S&M is an older abbreviation for sadism and masochism. Generally, it is used to refer to consensual sexual sadism and masochism: the infliction of pain as a form of sexual pleasure. In serious discussions of such on Usenet, the Web, and other forums, the term "BDSM" appears to have largely eclipsed "S&M". Offline, however, "S&M" remains common in slang, and in fetish erotica marketed for BDSM non-practitioners.

S&M is the title of Metallica's most recent album release. It is a recording of Metallica playing in San Franciso with the San Francisco Symphony Orcestra, in April 1999. Metallica and a Classical orchestra such as this one are certainly not an obvious match, but the music recorded manages to mix them incredibly well.

The track listing for the S&M album is as follows:
Before I heard some of the tracks on this album I considered Metallica to be just another one of the many bands that wannabe depressive teanagers slit their wrists to. I couldn't have been more wrong. "No Leaf Clover" reversed the way I saw Metallica. Yes, there is a hell of a lot of guitar on this album, but the lyrics are not at all depressing, and the songs are honestly inspiring.

The songs performed on this album are largely songs featured on Metallica's previous albums, but of course played live and with a full orchestra backing them up. There are also two completely new songs, found only on this album, and for which no studio recordings seem to exist. These are "No Leaf Clover" on disk 1, and "Human" on disk 1, and are among the best on the album.

In short, I wouldn't recommend this album, or any of Metallica's work, to anyone who can't put up with a bit of loud guitar. This is not to be listened to at low volume. Any existing Metallica fans, or fans of rock in general, however, should love this album. The mix of classical and rock music is astoundingly well done. The one and only thing I'd complain about this CD, is the price of it.. around £18 in most shops in the UK is not what I'd call cheap, but it's very nearly worth it for such a fantastic album.

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