2 of 5 thought this review was well written
Scott Ian - Rythm+Lead Guitar
Dan Spitz - Lead+Rythm Guitar
Joe Belladonna - Vocals
Charile Benante - Drums
Frank Bello - Bass
Anthrax is widely accepted as one of the "Big Four" bands of thrash metal(Slayer,Metallica and Megadeth are the other three). Anthrax is unique because they had a talented singer, they were the only one of the big four with more than 4 members,and they were from New York. These 3 things make Anthrax a different band. The fact that they had no members multitasking(ex. playing guitar and singing) meant that they could each focus on their own musicianship). The most obvious case is singer Joe Belladonna, who has a skilled voice unlike the rough growl or scream of the other big four. Anthrax,being from New York and not from the Bay Area also gave them a different sound.
This Album starts with "A.I.R.",which begins with slow riffing building up to the beggining of speed which is marked by drummer Charlies quick drum beats, Dan Spitz then plays a few quick lead fills before Joe Belladonna satarts to sing between quick guitar riffs. The chorus is catchy and shows off Joes voice.The song then slows down again, and riffing starts then Joe starts chanting,and Scott Ian provides solid rythm parts for Dan Spitz to solo over. The solo is moderate speed but it works well. Charlie's drums start up again before kicking into the last verse.
"Lone Justice" starts off with bassist Frank Bello and drummer Charlie Benante playing a rythm section intro, the guitars soon pick up and Joe starts his soaring vocals about sheriffs and justice and whatnot.The verse riff in this song is fast and catchy, and the hooks in the chorus are backed up by shouted vocals from the band. Dan Spitz then launches into a solo that is undescribable at the start but then works into a melodic piece and continues playing quick runs into the final chorus,the song ends with Joe Belladonnas high pitched singing.
"Madhouse" begins with an amusing conversation between a nurse and an inmate.Scott Ian's Intro lead fits the intro rythm riff perfectly, Joe Belladonna then begins his vocals from the perspective of an inmate in a madhouse.Some people will remember this song from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City,particularily the catchy chorus(Its a madhouse,or so they claim,It's a madhouse,Oh, Am I insane) The palm muted riffs in the background are great.The solo by Dan Spitz starts off by sounding like his guitar has a stutter, he then starts down low and works his way back up to the highend where he employs bends and other lead guitar techniques.The song ends the same way it started,amazing.
The next song "S.S.C./Stand or Fall" is no 4th track ballad like some other thrash albums(cough metallica).It starts off slow enough though with a classical style acoustic riff.Then it dives right in to good oldskool thrashing,Dan Spitz rips some good lead licks before launching into a solo that works its way up high.The drums in this song are nothing special and neither are the vocals.The chorus is not as catchy either with the band just shouting stand or fall repeatedly,which gets a little annoying)
"The Enemy" starts off similarly to Lone Justice with interplay between Charlie and Frank,Scott Ians Rythm guitar soon joins in and Joe Belladonna adds some structural vocals before Dan Spitz joins the party with some lead fills.The main riff is introduced quickly, the song then establishes a realtively slow groove for Joe to sing over.The lyrics are well written though and they chronical the Nazis before Slayer became a controversy doing so(Angel of Death) While this song has a solo there are more than enough well written,well placed lead licks from Dan that if there was no solo this song would still be one of the best on the album.
"Aftershock" starts with an almost punk guitar attack and fast paced duel bass drums.The verse riff is quick and good enough but it sounds alternate picked :angry: (I could be wrong).The chorus is good enough but is continuosly inturrupted by the rest of the band shouting hey.There are leads by both Dan and Scott,Dans is unimpressive if compared to his others on the album.Scotts sounds somewhat like a Slayer solo but slower and it ends the song with a dive bomb with the whammy bar.
"Armed and Dangerous" is track number 7, and as you start listening you think at least they took till track 7 to sell out and make a ballad,then it starts to sound heavy,but it goes back to being soft.Then in comes the distorted guitar and Joe screams and Dan plays a lead and the band continues but still not really heavy until Charlie leads them into thrash territory with some fast drumming, which leads to fast everything else. The solo is good but there are many better ones on the album.
"Medusa" starts off with a slow groove and Joe starts singing about,you guessed it Medusa. The vocals at some parts sound altered by effects and the drumming was probably one of the best parts of the song.The guitars are nothin special other than Dan's lead playing which is almost always amazing.The solo is good,nothing different which is good because Dan's playing is good and consistent.Once again be prepared by lots of backup vocals from the rest of the band.
The last song "gung ho" gets right to the point,no acoustic intros,no false power ballads just non stop double bass drums,fast riffing,and the band singing backup vocals.Dan's solo is short and sweet,he tends not to make long epic solos like other bands,but it works well in the music.Scott then plays a solo where he probably used a whammy bar more than a pick and he makes it seem as the song is ending.Then Charlie starts a military style drum roll as one of the guitarists goes Yankee Doodle Dandy on this songs ***.Then there is random cheering right before the song ends.
Rating: Good solid album,few songs are not up to par but others really shine(madhouse or the enemy)One of the best Anthrax albums,if you like thrash or metal in general take it as a 4/5 if you are just starting out on metal take it as a 3/5.You'd be better to check out Anthrax's 1986 masterpiece Among the Living or any of the other 1986 thrash masterpieces.