Review Summary: Anthrax stays the course, but does nothing special.An Anthrax Story:
Episode VII: Stomp 442
After the release of Sound of White Noise, our heroes we're getting more commercial exposure, but at the expense of the support of their hardcore fans (something not uncommon with the rest of the Big Four, which seemed all to be veering away from their thrash roots). Anthrax certainly didn't sound the same: the riffs had more distortion, the drums had throttled back on the blastbeats, and the bass no longer seemed to occupy the privileged spot it once had. While Belladonna had distinguished himself for over the top falsettos and a superbly clean tone, Bush was doing the opposite: he sang in a baritone style, and sounded much like Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots (this was probably all on purpose, so as to blend in with the alternative rock fashion of the time).
Yet another factor which would dent Anthrax's sound was the departure of lead guitarist Dan Spitz. While it may not seem relevant to some listeners, Spitz possessed a clean tone, and could shred very well (he's easily one of the most overlooked guitarists in metal). Not replaced by another official lead guitarist, Paul Crook and Dimebag Darrell would fill in the blanks when it came to the solos.
So, at this time the band's lineup is:
Scott Ian: Rythm Guitars
Frank Bello: Bass
Charlie Benante: Drums
John Bush: Vocals
As I said, this album has plenty of missing ingredients. While the album gets going well for the first couple of songs, it's not long before boredom sets in. And that's the problem with this album: it's BORING.
The band can make enough good beats to catch your interest, but the album as a whole just doesn't deliver. Monotony, dullness and lack of any real rock n' roll inspiration drain this record like crazy. The band doesn't really seem to be having any fun at all here, they sound as if they played without wanting to.
While at least Sound of White Noise had some enyoable songs which can easily become guilty pleasures, Stomp 442 has arguably less interesting moments, and just feels too recycled. Do yourself a favor and don't pick this up unless you really need it.
Episode VIII: Volume 8: The Threat is Real