Friday, 20 May 2011

100 LPs Shortlist #8: Anthrax - "Persistence of Time"

I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday...

It was 1996. Radio JJJ were hosting Jason Newstead of Metallica to premiere the first single from their first album in 5 years - "Until It Sleeps". I was sitting in my car, in the carpark of a McDonalds, chomping on a caramel sundae, en route to my next guitar student's house. I was listening to this bass-player berate anybody who'd dare to speak up against the mediocrity of the song. I'd missed hearing the playing of the song so I paid no real attention to the jibbering.

They played it again. And I hated it. I was upset and outraged on so many levels.

In protest at the perceived weakening of the bands resolve and of their muscular sound, I went looking for some real thrash metal. Enter Anthrax.

"Persistence of Time" is the last album of the band's first, some would say "classic", period. Lead singer Joey Belladonna would leave/be fired not long after this album. It also happens to be their darkest, heaviest and most pummeling record to date.

In 1996, post-"Until It Sleeps", my need for metal was satiated by this record. I moved from my Metallica fixation and onto other things from here. It's still a perfect car album. The goosebump-inducing into to "Time" is still great. The seemingly strange choice of cover version contained within of "Got the Time" by Joe Jackson is incendiary.

Anthrax would morph and change into the 90s and beyond, but this was a unequivocal high point in their career. They never left heavy music behind, but they never made a record this consistent again. Turn it up and MOSH!!!!!

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