This CD package includes a special live DVD. The performance, filmed and recorded - as Metallica likes to say - in 'shitty 5.1 sound, balls out - features the band playing all tracks in sequence from St. Anger. The idea to create such a unique offer wa Never underestimate the regenerative powers of Metallica. Following the stripped-down Load and Re-Load, they've returned to the raw, vitriolic savagery of their earlier canon, using 1984's Ride the Lightning as a template for St. Anger. The title track provides the psychic lynchpin of the album by combining the bombast and defiance of the band's earliest high-water marks with more deliberate lyrics and emotional nakedness. Equally cathartic is "Some Kind of Monster," a lumbering beast of a song that declares, "This is the voice of silence no more." Despite that claim, there's an economy to these lyrics; James Hetfield's raw-toothed growl only occasionally punctuates the menacing soundscapes. In fact, "Dirty Windows," the standout track here, is a shimmering five-minute instrumental that's free of the baroque trappings that sometimes clutter the Metallica landscape. --Jaan Uhelszki
Manufacturer: Wind-up Records
Evanescence - Fallen - Cd The Daredevil soundtrack provided a nice boost for this previously unknown quartet from Little Rock, Arkansas. Evanescenceâ€™s songs "My Immortal" and the imposing "Bring Me to Life" are clear standouts in the film, mainly because they work so well with the dramatic, eerie undertones of the storyline. They reappear here on the bandâ€™s debut, alongside a selection of similarly brooding tracks that evoke pensive artists like Tori Amos and the Cranberries. Vocalist Amy Lee has the kind of voice that can cause weeks of insomnia, but on songs like "Tourniquet" and "Haunted" she belies the musicâ€™s sinister mood with evenhanded spirituality, thoughtfully letting some light shine through the tempest. --Aidin Vaziri
New product. Never used! If Nevermind's sound is familiar now, it's only because thousands of rock records that followed it were trying very hard to cop its style. It tears out of the speakers like a cannonball, from the punk-turbo-charged riff of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" onward, magnifying and distilling the wounded rage of 15 years of the rock underground into a single impassioned roar. Few albums have occupied the cultural consciousness like this one; of its 12 songs, roughly 10 are now standards. The record's historical weight can make it hard to hear now with fresh ears, but the monumental urgency of Kurt Cobain's screams is still shocking. --Douglas Wolk
Manufacturer: Warner Bros.
Brand: Warner Bros
When the first track from a band's debut album gets added to major rock stations four weeks before its official release, it must be something very special. That's the case with "One Step Closer" from Linkin Park's first album, Hybrid Theory. Built on an aggressive hard rock foundation, flavored with hip-hop vocal stylings and electronic fourishes, as melodic as it is confrontational, with a strong lyrical message, Linkin Park is diverse and unique. It's also one step closer to scoring an important debut album - and that's not just theory.Certified Multi-Platinum (8 times) by the RIAA. (4/02) It may be too cynical to assume Hybrid Theory changed its name to Linkin Park in order to appear right next to Limp Bizkit in your local record bin. But rock-rap workouts like "One Step Closer" and "Papercut" do make Linkin Park a comfortable fit with Fred Durst and his ilk. Producer Don Gilmore (Pearl Jam, Lit, Eve 6) and twin vocal threats Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda serve up industrial-strength rap and rock melodicism with equal aplomb on this woulda-been-self-titled debut effort. "Points of Authority" aims to sound like Trent Reznor wanking it up with Lars and company, whereas guitarist Brad Delson's Edge-y harmonics help "In the End" and "Pushing Me Away" evoke a dark romanticism akin to A Perfect Circle. Curiously, the band gets by with no bass player, while sample-happy DJ Joseph Hahn's step into the spotlight on the instrumental "Cure for the Itch" suggests a potential for eclecticism that could help Linkin Park outlive its seemingly transient genre. --Bill Forman
Manufacturer: Warner Bros.
