FLEMMING RASMUSSEN, the Producer of METALLICA, Still Contemplating His Feelings Towards St. Anger


To express that Metallica achieved their most polarizing album with St. Anger is stating the obvious. The rough and imperfect production approach, the distinctive “tin can” snare sound of Ulrich‘s drums, the extended and repetitive song arrangements, and the absence of guitar solos were clear indicators of a band navigating through their most tumultuous period. For many, the album was discordant and displeasing (numerous tales circulate on the Internet of fans discarding the CD out of their car windows after the initial listen), while others “connected” with the introspective and genuine sincerity of the lyrics.

In a recent YouTube interview, Flemming Rasmussen, the producer behind some of Metallica‘s most legendary albums, shared his reflections on the band’s controversial record. Rasmussen, recognized for his contributions to classics like Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets, disclosed his conflicting sentiments regarding the album that split fans and critics alike.

The producer confessed to harboring a love-hate rapport with St. Anger. His viewpoints have undergone a metamorphosis, fluctuating between appreciation for the band’s audacity and exasperation with the album’s rough production.

“Every other instance I hear it, I think, ‘Damn, that’s remarkable.’ They are bold enough to venture into new territories, not merely adhering to the norm. But then, in the instances in between, I find myself pondering, ‘This sounds like the most unpolished demo I’ve ever come across.’ So, it’s somewhat of a seesaw like that,” he expressed.

The highly divisive snare drum sound of the album didn’t escape Rasmussen‘s criticism: “Occasionally, I switch it off after the initial ten seconds, while other times, I listen through till the end. It can be quite challenging to endure. That snare sound is incredibly bothersome, isn’t it?”

Despite his ambivalence towards St. Anger, Rasmussen took a stand for Metallica‘s frequently criticized drummer, Lars Ulrich. He commended Ulrich‘s growth as a musician and his significance to the band, affirming: “People may critique as much as they wish. It has almost become a national pastime for some. Yes, he may not have been the world’s finest drummer, but for Metallica, he is. And he has progressed. He has continually improved, things have happened. There has been a substantial evolution from this point to that. Musically and technically, he is genuinely exceptional.”

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