The Angry Scotsman
Oh poor little Anthrax, the youngest (and silly) brother of the Big 4. A band who never took themselves too seriously, (comic books and thrash!) they made some serious music. However, they were always a bit "off" despite some good music. This is the album where they finally put it all together.
I can't put my finger on it, but Anthrax always had an interesting sound. It took me some time to get used to, but the music on this album is great. Thrashy, (very thrashy at times) but also lots of slower parts. Great riffs, awesome guitar work, good variation and flow to a lot of the songs. Blazing guitar solos and awesome bass. I love when you can hear the bass in metal, and Bello is a damn good one at that! Charlie Benante is the push behind it with his blast beats and blistering double bass. Indeed, it is Scott Ian's rhythm guitar and Benante's drumming that are the core of this album and really drive it. Though each musician is amazingly talented.
The vocals took some getting used to for me. Singing, (opposed to screaming) it can be a tad rough at times, but is not too big an issue. At times however, they can be quite good. If one does not like them, they are easy to ignore at least.
Well composed album, there is not a bad song and really now slow parts either. Album never drags or feels boring. Standout songs: Among the Living, Caught in a Mosh, I Am the Law.
One final point, usually sound quality does not mean much to me. However, on this album it is a bit poor. Maybe that is part of the "anthrax sound" I could never identify but the guitars can sound a bit strange and distant at times, but really the drums suffer. They don't sound too powerful, and the bass drums are often mild thuds. Hell, sometimes I can barely hear a distinct sound. Shame because his drumming is awesome and I wish it was more powerful.
Overall, great album and Anthrax's high point.