The first Anthrax full length release with Neil Turbin on vocals and Danny Lilker on bass. I was anxious for this album to come out after purchasing the "Soldiers of Metal" 45 RPM single. Since this was 1984, we all thought that it was the greatest thing to be released. I listened to it over and over again. Anthrax along with Raven and Metallica were my favorite bands at the time. They took the speed of punk and mixed it with the songwriting and image of the NWOBHM scene. Of course this was when all these bands were considered "underground" and speed metal and thrash metal were still new genres. I still love this cd today but must admit that I don't listen to it as much as the Joey Belladonna era stuff as the songwriting and production improved as the band's popularity grew. Still, "Metal Thrashing Mad," "Panic", "Soldiers of Metal" and "Across the River/Howling Furies" are all classic tracks.
Neil Turbin was soon given the boot, as I guess the rest of the band didn't like his stupid lyrics, or his attitude, or whatever. Only the band knows the real story. Danny Lilker was actually given the boot first, apparently because he and Neil Turbin were butting heads. Eventually Scott Ian made ammends with Danny as the two, along with drummer Charlie Benanate went on to record a groundbreaking thrash/hardcore crossover record under the name Stormtroopers of Death (S.O.D.) Danny Lilker then went on to form Nuclear Assault. "I'm Eighteen" is an Alice Cooper song.
Anthrax - Armed & Dangerous (Megaforce) 1985
Having grown up in the East Coast, I was already a HUGE Anthrax fan by the time this record had come out. I had lots of opportunity to see Anthrax on this tour, and see them I did. I checked them at the City Gardens, Trenton, NJ with Heathen's Rage opening and also at the L'Amour, in NYC. Anyhow, there are a lot of classics on this album. Actually I couldn't pick out a song that's not awesome. From the opening chords of "A.I.R" to the closing notes of the vicious "Gung Ho", this album simply annihilates any and all competitors. "Spreading the Disease" is simply one of the best thrash albums ever released. It was worth paying full price for to replace my crappy vinyl.
"A.O.L" is one heck of a thrash platter. This disc put Anthrax far ahead of many of their contemporaries and helped gain them a part in what became known as the "Big Four of Thrash". The music was fresh and aggressive. They had found their groove. Anthrax had begun to mix a bit of hardcore and a small amount of groove into their thrash formula. Of course, the sense of humor was present, as was the politically correct statement of "Indians." Anthrax's fascination with horror novels (Stephen King- "Among the Living") and comics (Judge Dredd- "I Am the Law") began to show on this disc as well. Everything was in place
I bought this on record the day it was released. Eventually replaced it with a used copy on cd for $3.99. My copy is signed by Scott Ian (in red), Frank Bello, and Charlie Benante. Unfortunately Benante's signature is slightly smeared.
"State of Euphoria" is neither my favorite, nor is it my least favorite Anthrax. I played it continually when it first came out. I only pull it out every so often now. However, there are plenty of standout cuts on this disc. "Antisocial" is a Trust song and probably the most well known song off this album. "Be All, End All" is stinkin' heavy and one of my favorites on this CD. "Make Me Laugh", "Who Cares Win" and "Finale" all smoke as well.
This rare import ep (German, I think) Contains the extremely rare French version of "Antisocial", although the chorus is sung in English. "Friggin' in the Riggin'", is a song off the Sex Pistols' "Great Rock & Roll Swindle" by Ten Pole Tudor, "Parasite" is a great Ace Frehley penned Kiss song, "Sects" is a Trust song, and "Pipeline" is a Ventures tune.
From this point on, doing covers, especially Kiss covers, would become a norm for Anthrax. Anthrax have covered several Kiss songs over the years including, "Love Her All I Can," "She," and Ace Frehley's "Rip It Out."
