To say that Metallica achieved their most divisive album with St. Anger is to state the obvious. The raw and unpolished production style, the “tin can” snare sound of Ulrich’s drums, the longer and repetitive song structures, and the lack of guitar solos, all were simply the signs of a band traversing through their most turbulent times. For many the album was jarring and unpleasant (the Internet has plenty of stories of fans throwing the CD out the window of their car after a first listen), while others “connected” with the introspective and authentic honesty of the lyrics.

Now, in a recent YouTube interview, Flemming Rasmussen, the producer behind some of Metallica‘s most iconic albums, shared his thoughts on the band’s contentious record. Rasmussen, known for his work on classics like Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets, revealed his conflicting feelings about the album that divided fans and critics alike.

The producer admitted to having a love-hate relationship with St. Anger. His opinions have evolved, oscillating between admiration for the band’s boldness and frustration with the album’s raw production.

“Every second time I hear it, I go, ‘Fuck, that’s so great.’ They dare do something new, not just doing what they’ve always done. And then, the times in between, I go, ‘It sounds like the worst demo I’ve ever heard.’ So it’s, it’s kind of like that,” he shared.

The album’s polarizing snare drum sound didn’t escape Rasmussen‘s critique: “Sometimes, I take it off after the first ten seconds, and other times, I listen to it to the end. Because it’s pretty demanding to listen to. That snare sound is fucking annoying as hell, right?”

Despite his mixed feelings about St. Anger, Rasmussen came to the defense of Metallica‘s often-criticized drummer, Lars Ulrich. He praised Ulrich‘s evolution as a musician and his importance to the band, stating: “People can hate as much as they like. It’s become like a national sport for some. Yeah, he was not the world’s best drummer, but for Metallica, he is. And he evolved. He’s gotten better and better, shit happened. From here to here, there was a huge development. Musically and technically, he’s really, really good.”

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