Brand: Warner Bros
Meteora, the follow-up album of the new material to Linkin Park's phenomenal eight-times-platinum-in-the-United-States (international sales approaching 6 million) debut album, Hybrid Theory, promises to be one of the most important albums of the year. A deluxe 40-page booklet accompanies the Enhanced CD presented in a Digipak. Linkin Parkâ€™s second studio effort (not counting the 2002 remix album Reanimation) overflows with glossy production values and Big Rock oomph, fully embracing the pop instincts of their Hybrid Theory debut. For many, Theory sounded inexcusably corporate, from its too-timely rap-rock sound to the long list of product endorsements included in the liner notes. Meteora will only amplify those complaints, but this album is actually truer to the bandâ€™s nature. Itâ€™s still impossible not to hear strains of Limp Bizkit, Korn, Rage Against the Machine, and the like. None of those acts, howeve, would try something as blatantly anthemic as "Easier to Run," which would sound fine to a Def Leppard fan, or as borderline danceable as "Breaking the Habit" and "Session." Linkin Park is what Trent Reznor was always afraid of becoming, but if you ever wished he would drop the pretenses and just make a hair-metal record, you'll find Meteora to your liking. --Matthew Cooke
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
Everything about Tool's fourth album (2001) is an experience, starting with the packaging, which consists of liner credits printed on a translucent plastic sleeve over the CD and a booklet that layers anatomical representations atop one another--the first page pictures musculature and blood vessels; the next, bones; the third, internal organs; and so on. It's worth describing the packaging of Lateralus because it says much about the astonishing music within. Maynard James Keenan and company understand the expectations riding on this much-anticipated release and they've delivered the goods! While it remains in the Tool tradition of trance-inducing progressive metal, Lateralus is tighter, clearer, crisper, and all around a notch above their admirable previous releases. Aenima was marred by muddy production and a certain predictability. Undertow had a cleaner sound but wasn't as confident or adventurous. With Lateralus, Tool have raised an already lofty bar still higher by coming up with a collection that kicks major ass. Everything about Tool's fourth album is an experience, starting with the packaging, which consists of liner credits printed on a translucent plastic sleeve over the CD and a booklet that layers anatomical representations atop one another--the first page pictures musculature and blood vessels; the next, bones; the third, internal organs; and so on. It's worth describing the packaging of Lateralus because it says much about the astonishing music within. Maynard James Keenan and company understand the expectations riding on this much-anticipated release and they've delivered the goods! While it remains in the Tool tradition of trance-inducing progressive metal, Lateralus is tighter, clearer, crisper, and all around a notch above their admirable previous releases. Aenima was marred by muddy production and a certain predictability. Undertow had a cleaner sound but wasn't as confident or adventurous. With Lateralus, Tool have raised an already lofty bar still higher by coming up with a collection that ki...
Fifty-one months after Lateralus' original release in CD format, Tool is ready to release a double vinyl four-picture disc edition of Lateralus. Each side contains a different picture and is packaged in a plastic gatefold with a holographic foil. Sony. 2005.The materials used to create picture discs and color vinyl are not the same as traditional vinyl. Picture discs will have an inherent surface noise in playback.
Longtime fans may call this one a sellout but that is hardly the case. Instead, the group has increased the bottom end of their sound and keeps the riff-per-song limit down to about two. This may keep Metallica from alienating staunch metal-haters, but it is the quality of the songs - hits such as Enter Sandman and the ballad Nothing Else Matters, but also Holier Than Thou - that has made this their most successful (and best) album to date. Certified at 12 million units by the RIAA. (2/01) Called "the Black Album" by many (due to its monochrome cover), Metallica marks the group's entrance into the mainstream, with shorter songs, simpler song structures, and slower tempos overall. That said, this is an excellent album, featuring some of the best songwriting Metallica has ever done. "Enter Sandman," "Wherever I May Roam," and "God That Failed," despite being slower and more groove-oriented than the band's earlier work, feature the same heavy riffs and heavier rhythms that have always been a feature of Metallica's music. The band goes introspective with "Unforgiven," and proves that they can write a ballad with "Nothing Else Matters," which succeeds better than one might expect. Overall, this is a high-energy album despite its laid-back approach, and is in many ways superior to the previous . . . And Justice for All, which was weakened by overly complicated song structures and mediocre production. -- Genevieve Williams