- The Greater of Two Evils
|Review by: Megiloth|
2) Metal Thrashing Mad
3) Caught in a Mosh
5) Among the Living
6) Keep It in the Family
10) I Am the Law
11) Belly of the Beast
13) Be All End All
14) Gung-Ho / Lone Justice
Without a doubt, Anthrax was one of the granddaddies of the thrash metal scene of the 80’s. In the 90’s they sorta strayed from their roots after the departure of Joey Belladonna and Dan Spitz. Now the new version of the band is still good, but if you ask any Anthrax fan what their favorite albums are, the answer will be overwhelmingly be Among the Living and Spreading the Disease. It’s all the old stuff that people like, back when the band was at their peak. So with that in mind, The Greater of Two Evils is 14 tracks of old stuff covering the favorite tunes from Fistful of Metal to Persistence of Time. The tracks were selected by fans, and in a couple days in the studio, the band churned out a NiceFuckinCD.
The songs are played pretty much as straightforward as the originals, but with a few slight differences here and there, so it’s not like they totally redid the song. Well, I take that back, the opening “Deathrider” is 50% redone. The verses are slowed down and have more of a rhythm to them, but the chorus is full tilt like we all know and love…Charlie even does the cowbell hit before the last guitar solo. And speaking of slowing down, the songs do sound like they are a sliiiiiight bit slower. It’s like they took it down just a notch on tracks like “Caught In a Mosh” and “I Am the Law”. It’s probably not noticeable to the casual listener, but for someone like myself who has these songs hundreds, yea, thousands of times, I can tell the difference. The intros to “Madhouse” and “Belly of the Beast” stumped me at first, because they are new intros. It wasn’t until the songs actually started did I catch on to their ruse. The last track is listed as “Gung Ho”, but it’s more like “Gung Ho”, the chorus to "Lone Justice" played backwards, and “Lone Justice” the forward version.
Scott, Charlie, Frankie, John, and new guy Rob do an excellent job here. Scott is a riffing machine, and Charlie is the doublebass king…he even does blastbeats during “N.F.L.” so that perked my ears. This is Frankie’s last performance with the band, as he is now in Helmet. I think John is a better vocalist than Joey, so it was nice not to hear off key screams during some of those older tunes. Even though Dan is out of the band, Rob pulls off some of those lead solos like he’s been doing them for years.
If you are a fan of the band already, then this is a must have for your collection. It’s not another rehash and reissue of old songs that we’ve all heard, but rather the old songs performed live in the studio with the new lineup. Just because they’ve been around for more than 20 years doesn’t mean they’ve gotten old and lost their touch. One listen to “Panic” or “Gung Ho” puts that line of thinking to rest. No rap songs are present…thank God.
In closing, not that the band will read this review and heed my advice, but if their next release is anything like these thrash metal golden oldies, there will be lots of happy little thrashers donning Bermuda shorts and moshing around their living rooms.
**At the time I wrote the review, this was the lineup. Since then, the original lineup has reunited...KICK ASS!
MP3 Sound Clips (MP3 Disclaimer)