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Released to coincide with the Reunion of the "Classic" line-up from the Among The Living days of Belladonna, Ian, Spitz, Bello and Benante. Anthrology is a collection of all the "greatest hits" from the Belladonna years. Many will regard this as a poor cash-in, but is it really? On the whole, no.
First of all, the tracklisting is stellar. To choose a greatest hits compilation from a band who had 6 unbelievably good records is no mean feat, but they've done it perfectly on here. They've chosen to focus on 2 albums per disc, Among The Living/Spreading The Disease on Disc 1, and State of Euphoria/Persistence of Time on Disc 2, and basically taken a major chunk of each album, leaving out the filler material, and then added some B-Sides and EP Tracks. The best thing about this is that you get practically all the good stuff from each album, without the rubbish tracks, and I don't mean 2 singles per album and that's it. Each album has 6 or 7 songs each, and given that most Anthrax albums are about 9-11 songs long, you can see that the bulk of each album is represented. The additional rarities are welcomed, although the French Version is not exactly necessary Anthrax listening, but enjoyable nonetheless.
But it's the songs themselves that are the best bit about the album. This album reminds you just how many good songs Anthrax have. I Am The Law, Indians, N.F.L., Got The Time, Antisocial, Madhouse, Caught In A Mosh, A.I.R., Armed And Dangerous, I'm The Man, Bring The Noize. They're all instantly recognizable to any Thrash fan, but you never really notice that they're ALL Anthrax songs until they're all together. And together they are on this compilation. Also, there's a few hidden, unappreciated gems such as Gung-Ho and Skeletons In The Closet which will just floor you.
The only complaint would be the limit of the Belladonna-only policy of the CD. There's many great Anthrax songs from the Turbin (Deathrider and Metal Thrashing Mad) and Bush eras (Only, What Doesn't Die) which are excluded, but this would mean that there'd be less Belladonna stuff and I wouldn't want to lose a single track on this compilation. All of the stuff on the disc is top class as it is, and doesn't need altering at all.
Also, the packaging is top notch. The nod to The Beatles' Anthology is a great touch and the inclusion of the band themselves in the Artwork process as well as getting them to write Liner notes is a welcome effort, after the whole "Madhouse" debacle where Scott Ian pubicly denounced the record label's last compilation, criticizing the crappy, half-assed artwork and scalding the laziness of the company when they got their own tracklisting wrong. It certainly beats every single official Anthrax compilation and all the cheap cash-ins you can find anywhere and everywhere.
In conclusion, this Compilation is fantastic. It is by far, the single best Anthrax compilation yet, official and unofficial. It is one of the best Thrash metal compilations ever with dozens of great songs (The scary thing is tat there's just as many great songs left off the compilation). It could be seen as an attempt to get some money out of the Belladonna reunion in the absence of any New album, but it is done with finesse and most importantly, with the band's input. It deserves to be released and to be bought because, quite simply, it's a great package. For any new Anthrax fans looking for an Introduction, buy this and Among The Living, then work your way through the albums (Especially Fistful of Metal, Persistence of Time and Sound of White Noise). At the time of the tour, this was the perfect way to get ready for the tour, as this was basically the entire setlist covered. Every song which featured on the setlist was here. In retrospect though, with no album from Belladonna before the line-up's fragmentation (Possibly a good thing? Would it have lived-up to our expectations?), this will do just fine in showing how awesome Anthrax were with Belladonna, and how fantastic the reunion was, and how they didn't potentially ruin it with new Material.
The first time I heard Anthrax was while I played the game "GTA: Vice CIty" which has "Madhouse" featured on the radio channel "VROCK". It was hard for me to accept Joey Belladonna´s voice but I took the time to listen to their music over & over again until I finally started to love it all. I like all of their albums from "Fistful Of Metal" through "Persistence Of Time" & after that one it all started to go downhill.
With 6 great full lenght albums & 3 EP:s it's pretty hard to pick a couple of pieces from each one of them & put it on a compilaton album, but in this case they've actually made a great job with that. Since this is the only double disc compilation I've found by them it's of course the one I check out first too. I find this compilation very good & they've picked almost exactly my favorite tracks from each album with Joey Belladonna. All of the tracks has also been remastered & they all sound great.
The things that takes some of the quality from this compilation is the missing of "Raise Hell", "Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind" & a couple of tracks from "Fistful Of Metal". Yeah I know this was released due to the reunion & Joey didn't sing on "Fistful..." but it's the only album I like besides the Belladonna-albums. Except for these little notes it's an excellent compilation.
If you're new to Anthrax' music & want it to be a great start then this is a strongly recomended package that won't make you dissapointed. This is also for you old fans who wants these old classics remastered. A perfect buy for any fan of Anthrax or Thrash Metal...
What can you say about Anthrax that hasn’t been already said? These guys reunited the 1985 line-up a number of months ago and took part in the closing dates of Gigantour this summer with Megadeth. The Belladonna era has been the most popular of the line-ups among the fans, it’s the band that they could relate with and grew up with. Now they are back and are gaining new fans and exciting their existing fan base. Anthrax has had it’s fair share of best of collections, like with many bands there were always tracks that were bumped because of time constraints. Not the case with Anthrology, with two discs, there is room to please. Each disc includes 15 tracks a piece, disc one starts with Spreading the Disease to the I’m the Man E.P., disc two picks up with State of Euphoria to Killer B’s. There’s no exclusive new material to Anthrology, there is however, a French version of Antisocial, which can be found as an import single. None the less, it’s a great introduction to the kids that caught them on tour this summer and the old fans that haven’t replaced the cassettes with cd’s. Island Records have done a wonderful job with the packaging and gave the band input into this collection, it wasn’t a mad dash for your cash, they took their time. Dust off the Bermuda shorts and the Looney toones t-shirts, the boys are back in town.