I do some stupid shit sometimes. A couple weeks ago, while waiting in a dive bar for The Dwarves to annihilate northern Indiana, my esteemed colleague Jack Botos asked me if I’d heard the new Anthrax yet. “No,” I replied, “Why the fuck would I give a shit about Anthrax?” But that got me thinking about the venerable Thrashers and this then-still-upcoming album. This band hasn’t been on my new-release radar for almost two decades, and with good reason. Oh, sure, I liked 1993’s Sound of White Noise, and thought that Joey Belladonna’s vocal replacement, John Bush (Armored Saint), did a mostly excellent job. Hell, I even listen to some old Anthrax every once in a blue moon to remind me of my (much!) younger days. But as soon as I discovered that Dirtnap Darrell was contributing a couple guitar solos to Sound’s follow-up, 1995’s Stomp 442, I couldn’t even bring myself to give it a chance. Now, after two more new LPs, and an avalanche of live albums, DVDs, and “greatest hits” collections, Bush was wished the best of luck with his future endeavors, and Belladonna is back. His vocals are not as always annoying as I remember, which is great. But the music is far more “Groove Metal” than I can possibly tolerate. I’m also unclear about how anyone could write a song called “Judas Priest” that is in no way about the band, however in this case it’s for the best, since the track is generally terrible. That’s an accurate description for the entire album, as well. There are some passable moments, even some enjoyable ones, but they’re utterly overshadowed by the Butt Rock elements, and the Groove Metal riffs all over the place. Really, what else did I expect from Anthrax in 2011? I should have known better, but I guess that I just wanted to shoot up a little false hope.
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Jon Konrath said:
+1 for “dirtnap Darrell”
What did Botos think of it?
I just listened to the iTunes previews and it doesn’t sound that horrible, but yeah, the various butt-rock elements make me unable to pull the $9.99 trigger on this one.
Dude, you’d have to PAY me $9.99 to own this album. I’ve tried to like Anthrax for two decades and to this day, the only good thing I can say about the band is that some of the guys were also in S.O.D. Here in the Bay Area, they were always considered to be kind of a joke band (like Lawnmower Deth but not as funny) - especially after “I’m The Man”. It always seemed like they didn’t want to be taken seriously - from the loud, ugly Bermuda shorts to Scott Ian’s goofy hair styles - so I never did. As much as I liked Armored Saint, I could never reconcile John Bush’s vocals with Anthrax’s music. When I heard that Joey Belladonna was back, I found some tracks that someone put on YouTube but I found the music to be pretty much what I expected. I wouldn’t pay for what I heard. The addition of butt-rock to their sound is just another in a long list of reasons why I don’t listen to Anthrax. If I want to listen to Thrash, I have Exodus, Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer.
Jon: I doubt that Jack’s listened to the album -he just thought that I might have, since he’s probably heard me mention Anthrax over the years without vomiting.
Ychoril: Your comment is better than my review!
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