I had actually already owned a cool version of "I'm the Man" on vinyl before this EP came out in the U.S. It was originally released as a 12" single with "I Am the Law" as the A side. The B side had "I'm the Man" and also included a hilarious lounge song called "Bud E. Lovebomb & Satan's Lounge Band." (Not sure if I spelled the song correctly or if that was the exact song title as I typed it from memory.) The song was freaking hilarious. The cover folded out into a huge poster of Judge Dredd. Unfortunately I no longer own my vinyl collection, so I had to purchase this cd . "I'm the Man" was an amusing rap/metal novelty song that is still humorous today. (It's funny how a song that was suppose to be a joke became a standard for music in the 90s.) I must admit, when I first got that 12" single in college, we played it to death, so the novelty wore off. In any case, the live songs on this EP are cool and the Black Sabbath cover is very cool. I searched for a long time for a cheap used copy of this cd since it only has 6 songs and sells for the same amount of money as the rest of Anthrax's full length albums. I never found one and ended up giving in and paying the $9.99. (Man I'm a cheap bastard!)
Anthrax's debut "Fistful of Metal" was NWOBHM on speed. With their follow-up "Spreading the Disease" the band found their sound and were one of thrash metal's premier bands. "Among the Living" was raw, crunchy thrash metal, but they added in some street-level hardcore influences and a ton of groove. "State of Euphoria" continued the sound from "Among the Living" but felt a bit unfinished in comparison. In 1990 Anthrax came out with what many fans felt was their best album yet. After nearly a decade of touring and recording, Anthrax were at their top of their game. The album comes across as more serious than the fun natured, comic book influenced songs of the past. The music is more polished and tight, like a well-oiled machine. The songs are darker and more angry than anything the band had produced before as well. Scott Ian must have been on a creative high as riffs abound on "Persistence of Time". As well, Joey Belladonna gives the performance of his career on "Persistence". Unfortunately, this would be the last Anthrax album for Belladonna for decades.
Anthrax - Attack of the Killer B's (Island) 1991
to Billy)" (3:44)
Not sure I would call this an EP, as it is too long. However this collection of B-sides, unreleased tracks, live version and re-recorded S.O.D. tunes is awesome! "Bring the Noise" is an phenomenal rendition of Public Enemy's song w/ Chuck & Flav rapping the first two verses & Scott Ian handling the last two. "Milk" and "Chromatic Death" are re-recordings of S.O.D. songs. I could have done without ANOTHER version of "I'm The Man" however. "Sects" is the English version, not found on "Penikufesin." Pipeline," however, is the same version of the Ventures song found on that EP. "N.F.B." is hilarious! Great ending to an otherwise Bon Jovi sound alike song. "Startin' up a Posse" is just plain stupid! "Hey look ma, we can cuss, aren't we cool!" And finally, "Parasite" is a great KISS cover.
A new vocalist, John Bush (ex-Armored Saint), and a new sound for Anthrax. The band had a lot to prove with this one, especially after recording one of their best albums ever with "Persistence of Time" a couple years earlier. I must admit that I had mixed feelings about this one at first. Although I liked it almost immediately, I was bummed that Belladonna was no longer behind the mic. Once past that intial disappointment however, "Sound of White Noise" proved to be a smokin' heavy metal platter and one of the band's finest recordings to date. "Sound of White Noise" is filled with loads of heavy, hook-laden songs. "Only", "Room For One More", "Packaged Rebellion" and "This is Not An Exit" are all heavy as a freight train coming down the tracks at full speed. John Bush simply wails. Dan Spitz throws out some choice guitar leads. (I'm still unsure of why he was given his walking papers after this disc.) "Burst" is one of the few songs that matches the speed of 80's Anthrax. A first for Anthrax is the inclusion of a serious ballad in the form of the haunting, melancholy "Black Lodge". This one actually became a single for the band and did fairly well. "Sound of White Noise" actually generated quite a few singles and was a good seller for Anthrax. "Sound of White Noise" will forever be a classic of heavy metal.
The 2001 re-issue has three killer bonus cover songs, and one remix, that I would have liked to have seen deleted to make room for "Poison My Eyes" from the Last Action Hero soundtrack. "Auf Wiedersehen" is a Cheap Trick cover, and one of the only tracks I had not heard before getting this "Expanded Edition." Anthrax's cover of the Lizzy classic "Cowboy Song" is one of my favorites covers ever, not only because it's one of my favorite songs, but because I find it amusing hearing John Bush sing "I am just a cowboy, lonesome on the trail..." "London" is a Smiths song that was recorded for the Airheads soundtrack. The re-issue also contains some extra liner notes that were not in the original cd.
