A new form of metal was born as bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax took their metal influences with hardcore punk fury, turned up the gain and mercilessly shred through BC riches. This pathed the way for all speed and thrash metal bands struggling against the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. The influence that bands such as Anthrax have had on music is very over-looked. Unlike Megadeth or early Metallica, they had the good sense to temper their often-serious music with a healthy dose of humour and realism.
A year before their experimental work with Public Enemy, Anthrax released ‘Persistence of Time’, one the last albums with Joe Belladonna taking the vocals. There’s a lot to say about this album, so let’s start at the beginning.
The opening of this album is the ticking of a clock. It gets faster; and soon, the instrumentals come in. A riff builds up and the vocalist comes in and takes this track very well. Like many songs on this album (or any album by Anthrax), the chorus is infectious, and gets into your head almost instantly.
‘Blood’ is a near faultless song. I use the word near because it tends to drag on at times. It has a length of over 7 minutes (as many songs on ‘Persistence’ have), but it somehow throws off the song. The drumming is tight and the bass is pounding on ‘Blood’ and it ends very well.
This is a real highlight for the album. ‘Keep It In The Family’ has a great rhythm; the guitars work really well with the bass and drums, all superbly complimented by the vocals. This song addresses small mindedness, and the barrier it sets around yourself when you’re unable to accept the people around you. The solo in this song is well timed and evocative to Iron Maiden. ‘Keep It In The Family’ ends with squealing feedback, fading out while the drums are still hammering on.
‘In My World’ has an addictive pulse put into the bass and supported in great strength by the drums. The chorus is again, the part that really stands out, but once the solo comes in, the instrumentals become very established.
‘Gridlock’, to me, sounds like Scott Ian was meant to prevail here. The solo is great; shred fans will really take to this one. Everything else seemed irrelevant on this track.
‘Intro To Reality’ makes a nice enough welcoming to ‘Belly Of The Beast’. It flows so well you won’t even realise the next song has started... I think that’s a good thing.
The singing seems more like chanting on ‘Belly Of The Beast’. The same chord pattern is repeated pretty much through the whole song and the drums are kept dancing on the tom-toms with each line ending with a short, quick crescendo.
The bass-line introduces probably the best song on the entire album. It’s very fast-paced, some say if you play it backwards, you can hear The Exploited giving instructions in the background. It’s less than 2 and a half minutes long, but it’s such a powerful song. If you’ve never heard a song by Anthrax, this would be a good one to start off with. A lot like ‘Indians’, it’s perfect for moshing and pogoing. It’s still on their live set today.
‘H8 Red’s satirical title suggests more than it intended to lead on. It has an energetic, piercing rhythm. The solo is raw and brutal, it carried it’s way to the next verse with great ease.
‘One Man Stands’ starts off very dramatically and the lyrics are very fitting. It screams in the name of freedom and the confused feelings involved. The energy in this track is so distinguished, it almost seems like their still a high school band, playing with a great passion and ambitious dreams.
Many albums tend to finish off with an epic song, but among many things to pick up from this album, it’s that there’s no need to conform or plagiarize. ‘Discharge’ is an impressive song and ends an outstanding album. For a few minutes short of an hour, they filled up the space very well.
: ‘Keep It In The Family’, ‘Got The Time’, ‘One Man Stands’.