METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich has told the Rocky Mountain News that he understands why understand why some fans were initially thrown by the "thrashing speed-metal" nature of the band's latest album, "St. Anger".
"It's so beating. I can understand now how challenging the record was," he said. "Compared to a song like 'Wherever I May Roam', it sounds like World War III. It makes the 'Black Album' sound like BON JOVI or something.
"I can understand that some of the people into the more straightforward things we've done can be scared [listening to 'St. Anger']. It's OK to be scared and overwhelmed and challenged. I'm proud that we didn't (wimp) out. A couple of times we kinda set out to make a record that was raw and a little more aggressive and we kinda (wimped) out. We started cleaning things up, we started putting James' (Hetfield's) vocals in tune. We left 'St. Anger' as raw as it was."
And longtime fans knew it wasn't out of character for the band. "…And Justice For All' is borderline unlistenable to my ears," Ulrich said of the band's classic 1988 release. Then again, "when we put 'Fade to Black' on our second record ['Ride the Lightning'], a lot of the hardcore fans were freaking out - 'Oh my God, an acoustic guitar, they've lost it!' That was what, 21 years ago or something? For a band that lost it 21 years ago, I think we're doing OK."