Anthrax recorded a very cool song called "Poison My Eyes" for the "Last Action Hero" soundtrack around this same time. They've appeared on several other soundtracks including: The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience ("Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun"), ECW: Extreme Music ("Phantom Lord" a Metallica cover), Airheads ("London" originally done by the Smiths) and Bordello of Blood ("Bordello of Blood" an excellent original). Scott and John also recorded a song on the Judas Priest, Ace Frehley and Queen tributes. Anthrax, together with Dee Snider, recorded a song for an AC/DC tribute as well.
Anthrax - Live! The Island Years (Island) 1994
70-minutes of live recordings, most of it from October '91 in Long Beach, CA. This compilation of live material was issued after Anthrax had switched record labels but provides a decent overview of the band's first seven years. Public Enemy joins them for "Bring the Noise," once again showing how Anthrax's ties with the rap world brought about a big change in music in the 90's with the popularity of bands like P.O.D., Limp Bizkit, etc. A funny story here that sort of trips me out. I was checking out some used cds when these kids walk up and start looking at the stuff in the bin next to me. One of the kids has a Limp Bizcrap shirt on. He picks up Anthrax's "Attack of the Killer B's" and asks his friend if he has heard them. His friend replys, "yeah, they suck, they're a pussy 80's band." WHATEVER!
When this disc first came out, I was unimpressed and somewhat disappointed. I'm not sure what it was either. It's really not a bad disc, albeit nothing like most of the Belladonna-era discs. However, I really never played this disc much. My original review was:
Uh, well, what happened here? Another VITAL member given the boot. Anthrax try to become Pantera going so far as to having Dimebag Darrell record some of the album's solos. "Fueled" is ok, but the whole album is somehow not as exciting as past releases. I vote that they bring back Joey Belladonna and let John Bush go back to what he does best, Armored Saint.
Upon getting the 2001 re-issue, I was given the chance to hear this disc again, for the first time, since I sort of never really gave this disc another chance. There are some really good songs on this disc that I somehow overlooked years ago. "Random Act of Senseless Violence" is an excellent full fledged rocker and one of Anthrax's finest. "Nothing" and lead single "Fueled" are also fine Anthrax romps through their own unique brand of heavy metal. I'm not really sure where I got the Pantera comparison, other than from the fact that Dimebag played on the disc. Somehow Anthrax managed to take control of their master tapes from Elektra Records, so in September 2001, they re-released both Elektra discs with bonus tracks and additional liner notes by Scott Ian. The bonus tracks were all previously released on the Japanese release and include: Celtic Frost's "Dethroned Emperor", Kiss' "Watching You", Husker Du's "Celebrated Summer" and an Anthrax original "Grunt and Click." Unfortunately, two tracks from the Japanese disc were not included, apparently because of copyright issues, The Police's "No Time This Time" and Iron Maiden's "Remember Tomorrow." Luckily these two tracks, along with a remixed version of 'Fueled' were released on a limited edition EP called "The Australiasia Tour EP - Nothing."
I still vote to see Belladonna back behind the mic. How about having two vocalists? That would be cool. Belladonna and Bush together! Rock the vote!
After the commercial failure of "Stomp 442" Anthrax disappeared for a while before returning with a new disc, new label and a new attitude on life. "Volume 8-The Threat is Real!" marks a return to the more humorous side of Anthrax. Short numbers like "604" and "Cupajoe" are attempts at the S.O.D. style of humor, which is ok since Scott & Charlie are S.O.D. There is also an attitude and energy to some of the songs that hasn't been present for a while. Songs like "Crush" and "Alpha Male" have crunchy tones, cool riffs, and memorable hooks. With the exception of the vocals, much of the music on this disc sounds like the Anthrax of old. Actually this album is as a solid mixture of everything from Anthrax's past, with a slightly larger dose of "Sound of White Noise". John Bush sounds as good as ever, but I must confess that I have a hard time seperating his voice from Armored Saint. Having been a fan of both bands since the 80's, I just cannot hear Bush without thinking Armored Saint. I guess I will always miss Joey Belladonna. (Would love to see a tour with the current line-up AND Joey Belladonna and Dan Spitz. Rumors spread for a while following the release of "Return of the Killer A's" but I guess nothing was ever worked out.)
