Review: Anthrax – Persistence Of Time

This review of Anthrax‘s Persistence Of Time started out differently to what you are about to read. Earlier this week, I was listening to Persistence in the car. The thrash-fest of Got The Time had just ended and H8 RED had begun. H8 RED = HATRED. “All this hatred, I can’t take it,” sings Joey Belladonna on the track. So, how long did it take me to figure out that H8 RED was actually ‘hatred’? Only 15 years! I’ve been listening to this album on and off since it was released in 1990 and only today did I make the connection! There is no excuse.

Initially, I was still impressed with Persistence. It was only when I started to think about the album for this review that I realised something: It’s nothing special.

The first few days of listening to Persistence was reliving it. I loved this album when it came out. I could sing along to the lyrics, wail along to a few of the guitar solos and generally rock along to Charlie Benante’s drumming. Maybe I’m slightly more discerning these days, but now it sounds a bit samey.

The Good Bits

Well, the major standout track on this album is Got The Time. Anthrax play this one punky, fast and don’t outstay their welcome – I think the song is less than three minutes long!

For me, the other standout tracks are Intro Into Reality/Belly Of The Beast, In My World and Keep It In The Family. There’s no real reason, just that I like these a bit more than the other tracks.

Where did it all go wrong?

Persistence Of Time was Joey Belladonna’s last ‘proper’ album with Anthrax (not mentioning Attack Of The Killer B’s). Maybe I’m tuned into this at the moment, but Belladonna’s voice on Persistence Of Time is very irritating! Many of the tracks are mediocre and have no real hooks.

This next point is purely personal, and probably comes from me living in a rural area, but the guitar sound on some of the tracks is like a tractor engine. When I was listening to this in the car, I found myself looking to see where the farmer was!

It didn’t help that I had burned a couple of early Anthrax tracks to the same CD: I Am The Law and Antisocial. The old classics sound much better by comparison, although I’d have to dig out State Of Euphoria and Among The Living to confirm this.

The Bottom Line?

Persistence isn’t the worst album ever realeased, but it doesn’t break new ground, won’t hold your attention and certainly won’t change your life. By a bizarre co-incidence, I happened to hit the Anthrax website while researching this and discovered that Belladonna is back in the band along with Dan Spitz (I didn’t know he’d even left!). There’s much consternation about this one the web – seems people actually liked John Bush! Time will tell how this one goes, but I’d go to the show if they ever land in Northern Ireland!

This review was originally written by me on 1 December 2006 and has been posted on various places online over the last few years. I’ve moved it here to keep a complete archive of my single and video reviews from my entire blogging career.

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