Metallica "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Metallica!" - (2016 Record Store Day First Release)

As you've probably heard by now, Metallica are the official ambassadors of Record Store Day 2016, which falls on Saturday, April 16th. The band that released a cassette on last year's Record Store Day will this year release a CD, entitled Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Metallica! - Live at Le Bataclan. Paris, France - June 11th, 2003. As the title indicates, the CD documents a nine-song live set performed at the Bataclan in Paris in June of 2003. In light of the recent terrorist attack at that venue in November 2015, proceeds from sales of the CD will be donated to the Fondation de France's Give For France charity.

This concert was performed at a strange time in Metallica's history, just days after the release of their chaotic St. Anger album. This was the first year that the band employed current bassist Robert Trujillo, after they weathered two years of troubles documented in the film Some Kind Of Monster.

This show was the second of three shows that the band performed on that day. Hopefully, the official CD issue will have cleaner sound quality than the muddy bootlegs of the show that have surfaced, because this concert shows a rejuvenated Metallica coming back strong from troubled times. Interestingly enough, only one song from St. Anger appears in this set, and this performance of “Frantic” is about as harsh as its studio version. The other eight songs are drawn from the band’s ‘80’s albums, and are full of pre-“Black Album” intensity. Even on bootleg recordings, the power and fury of “No Remorse”, “Ride The Lightning”, and “Blackened” force their way through the recording anomalies. Again, it will be fortunate if the sound is cleaner on the official CD release, because the bootleg muddiness does get in the way, especially during the first half. If that problem is remedied, then Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Metallica! has the makings of a powerful live album.

4/16/16 Update: Record Store day has come. I was lucky enough to score a copy of this CD, marked no. 7040 of 20,000 copies pressed. The sound quality on the CD is excellent. The first half of the concert sounds infinitely better than on bootlegs. "Fade To Black" has a particularly eerie beauty, and "Frantic" sounds much more professional than I had realized. With the cleaner sound quality, the last four tracks sound less raw but no less powerful. Recommended.

Metallica - Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Metallica! Live at Le Bataclan, Paris, France: June 11th, 2003

Metallica "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Metallica! - Live at Le Bataclan. Paris, France - June 11th, 2003" (Blackened) 2016

Track Listing:

1. The Four Horsemen
2. Leper Messiah
3. No Remorse
4. Fade To Black
5. Frantic
6. Ride The Lightning
7. Blackened


8. Seek & Destroy
9. Damage, Inc