Unfortunately, not long after this disc was released Ignite Records went bankrupt leaving Anthrax without a label once again. It also made this disc quickly become a collector's item as only the initial pressing of 120,000 would see the light of day. In 2003 Sanctuary Records repressed "Volume 8-The Threat is Real" with several bonus tracks. Of course being the Anthrax die-hard I now had to re-buy this CD again. Of the bonus songs, "The Bends" is a Radiohead song and "Snap/I'd Rather Be Sleeping" was originally recorded by DRI.
Anthrax - Return of the Killer A's: The Best of Anthrax (Beyond) 1999
1. "Bring the Noise"
One of several different 'best of' collections, including "Moshers...1986-1991," "Madhouse: The Very Best of..." and the recently released "Universal Masters Collection." All those other collections focus more on the band's Joey Belladonna era, whereas "Return on the Killer A's" focuses more on the later era of the band when their popularity was generally falling. About half the tracks on "Killer A's" are drawn from Sound of White Noise and Volume 8: The Threat Is Real. There are several remixes plus and a newly recorded cover of the Temptation's "Ball of Confusion," which unites vocalists John Bush and Joey Belladonna for the first time and also has ex-Anthrax/S.O.D./Nuclear Assault/Brutal Truth bassist Danny Lilker slammin' along. The liner notes even promise a tour with both vocalists, and while I think the band tried to accomplish this, they could not come to an agreement with their old vocalist. The booklet offers some detailed liner notes by Scott Ian, which is also a nice addition to the package. However, a solid and definitive retrospect this in NOT! I mean, there is only one song from each of the band's groundbreaking 80's outputs and none from their classic debut album. Where is "Armed & Dangerous," "Caught in a Mosh," "Black Lodge," "Be All, End All," "Belly of the Beast," "Keep It in the Family," "Skeleton in the Closet,""Metal Thrashing Mad" or the song that started it all off "Soldiers of Metal"? Shoot even their cover of Kiss' "Parasite" could have been included as this was a hugely popular song. Well, I guess ya' can't please everyone. While this disc is far from definitive it does give a fairly good retrospective of the band's Bush-era and a cursory nod to the Belladonna-days. However, this disc is essential to Anthrax-diehards like myself for "Ball of Confusion." Should also mention there is a portion of a hidden song after several minutes of silence at the end of track 16.
Anthrax - We've Come For You All (Sanctuary) 2003
It's been a long time since Anthrax has released a new studio album. After rumors of the band breaking up and/or changing their name following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the band finally gets back on their feet and releases one of their finest discs in a long time. On my very first listen to "We've Come For You All" I was already pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. While I grew to like "Stomp 442" and "Vol. 8" with repeated listens, this CD pulled me in from day one. My first thought was about how impressive Charlie Benante sounded. He really lets loose on this disc unlike he has since the band's thrash metal days. Within the first few minutes of track two some of the double bass work would send most black metal drummers running for the hills. I was also impressed with how refreshing John Bush sounded. He really hasn't sounded this good since his glory days with Armored Saint. However, it is the songwriting and punchy production that makes this disc so immediately infectious. After a short intro titled "Contact" Anthrax tear into one of the finest thrash metal songs they have unleashed since "Persistence of Time". No doubt, Charlie's double bass attack in this song left me in awe. "Refuse to Be Denied" is another excellent track with a groove paralleling the better material off "Sound of White Noise". "Safe Home," the first single off the album is a bit more melodic than the rest of the album with a sound that hints slightly at "Black Lodge". (Unfortunately the single for this song was only released in Germany on Nuclear Blast Records.) "Nobody Knows Anything" is yet another fast and furious speed metal attack with Charlie unleashing some dizzying drum work. Impressive! "Strap It On" nods to the the early days of Anthrax and Metallica with a heavy, down picked, chunky rhythm that had this "old school" metalhead smiling from ear to ear. Pantera's Dimebag lets loose a ferocious guitar solo in this track. Next up a song that recalls the famous Black Dahlia murders. This song is yet another thrasher. The chorus on this song is a straight up blast beat. Once again Charlie Benante impressing me with his sheer speed. "Cadillac Rock Box" brings back the mid-paced groove and once again reminds me of the better material from "Sound of White Noise". This song should have metalheads for miles around breaking into spontaneous fits of neck snapping head banging. For some reason this song reminds me a bit of Kiss, especially in the Ace Frehley inspired guitar solo. I suppose this shouldn't be surprising considering Anthrax are such big fans of the band. "Taking the Music Back" is certainly a self fulfilling prophecy as Anthrax certainly have taken the music back. There are a few negatives to an otherwise stellar CD. I am not sure what the point of the pentagrams all over the disc are. I was also not thrilled with the lyrics to "Superhero" either, a song that seems to me to be preaching atheism. Otherwise, I think this is a stellar disc that blends together well the old and the new.
