Review Summary: It takes some patience, but with persistence and time Anthrax’s 5th studio effort will be tick tick ticking in your head.
Anthrax’s fifth effort, Persistence of Time
is often referred to as the band’s longest and most inaccessible album. Some even state the album isn’t as enjoyable as the band’s other material due to an obvious change in the band’s direction both musically and lyrically. However, I don’t see what all the fuss is about as I’ve been having a hell of a time spinning the album lately. It won’t happen overnight, but with patience “Persistence of Time” is every bit as rewarding as anything else by the US thrashers.
One of the obvious stars of the album is Joey Belladonna. His vocals just have a way of getting stuck in your head and he sounds phenomenal on this release. Throughout the album he constantly switches between his gruffer vocals and his higher pitched singing voice. This can be heard on the impressive opening track ‘Time.’ It’s the first of three songs to clock in near the 7 minute mark, but thanks to strong musicianship there’s not a dull moment. Accompanying Belladonna’s signature voice is the always impressive guitar work courtesy of Dan Spitz and Scott Ian. Spitz provides the loud thrashy guitars while Ian adds the groovy rhythm sections and their talent really shines on the opening track. The next two songs follow pretty much the same formula, proving the band can still create an enjoyable thrash experience while slowing things down a notch.
The second half of the album has some real gems as well as an unexpected curveball. Following the standout tracks ‘Intro to Reality’ and ‘Belly of the Beast’ is the fun, fast-paced ‘Got the Time.’ It’s the shortest song on the album and it may seem out of place but that doesn’t keep it from being one of the most memorable, addicting tracks on the album. Unlike the other songs it also shows off some punk influences, but it’s the sing-along chorus that makes it a real winner. Next up is ‘H8 Red’ which is another song in which Belladonna steals the show with his top notch vocals. Although the album does seem to lose some steam towards the end, the band closes it well with the aggressive ‘Discharge.’
There’s no reason to believe Anthrax weren’t still on top of their game with Persistence of Time
. It may not be as immediate as the band’s other work, but Belladonna and company sound as good as ever on the band’s 5th studio album. After multiple listens and some 'ahem' persistence, you’ll find the songs getting stuck in your head. Whether it’s the gang vocals on ‘Blood’ or the outstanding guitar work found on ‘Time’ and Belly of the Beast’, each song has something to offer making Persistence of Time
another excellent offering in the band’s discography.