Metallica - S & M with the San Francisco Symphony (Explicit ... Cover Art

Metallica - S & M with the San Francisco Symphony (Explicit Version) [VHS]

By: Metallica (actor)


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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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