Anthrax - Music of Mass Destruction: Live in Chicago (Sanctuary) 2004
Music of Mass Destruction captures Anthrax live December 4, 2004, at Chicago's Metro. It's about time Anthrax released a quality live disc. (The "Island Years" disc was more of a disjointed compiliation of live tracks). Anthrax sound refueled and recharged on this disc, nailing each and every song with a furiouciousness. The tracks run the gamut from the "old-school" to 2003's We've Come for You All. John Bush is the bands cheerleader and other than the the juvenile overuse of the same expletive, is just flat out fun. The audience is also a vital part of this recording, which is something many live albums tend to neglect. The new songs manage to sound even more furious than they did on "We Have Come For You All," especially "What Doesn't Die" and "Safe Home". Charlies drumming on "Nobody Knows Anything" is outrageous. By the end of the song, the crowd is chanting "Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!" The older material sounds good as well. "Caught in a Mosh," the Joe Jackson cover "Got the Time," and "I Am the Law" are all quite good as well, but frankly don't have that same energy that I remember when seeing the band with Belladonna. Perhaps this is just my own nostalgia and longing for those days with Belladonna over any real problem with Bush or those tracks. However, it is the Bush material that shines on this disc, in my opinon. Both Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano shred through the entire set. I can't imagine any longtime fan being disappointed with this disc.
Unfortunately Mass Destruction's audio portion constricts the set that appears in full on the DVD.I tend to listen to music more than I tend to watch it, so this was a bit disappointing to me. Besides including the 16-song entirety of the Metro gig and multiple camera angles of the show, Mass Destruction's DVD offers bonus tracks recorded a few days later at Flint, MI's venerable metal outpost the Machine Shop. There are also extensive and creative bandmember interviews, and an interview with comic book artist Alex Ross, who worked on the album's colorful liners.
Anthrax - The Greater of Two Evils (Sanctuary) 2004
"The Greater of Two Evils" is the current Anthrax line-up recording many of the classics from the Turbin/Belladonna-eras of the band as a way of celebrating their success. This CD is for the true, die-hard Anthrax fans. We all voted for the songs on this CD on Anthrax.com. This "taking requests² strategy gives the fans a bit of ownership in the project and acknowledges that the fans' importance. Many of my picks were from the first two albums and many of them are included here, including "Death Rider", "Metal Thrashing Mad", "Gung-Ho" and "Panic" (Unfortunately another of my picks, "Raise Hell" didn't make the cut.) I am pretty surprised by many of the songs chosen here after watching those polls. The band vetoed a couple of high winners in the poll, which is good news to this fan. A pair of cover tracks, "Got the Time" and "Antisocial", got the boot in favor of original tracks from "Fistful of Metal". As I suspected, the sound is much improved on these newer versions. It's great to hear these classic thrash songs with such thick, meaty sound. However, that is not to say that this CD is overly polished. The live in the studio recording leaves the songs a little raw and rough around the edges, which actually works well and gives the album even more charm. Ahhh, but the big controversy here is John Bush. The band has claimed for years that Bush is a better singer than Belladonna, while many fans claim exactly the opposite. In my opinion both singers have their own charm and style. Bush pulls off a more than admirable job. Had his raspy voice been behind the band in the 80's, I honestly don't think they would have been any worse off, and may have even been better off. Who knows. The point is, Bush really proves he has what it takes here, especially on the lesser known tracks from "Fistful of Metal" and "Spreading the Disease". The reworked version of "Deathrider" is especially given new life. Bush led renditions of the five songs from Among the Living are less interesting as most long time fans have seen them do these songs live and heard them on this year¹s live CD/DVD release, "Music of Mass Destruction."
