Unpolished intensity for a good cause - A review of Metallica's '' Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, Metallica!''
This limited Record Store Day live album by American thrash metal legend Metallica is a really interesting release. First of all, it's limited to twenty thousand copies in the world and includes a little certificate that gives you the feeling to own something exclusive. Secondly, the album has the very meaningful title ''Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Metallica!'' and all profits of this release are donated to the victims of the terrible attacks in Paris last year which is a very good cause in my opinion. Thirdly, the record was recorded at Le Bataclan were the most violent part of those attacks took place and it's a great sign to show that rock and metal music as part of our liberal Western lifestyle have survived and won't adapt, change or vanish in any form despite the rough circumstances. Fourthly, this concert was recorded almost thirteen years ago when the band played three shows at three different locations in Paris in just one day to support the release of the controversial studio record ''St. Anger'' which was a quite unique idea.
Some of the tracks recorded at Le Bataclan had already been used for the recommendable ''Some Kind of Monster'' EP twelve years ago but this is the first time we get to hear the entire concert featuring nine tracks and a running time over one hour. To my surprise, the band only played two songs from said studio album that day and only one was performed at Le Bataclan in form of the unchained ''Frantic'' that sounds quite potent on stage. It would have been interesting to hear more rare live versions of several ''St. Anger'' tunes but this live album still has an interesting selection.
In fact, the band played a few tracks which aren't performed very often nowadays. Instead of delivering the usual suspects such as ''Master of Puppets'', ''One'' or ''Enter Sandman'', this album features some less popular material that sounds great in concert. The powerful opener ''The Four Horseman'' is among the strongest cuts of this release, the bass-driven stomper ''Leper Messiah'' is also a nice choice just like the chaotically unchained version of ''No Remorse'' or the pitiless closer ''Damage, Inc.''.
Concerning the performance itself, this record includes a few short jam sessions or improvisations but they are never too long or distracting as on earlier live releases like ''Live Shit: Binge and Purge'' that felt more like a circus show at times. The communication between the band and the audience is also solid and the band seems to have fun and develop a solid chemistry despite the new line-up. The fans are quite enthusiastic and give this intimate show a surprisingly powerful atmosphere.
Back in the days, the band wasn't as constantly solid on stage as they were back in the eighties or happen to be nowadays. Especially James Hetfield misses a few notes here and there and even messes up the lyrics of ''Ride the Lightning''. These little mistakes make this record very authentic though and I prefer this raw and natural approach over theatrical larger-than-life experiences on some of the band's other live outputs. This charismatic touch makes this record so outstanding and should immediately appeal to any fan of emotional, powerful and unpolished rock and metal music.
If you can get your hands on a copy of this limited release, don't hesitate to invest twenty bucks for a good cause and to get a fairly intense live record in return. This might not be Metallica's greatest hour but this album is definitely an entertaining fun ride.« Some of the best thrash metal in recent memory - A review of Annihilator's ''Feast''Metro 2014 - A review of Unbeing's ''Raptus'' »
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