Retro album of the month: May 2014

Hey everyone!

Well here we go a bit belated but here is your retro album of the month for the month of May! This album has the distinction of being my favorite metal album from my high school years. In fact this record was so influential on me in so many ways I can't even begin to explain! Let's go back to my sophomore year of high school. It was in the fall and I was a kid with my allowance looking for some new stuff. I had already just gotten into Anthrax but heard they had a new singer and a new album so I found this originally on cassette and once I heard it I was hooked. When I read a magazine article that had James Hetfield saying that the song "Only" is the "perfect song" I disagreed with him as I consider this the perfect album.

I listened to this album everyday on the way to school for 3 months and listened to almost nothing else. Christmas of 1993 was especially great because on the way to school in the bus it would take forever to get there and I would get almost a full listen from the entire album in.

At the time I didn't know who John Bush was as I had not gotten into Armored Saint yet but I loved his voice on this album. He just fits the music here so well and the band added a really modern and melodic edge to their music. Anthrax had matured as a band with Persistence of Time and Sound of White Noise just picked up where that left off.

I remember reading this metal edge article back then where the band talked about just how much they loved John Bush's voice and how it fit their music so much better than Joey did. I agreed to an extent.

While John Bush really fit this material than Joey Belladonna could ever have (just listen to Belladonna sing "Only" live) John's vocal range is different than Joey's and he really never fit some of the old stuff quite like Belladonna did. I will say this, Anthrax took a step forward musically by bringing John Bush into the band at the time and this record had such a profound impact on me in many ways.

First off I will say there is no song on this album that I dislike. Yes that's right I love each and every song on this thing. Second, the modern vibe helped me to appreciate the more modern metal sound that was going to come about with many thrash metal bands at the time (OverKill and Testament for example) and lastly, it helped me get into Armored Saint which was Bush's former and of course now current band that he sings in.

Some of the songs that had the biggest impact on me from this album were "Only", "Room for One More", "Hy Pro Glo", "1000 Points of Hate", "Black Lodge" and "Sodium Pentathol".

All in all if you like modern metal or want to take a flash back to the past then definitely check this album out and revisit it. If you have never heard it then what are you waiting for?! Get the expanded edition for a lot of awesome bonus tracks and find the single for "Black Lodge" for some really cool versions of that song along with a couple of other killer B-Sides.

Going back and listening to this album has brought back a lot of awesome memories and to this day this record still resonates with me as much as it did 20+ years ago!

-Tony Webster 5/28/2014

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