Anthrology: No Hit Wonders
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Heavy Metal & Thrash would be very different musical genres if not for many of the contributions made by New York based band Anthrax. Combining catchy lyrics and blistering riffs with thunderous drumming this band was special from the get go. They were energetic and intelligent and often showed a truly dark sense of humor with their material. Over the years there had been a number of lineup changes and while the music remained heavy there were subtle differences in some of its delivery. In 2005 the band would prove to have a banner year for on the 20th Anniversary of their release “Spreading The Disease”, the group reunited with all members of the “classic” lineup and celebrated with a World Tour. Once again the Metal Legions would get to experience Joey Belladonna, Scott Ian, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante and Daniel Spitz do what they did best together which was perform kick ass music. The release of “Anthrology: No Hit Wonders” takes selections from the following albums Spreading The Disease (1985), Among The Living (1987), State Of Euphoria (1988) and Persistence Of Time (1990), and also makes sure to use stuff from the EPs I'm The Man (1987), Penikufesin (1989) and Attack Of The Killer B's (1991). It is a celebration of this era’s work and fans of the bands life at the classic lineup time will love this. The John Bush fans however might have a problem for none of the material that he performs on is featured here.
Clearly this is a release that caters to the lineup that is spoken of with such respect, the “Old School” is what it is all about in this case. I admit that I enjoyed a number of songs that John did with the band but also felt that since this was the material I grew up I preferred he be left out. John fans can hear his take on the Anthrax classics on the release “The Greater Of Two Evils” to get there fill of his vocal styles. It was amazing to realize that Bush sang with the band more than twice the length of time that Belladonna did. Perhaps the future will hold a best of compilation based on the releases that Bush did with the band. However the case is still that the hard core Metal head will lean to this era in most cases. There was not much else they could have done to make this CD any better. The title is also smart since when one considers the scope of there catalog and then discover they were never really considered a hit maker in any sense of the word. It was seldom to find Anthrax played on anything other than College Metal stations or on select hours when Metal hit the mainstream radio waves.
In addition to the hits collection or dare I say “No Hits” collection the group is releasing a live DVD and CD from this recent tour. My high rating was pretty much due to this being such a comprehensive collection of the catalog. I think every song that I enjoyed and moshed or banged my head to is included here. With 30 tracks on a double CD it assures that all Anthrax fans will get the most for their money. It was a smart move to not only include album tracks but to also pull from the well of B-Sides since some of that stuff was so good. Packaging is ok with some liner notes on the whole package and some historical thoughts. This is a perfect CD is you are a new or old Anthrax fan as the material even seems to have been remastered for the release. Pick this CD up and remember what its like to be “Caught In A Mosh” once again.