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Metallica - S & M with the San Francisco Symphony

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(170 Reviews)

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Metallica, never resting, never ceasing to innovate or amaze, returns with an extraordinary document of their concert with the San Francisco Symphony. Metallica’s select favorites unfold like never before with the eloquent symphonic backing; they have never sounded more powerful or dramatic. The performance includes two new songs–”No Leaf Clover” and ”Human.” There’s little doubt that this two-volume concert and documentary package will appeal to die-hard Metallica lovers–given its more than three-hour length (two and a half for the concert segment alone), the band’s predominantly white male fan base (repeatedly addressed as ”man” by singer-guitarist James Hetfield) will be–in fact already are–ecstatic. But one wonders, especially given the erratic history of rock-cum-orchestra experiments, whether S&M will win Metallica any new aficionados. The fact is that the presence of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, conducted by composer Michael Kamen, adds texture but not much else of significance to the Metallica sound. The band is so loud that it tends to overwhelm even a 100-plus member orchestra; what’s more, Metallica’s crunching, fist-pumping, riff-laden metal music lends itself less to genuine orchestral adornment than to superfluous bombast. And while the sound quality is excellent, it’s still basically just a filmed concert, with little in the way of additional visual interest. Still, there are some cool moments, and all involved are clearly having a great time. There are also two new Metallica songs, ”No Leaf Clover” and ”Minus Human.” (Note: also available is an edited version, sold at a slightly lower price, which corresponds to the popular PBS broadcast. The longer version carries an explicit content advisory label, due to much casual profanity, especially in the ”making of” documentary.) –Sam Graham

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  • All I can say is Juan Miguel Pineda review of this is TOTALLY wrong. I have been a metallica fan for quite awhile and to be honest I was a little leary about them performing with the san francisco symphony, but I was amazed when I first heard it. The orchastra fills in some parts of the classic Metallica songs(One and Master of Puppets) that were other wise somewhat dull. This is music at its best. I would just like to quite something I read in a magizine review of S&M, “nothing says rock, like an angery cello.”

    Posted on December 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Having been fans of both heavier classical music and heavy metal for over two decades, it was positively astounding for us to see those two worlds merge into one in this great video. We have always been partial to The Call of Ktulu, Master of Puppets and For Whom the Bell Tolls, but watching them performed here shed an entirely new light on the musical structure, for the first time bringing to light what those songs actually contain. And the new song, No Leaf Clover – well, you will just have to experience it for yourself. Lastly it must be said that Metallica, in our view, have never in their entire career performed as they do here. They have always been good, on quite a few occasions terriffic – but this, ladies and gentlemen, this has simply to be seen to be believed. A word of advice: please view this on a powerful surround system and a big, quality monitor. To reap the full benefits of this performance, we believe it to be absolutely essential.

    Posted on December 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • this is the LIMITED EDITION 2 tapes . one of them is the live concert and the other is special bonus featuring 40 minutes of behind the scenes footage , interviews with metallica and the symphony . Her you will find the bonus tape funy as hell especialy from JAMES ! must have for a Metallica fan .

    Posted on December 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • If you liked the S&M CD I guarantee you that you will like the DVD even more. If you have seen the VHS version or if you own it, you might just think it is the same thing in higher quality on DVD, but there is much more. This video has so many great special features. My favorite was the way you can filter the audio to hear only the symphony without Metallica, or only Metallica without the symphony. The first thing I did was listen to “No Leaf Clover” without the symphony. Another really cool feature is the angle changes that you can do on select songs. You can watch certain songs at 5 different angles. The first is the original edited camera views, but you can also watch these songs with the camera focused on one of the four band members, James, Lars, Jason, and Kirk. The DVD also features an excellent behind the scenes documentary featuring interviews with the band and with conductor Michael Kamen about preparation for the concert and how it all came to be. Even if you already have the VHS version, I would still get this DVD if I were you. The video quality and sound quality both greatly surpass that of the VHS version. This is a DVD that no Metallica fan should go without.

    Posted on December 18, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The direction is simply stunning.The director of Metallica’s Cunning Stunts stretches more direction muscle here.The editing is also excellent.Pros:*It’s a Metallica greatest hits concert!*The San Fransisco Symphony were amazing.I’ve never seen an orchestra play so fast.*The lights,editing,direction,effects and the whole setting in general were brilliant.*Jaymz’ voice was so terrific.Sometimes deep(most of the time),sometimes touching(Nothing Else Matters,No Leaf Clover) and sometimes powerful(The Thing That Should Not Be,Master of Puppets,-Human).Cons:*Why couldn’t we see a lot of Jason in the beginning of “For Whom The Bell Tolls”?*”Of Wolf And Man” shouldn’t have been changed.It’s the perfect Metallica song.*James still hasn’t perfected the part “sleep with one eye open,gripping your pillow tight—exit:light,enter:night”.It’s not the same as the original.In the original,the word “light” seems to be extended,like this :”Eeeeexit liiiiight!”.About the S&M documentary,it’s outstanding.The pre-show and post-show doc’s have always been so much fun.My advice: watch the documentary first and then the concert. I regret watching the concert first. Don’t make my mistake.And about the memorable moments in my review of the S&M audio CD,I forgot to add to them Lars’ staggeringly fast rolls in “Fuel”, “Master of Puppets”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, and a lot others.By the way, was it just me, or was James having a blast performing “The Thing That Should Not Be”? I like it when he jumps.Also, add to the phenomenal songs, “Battery”. “Devil’s Dance” and “Enter Sandman” were also very cool.By the way,I changed my mind:I think that Hammett’s original “Of Wolf And Man” solo was better than S&M’s.(I said the opposite in my cd review)If you ask me what’s THE most memorable moment of the concert,it’s definitely that part of “Of Wolf And Man” where James says “…so seek the wolf in thyseeeeeeeeeeeelf!” with the symphony building up.And the best part in this part is Jason’s background scream.What a rush!Bottom line:this is one unbelievable epic.I can’t recommend it higher.

    Posted on December 18, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now