I can't quite say that this CD is better than the originals, as I will forever think of those as classics, but this CD is certainly a welcome addition to my Anthrax collection. After all, it doesn¹t really matter how the songs break down track by track with the originals. The point of this recording is to celebrate these classics with the current era of the band. Despite some cyncial metalheads claiming that Anthrax is just trying to cash in on their past, I certainly think this is much more desirable wasy to celebrate the past than just another 'best of' album. "The Greater of Two Albums" does mark another era for Anthrax as well. Sadly, this is the last album involving long time bassist Frank Bello.
Anthrax - Anthralogy: The Best Of Anthrax (1985-1991) (Universal Music) 2005
1. "Metal Thrashing
Mad" (Live in Germany)
A decent retrospective and overview of Anthrax's Belladonna years. This DVD compilation features a mix of concept clips and live clips. It's unfortunate that this wasn't turned into a 2-DVD set since the band has so much classic material that could have been included that was not. For instance, where is the video for "Antisocial"? The DVD extras include the “Madhouse” MTV version, a live montage of “I’m The Man” from the home video “Through Time”, a personal playlist option and a long band commentary of every video. The commentary was actually pretty entertaining to watch.
Anthrax - Extended Versions (Sony/BMG) 2007
1. "What Doesn't Die"
A cheap re-issued, censored version of "Music of Mass Destruction: Live in Chicago". This 10 song re-release is missing two songs from the original CD release and like the other "Extended Versions" CDs, has little to speak of in the packaging department. I guess I hadn't noticed just how much John Bush cussed on "Music of Mass Destruction", until I heard this reissue with the cuss words censored. It just sounds ridiculous like this. The music here is great. The band is tight and never sounded so good, but unless anyone sees this for a dollar or two, it's not worth picking up. Basically this is Sony's way of bilking a few more dollars out of material that has already been released. It might have been a worthy release if it were some unreleased live material or even contained a song or two not on the "Music of Mass Destruction" CD.
Anthrax - Worship Music (Megaforce) 2011
1. Anthem (4:38)
2. TNT (3:37)
3. Smokin' (4:21)
4. Keep On Runnin' (3:42)
5. Big Eyes (3:16)
6. Jailbreak (4:06)
7. Crawl [album version] (5:00)
8. Crawl [special remix] (5:03)
Anthrax have always recorded covers of songs they like and have always done so quite well. Their influences and range of tastes is pretty vast. In the past they have done covers of Thin Lizzy, Cheap Trick, Radiohead, The Police, U2, The Sex Pistols, Joe Jackson, Discharge, Celtic Frost, Husker Du and three or four Kiss covers, among many others. So the track listing here shouldn't be any surprise to fans of the band. "Anthem" contains six cover songs, inclining "Anthem" (Rush cover), "Jailbreak" (Thin Lizzy cover), "TNT" (AC/DC cover), "Smokin'" (Boston cover), "Big Eyes" (Cheap Trick cover), and "Keep On Runnin'" (Journey cover). As well there are two version of the single "Crawl" from the band's 2011 album "Worship Music". The band sticks fairly close to the original arrangements and feel of the songs and delivers a fun little covers EP. Joey Belladonna does an over-the-top great job on the vocals, proving that he's lost very little of his voice with age. The high parts on "Smokin'', "Anthem" and Journey's "Keep On Runnin'" are all nailed perfectly. Charlie Benante also delivers a fantastic performance, especially one the Rush cover of "Anthem" and Boston's "Smokin'". Of the six covers, "Big Eyes" and "Keep on Runnin'' are my favorites, probably because these two songs haven't been covered and overplayed to death. "TNT" and "Jailbreak"have been covered by any number of different band and in fact, Six Feet Under recorded covers of both songs as well. Regardless, this is a fun EP that I have already played numerous times, even after just owning it for a couple of days.