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This is the first Anthrax album I'd ever listened to, and it would have been the last if I hadn't been informed that their older material was purist thrash metal. Basically, this album delayed my love of Anthrax's old albums by like two years and for that I can never forgive it. It sucks ass and should be avoided.
The first song is "Potter's Field." Before you even get to hear new singer John Bush, you get a solid minute of static for an intro, and then a cool riff. Unfortunately, that's pretty much the only cool riff on the entire album. Most of the riffs are midpaced and generic, as are most of the leads. Worse still is the guitar sound. Shitty production combined with a grungy ass tone makes for fucking bad guitar sound. All this is evident before you even hear Bush sing. Bush himself isn't a bad singer necessarily, but his style of singing only reinforces the impression that this is album is just heavy grunge. He sounds quite reminiscent of the guy from Stone Temple Pilots, if that helps cast some light on his voice.
Grungy vocals, grungy lyrics, grungy riffs, grungy guitar tone....the album is pretty much grunge. The only thing that keeps this remotely metal is the powerful (but poorly mixed) drumming and the occasional too heavy for grunge riffs. Seriously, this is basically STP Vol. 4 if it was heavier and had only one ballad. Alice in Chains kicks the shit out of this nonsense.
Other demerits are deserved for the stupid song title of "Sodium Pentathol," spelled out in its chemical formula. Okay, you guys looked up a little chemistry. Here's a gold star, but nobody gives a shit.
This might be the worst thing Anthrax has ever done, but I haven't listened to the other John Bush albums to compare. It's hard to believe this is the same band that recorded Fistful of Metal. This album makes Load and Reload look like Ride the Lightning. Shitty sell-out grunge metal. If you really like grunge, fine, you'll love this, but don't dare confuse this with real metal, it's not even close.