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  • Release type: Album
  • Year: 2020
  • Tracks: 22
  • Duration: 143:32
  • Size, Mb: 331.73
  • Bitrate: MP3 336
  • Genre: Pop/Rock


On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of S&M, the 1999 extravaganza where Metallica played highlights from their catalog with the support of the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Kamen, the band decided to celebrate by holding two new concerts with the orchestra. Appropriately called S&M2, the 2019 event was a very different affair. S&M2 inaugurated San Francisco's new arena The Chase Center, whereas the original S&M was held at the relatively smaller-scale Berkeley Community Theatre, and then there's a question of personnel. Metallica parted ways with bassist Jason Newsted after S&M, hiring Robert Trujillo as his replacement in 2003, the same year that Kamen died. This, along with the passing years, means that the band feels slightly different on S&M2 than they did in 1999, a shift that can also be partially ascribed to their new collaborators of Michael Tilson Thomas and Edwin Outwater, who respectively are the music director for the San Francisco Symphony and its conductor for this show. MTT and Outwater encouraged Metallica to push their musical limits, including asking the band to play "Iron Foundry," a 1927 piece by the Russian futurist Alexander Mosolov. That "Iron Foundry" feels right at home on a set list that leans heavily on the set list from the original S&M speaks to the success of the symphonic Metallica concept both in 1999 and 2019. The intricacies of Metallica's compositions can be reminiscent of suites, and the arrangements don't merely sweeten the group's songs with strings. The orchestra spars with Metallica, who seem invigorated by playing at a scale so grand it can seem to verge upon the ludicrous. What makes S&M2 so absorbing and entertaining is how all the musicians involved embrace both the ridiculousness and seriousness of their endeavor, creating a glorious overblown noise impressive in its ambition, heft, and unspoken absurdity.

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