Review: Anthrax – Sound Of White Noise

Did you read my review of Persistence Of Time? Sound Of White Noise sees Anthrax kick out Joey Belladonna (for artistic differences, if I remember correctly) and recruit ex-Armoured Saint frontman, John Bush and Anthrax sound much better for it!

First Impressions

Sound Of White Noise is a vast improvement on Persistence. The overall sound quality is much clearer and more modern than Persistence Of Time. The songs are more individual and catchy too. Where Persistence was very straight ahead, almost bone-headed thrash in places, it lacked grooves, refinement.

The album is based around themes of anger and hatred, in keeping with earlier Anthrax material, but I think Bush’s voice carries the songs much more effectively than Belladonna.

The Best Bits

Potters Field, an excellent intro track with a really funky riff. I can’t remember Anthrax ever attempting anything like this before. Black Lodge is the first time I’ve heard Anthrax tackle a more atmospheric type of song. The tremolo in the intro, and the subdued vocals are excellent and easily my favourite track on the album.

I love the earlier tracks in the album, especially Packaged Rebellion, Room For One More and Only. Once you get into the album, you’ll be singing along to every track. The outro vocals on Only are excellent for singing along to – really throaty and gritty!

The Worst Bits

I can’t think of a single weak track on this album! I’ve been listening to Sound Of White Noise in the car for about three weeks now and unlike Persistence, I haven’t yet begun to tire of it. I’ve been terrorising the roads of Northern Ireland for weeks, singing this at the top of my voice!

The Verdict

Despite being twelve years old (Sound Of White Noise was released in 1993), it still sounds fresh today. This is an important Anthrax album, because it marks a very successful transition between lead vocalists. Joey Belladonna had been synonymous with Anthrax for years, and the departure of such an established lead singer could have signalled the death of better bands!

Anthrax survived this and hit back with possibly the best album of their career. I haven’t heard the earlier albums Among The Living or State of Euphoria in a while, but I’m betting they haven’t aged nearly as well as this. If you’re a fan of Anthrax, you should already have this!

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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