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Anyone who tells you that thrash metal only sounds good when it clocks in at 200 plus clicks on the metronome never heard “Persistence of Time”. Like almost every other genre of metal, the style does not ride simply upon the tempo, but on the overall attitude of the sound. If you bring the right amount of heaviness, angst and riffs, you’ll have thrash metal even when you’re flirting with traditional doom metal tempos. Granted, this single doesn’t slow things down that much, but this could technically be considered Anthrax’s answer to “South of Heaven”.
“In my world” sees the perfection of the epic thrash formula that was first established on “Among the Living”. Instead of simply providing a single minute intro to preface what is mostly a speed thriller, the song gradually builds from a mid tempo heavy ended rocker to a point of climax somewhere between the 4 and 5 minute mark. Dan Spitz spares no amount of intrigue during his lead break, but ultimately the punchy, gradually developed riff progressions drive this from start to finish. Anthrax has also succeeded on here in doing what Megadeth has repeatedly failed at on most of their material, which is put in a spoken narrative that doesn’t sound extremely hokey.
The B-side, which also appears as a featured track on the epic 5th album, takes a peak and valley approach to the longer thrash model. Benante eases up a little on the double bass work until called for during what is assumedly the pre-chorus section, but for the most part this switches back and forth between being slow and being mid-tempo. The guitar tone and riff sets are extremely heavy, being somewhat reminiscent of Metallica’s slower “And Justice for All” work, but with a solid bottom end. Belladonna’s vocals are mostly in a subdued mid range shout, occasionally getting rough edged, but avoiding any of the higher vocal acrobatics of the band’s mid-80s work.
This is the best of what you can expect out of the latter half of the band’s tenure with this line-up. Sure it might not be as fast as what you got on the last 2 albums, but it has far more variety and staying power than most of what they offer. This is basically just one more good reason to pick up the full length album, as you don’t really get much out of this that isn’t there aside from the album art, which is actually pretty bland compared to most of their other singles. But if you’re a rabid completist, happy hunting, as this is probably not very easy to find now.