“Icon” by Anthrax

Artist: Anthrax
Title: “Icon”
Label: Island/Universal Music
Release Date: 1/10/2012
Genre: Thrash Metal
Rating: 2.5/5

The latest edition of the “Icon” series gives fans of this line of releases a little dose of Anthrax and after the killer 2011 that the band experienced it did not surprise me to find it coming out. Right off the bat I could say that this is not a release for the tried and true Anthrax supporter and yet more suited for someone who has none of their material in their collection and is in need of a primer of some kind. The eleven tracks cover a wide range of releases but be aware that nothing from the bands John Bush era is featured and that is a bit of a shame considering how respected he was by the fans. Instead it’s a relative hodgepodge of selections that are delivered and a couple struck me immediately as “why is this here and not this other tune”. For instance while we get “Madhouse” and “Armed And Dangerous” we don’t get “Caught In A Mosh” and that made no sense since the band still plays the tune live. The band gets three covers on the album with “Antisocial”, “Got The Time” and “Bring The Noise” which I felt was fine since all of these tunes worked in the sense that they were supposed to. However why put “Belly Of The Beast” on instead of something like “Gung Ho” or “Medusa”? These songs were more important in the bands history also. I would have scrapped the bands revisit to their “I’m The Man” tune entirely or just put the original in place as opposed to singing about the time when they did that song. I’ve also grown super tired of “I Am The Law” which was their homage to Judge Dredd comics and there are very few Metal heads today who even know who that is thanks to Power Rangers, Transformers and other comic book properties that now command the big screens (and small). Oh well, it is what it is.

As I reviewed the release digitally I did not have artwork to examine but I do own several “Icon” editions and they don’t feature much in this area anyway. I guess that I cannot fault the labels for putting these kinds of hits pieces out since the industry is starving and it’s within their rights as owners of the back catalogue to do it. I do wish that they would make them exclusive digital purchases on either iTunes or Amazon.com as opposed to physical ones and then make them slightly more expansive. Perhaps “Icon 2” for Anthrax can be an exclusive John Bush era focus. That would work. So as I mentioned this is geared to the Metal fan who needs an introductory lesson to Anthrax or the diehard completest who MUST have every single release that comes out bearing their name.

Track Listing:
1. Madhouse
2. A.I.R.
3. Armed And Dangerous
4. I Am The Law
5. Indians
6. Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
7. Antisocial
8. Got The Time
9. Belly Of The Beast
10. Bring The Noise
11. I’m The Man ‘91

Official Website: www.anthrax.com

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