good of humanity.
As expected, it sounds terrible. The switcheroo renders the impossibly awesome metal anthem unlistenable—yet I couldn’t find it within myself to take off my headphones.
Prior to the recording of St. Anger, the pioneering metal group had undergone a transition of sorts, having lost bassist Jason Newsted in 2000, who quit because he needed to spread his musical wings and fly. The remaining members of Metallica, (Ulrich, James Hetfield, and Kirk Hammett) entered a brutal period of group therapy, which is well documented in the 2004 film Some Kind of Monster.
St. Anger was the product of that introspective period, during which Metallica made some interesting choices in how they produced the record. After much anticipation, St. Anger was met with massive disappointment, and has gone down in history as the heavy metal equivalent of the Star Wars prequels. And yes, Ulrich’s awful snare is the Jar Jar Binks of the Metallica oeuvre.
Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)