I’ve finally got my hands on a couple of CDs with Metallica’s S & M, which they recorded live together with San Francisco symphony orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen. After listening to less then half of the first disk I had a terrible regret that I didn’t get this masterpiece earlier. Maybe I am too emotionally attached to Metallica songs or maybe this recordings are really that good, but my head was blown off few times. :)
The first two compositions – “The Ecstasy of Gold” and “The Call of the Ktulu” – I’ve heard for the first time. I don’t know if they do have any lyrics in other versions, but on this disk no vocal. This caused a slight worry on my part thinking that there are no lyrics on the disk at all. “Master of Puppets” that came third calmed me down though and started to fully enjoy the thing.
The combination of the megastar trash metal band together with one of the strongest orchestras in the world is something I’ll tell you. In some songs the band is stronger, in the other – the orchestra, in the other – they are equal. Live record adds a lot to the whole spirit too. There are few things that can compare with the power of the multithousand crowd singing. It makes me wish that I could hear the whole thing played on the huge and powerful speakers or even better that I could have been present on the concert.
While I liked the full first disk I think that “No Leaf Clover” and “Devil’s Dance” benefitted from the orchestra the most.
The second disk starts of with the “Nothing Else Matters” which was always a teenage-girl-mind-blowing ballad with moods enjoyable by a drunk and depressed metallist. This time it’s played with a bunch of violins and other let-me-cry-in-the-corner instruments, so I suppose it had sent few people straight into three weeks non-stop alcohol dream full of tears. I hope you can see how this paragraph is different in writing from anything else I’ve ever did. That’s because it’s caused by listening to “Nothing Else Matters” right now. :)
Overall, the second disk is stronger than the first one. The band leveled with the orchestra and they started to sound really together pushing each other to pleseant extremes. Partially this I think was helped by the selection of the compositions which are more suitable for such musical experimentations – “Until It Sleeps”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, “Human”, “Sad But True”, “One”, “Enter Sandman”…
Listed last is “Battery”. I think that one physically and morally killed the orchestra together with the conductor, destroyed all the instruments and set the crowd totally mad and crazy. Their bodies were toren to pieces and carried into all sort of wierd places. We’ll never hear from them ever again. Anyway, I refuse to believe that it is possible to have two shows like this in one life time. It is a real pity I’ve missed my chance. :)
In conclusion, it has been said several times that heavy metal mixes very good with classical music. Metallica’s S&M is just another proof that it’s true. I wish few bands could afford experimentations like this one.
Now, I cannot believe I’ve actually wrote all of this. :)