ANTHRAX is the bastard child of the Thrash genre. No other Thrash band responsible for the development of the scene has been neglected so often and for so long. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that their early releases are nice slabs of Thrash but nothing to write home about. Or maybe due to the fact that these guys lost their minds and decided Rap and Metal went together like peanut-butter and jelly. Well, if you would be placed in the former of these two opinions, then this album is for you. Pick up a pen and write home now, as this is epic Thrash, pure and simple.
The album delivers a fist to the face which sends your head rocking back and forth, never to stop banging, from the get-go. Starting off with a gentle tick-tock it sets a quizzical tone which is uplifted by a quickening in pace of the clock’s sounding. Ultimately the ticking of the clock is cut off by a heavy as hell riff which gets behind that punch to the face and digs its knuckles deep into your flesh. This is ANTHRAX and they have come to pummel you.
This is THE ANTHRAX album to own without a doubt. Joey Belladonna gives the performance of his career with his emotionally-tinged screaming. The guitar tone found here is absolutely wicked and much thicker than New York Thrash contemporaries OVERKILL. The riff work is utterly memorable and full of energy, managing to lift the album from above-average to amazingly spectacular. The riffs truly are excellent and Spitz and Ian know just how long to draw out a riff before tossing in a new one, never letting go of your attention. Dan Spitz solos are quite effective as well. They are scattered about the 11 compositions and not too prevalent to distract from the music at hand. This is also the most intense drum performance behind the kit in these guys discography. Variety abound and enough fills and interesting double-bass attacks to decapitate a person without a head. The melody found here is also remarkable to say the least. By including this subtle addition to their sound, ANTHRAX varies things enough to offer something truly unique separating themselves from the atypical Thrash peppering the scene.
We are also given a very intellectual ride concerning the lyrics found on “Persistence Of Time”. In the typical 80’s fashion, we are thrown many catchy as hell choruses which challenge the listener to remain silent. Who doesn’t enjoy a good bellowing of, “I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid, nothing touches me; I’m a walking razorblade!” No trail of tears here, just crying due to the monumental assault of riffs slicing through your chest.
This is ANTHRAX’s best because of three reasons:
1) This is goddamn dark and anger filled a step above earlier material. Maybe this is due to the fact that the band had studio problems in recording this Thrash monster, or perhaps due to the fact that the band was having problems with Belladonna which ultimately lead to his split and weaker material.
2) Dan Spitz and Scott Ian brought a plentiful bag of riffs with them in the song-writing process and can not run out. They shove them into every orifice of your body until you are ready to burst with aggression, head flying and banging all the way.
3) Everything comes together and fits like a deadly puzzle. Nothing comes across as awkward or takes away from the release. This is pure Thrash of high quality featuring excellent writing and unbridled intensity.
Check this album out and recognize who was responsible for the formation of the Thrash scene, along with all the other bands spoken of quite often. This rocks quite hard and does let up the hour of its length. (Online May 31, 2005)