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“Alive 2: The DVD” by Anthrax

Artist: Anthrax
Title: Alive 2 (2005) The DVD
Label: Sanctuary Records
Release Date: 9/20/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

One of the biggest Metal happenings in 2005 definitely had to be the reunion of the classic Anthrax line up of 1985. It was 13 years since the Metal Community saw Joey Belladonna, Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, Dan Spitz and Frankie Bello on the same stage once again and this film gives us a front row seat to the action. The “Among The Living” lineup is revered and respected in the Metal world for the impact that they had on the genre overall. Recorded on June 3, 2005 at New Jersey’s Starland Ballroom you are brought right into the mosh pit and will not suffer any damage as a result of it. I attended this piece of Metal history and have a comprehensive concert review elsewhere on the site and I can only tell you that as crazy as it looks you had no idea of how wild and fun this was unless you were there. Watching the video made me recall the absolutely killer time that me and my Friends all had as Anthrax belted out “hit” after “hit”. The band sounded incredibly tight for such a recent reunion and given this was the first real performance it was truly incredible. I looked back to my notes on the concert to confirm that several songs were left off of the DVD. Songs like “Got The Time”, “Antisocial”, “Metal Thrashing Mad” and “Lone Justice” did not make the cut for some reason and this was probably my only disappointment. Perhaps licensing was an issue with the covers, but I think the others should have remained. There is a chance that they did not come out good on the film because one of them makes an appearance on CD in “Antisocial”. I think it would have been smart to release the entire show which would make it the perfect memento of this historic performance. The overall production on the DVD is excellent and the sound and use of camera angle works very well. When I saw the show I only saw one boom camera and did not notice anyone else around shooting. I am glad there was more than one for that would have made this a very dry DVD to watch.
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“No Hit Wonders” by Anthrax

Artist: Anthrax
Title: “Anthrology: No Hit Wonders (1985-1991)
Label: Universal Records
Release Date: 9/20/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8.5/10

Heavy Metal & Thrash would be very different musical genres if not for many of the contributions made by New York based band Anthrax. Combining catchy lyrics and blistering riffs with thunderous drumming this band was special from the get go. They were energetic and intelligent and often showed a truly dark sense of humor with their material. Over the years there had been a number of lineup changes and while the music remained heavy there were subtle differences in some of its delivery. In 2005 the band would prove to have a banner year for on the 20th Anniversary of their release “Spreading The Disease”, the group reunited with all members of the “classic” lineup and celebrated with a World Tour. Once again the Metal Legions would get to experience Joey Belladonna, Scott Ian, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante and Daniel Spitz do what they did best together which was perform kick ass music. The release of “Anthrology: No Hit Wonders” takes selections from the following albums Spreading The Disease (1985), Among The Living (1987), State Of Euphoria (1988) and Persistence Of Time (1990), and also makes sure to use stuff from the EPs I’m The Man (1987), Penikufesin (1989) and Attack Of The Killer B’s (1991). It is a celebration of this era’s work and fans of the bands life at the classic lineup time will love this. The John Bush fans however might have a problem for none of the material that he performs on is featured here.
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Anthrax @ Starland Ballroom (6/3/2005)

Logo - Anthrax

Artist: Anthrax
Venue: Starland Ballroom – NJ
Opener: unsigned band
Label: Sanctuary Records
Date: 6/3/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal

Reunion Shows. The premise almost seems to lose its special sense when find yourself hearing about reunion after reunion of bands that had little or no impact on music or get faced with an astronomical fee to see such a performance. In any event none of these scenarios would be the case tonight. For this evening, on a rainy June night the 1985 lineup of Anthrax, quite possibly the most influential Thrash Metal bands in Heavy Metal history would take to the stage once more. Yes, you are reading this correctly as once again would Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, Frankie Bello, Dan Spitz and Joey Belladonna be joined as one unit to pull out all of the stops for their ardent fans. Starland Ballroom would be the place for the show, and I have continually enjoyed attending gigs at this venue. There are so many places to potentially stand and get a great visual of the bands and the sound system always seems good to me. I feel this would not have worked in Roseland Ballroom for it’s difficult to see if you are not immediate front. This event was sold out almost immediately and honestly that is a nice show of support of these guys from New York. I got myself a good position which was tough due to the capacity crowd and from this vantage point I got to safely review the activity from the ever swelling mosh pit. I briefly was able to catch up with Jack Frost of Seven Witches and D.D. Verni of Overkill. These guys were milling about and checking in with their friends and fans as everyone got set to witness a killer set by Anthrax. This show would be the first official performance of the tour and they would also be filming it for a soon to be released DVD. As a result everyone in the club was now taking part in something twice as historic. In front of the stage the screen had an image saying “welcome to the idiot convention”. Clearly Anthrax had not lost an ounce of their sense of humor in the twelve years that this lineup had been together.
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“Music Of Mass Destruction” by Anthrax

Artist: Anthrax
Title: “Music Of Mass Destruction”
Label: EMI Music
Release Date: 4/20/2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 7.5/10

Continuing the trend of metal bands that are giving fans the most value for their money is Anthrax and their release of “Music Of Mass Destruction”. This Live DVD and CD piece is a good way to enjoy the music of Anthrax in your own “Safe Home” as there is no way to be “Caught In A Mosh” if you do that (of course that depends on who you invite over to watch and how much room you have where you entertain). The recording was filmed during the tour which supported the release of “We’ve Come For You All” and it is chock full of Anthrax standards and some of the newest material from this killer CD. A full 18 songs running about and hour and a half. You are bound to find some of your favorites on this one. I really liked the inclusion of “Got The Time” and “Antisocial” as for cover tunes, Anthrax certainly managed to leave their mark on them for the future. I also was a big fan of “Only” and wish more music from “Sound Of White Noise” was featured since that particular CD was a killer also.
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“The Greater Of Two Evils” by Anthrax

Artist: Anthrax
Title: “The Greater Of Two Evils”
Label: Sanctuary Records
Release Date: 2004
Style: Heavy Metal
Rating: 6/10

Anthrax has been an ever-evolving musical beast for many years. In 1993 when John Bush lead singer from Armored Saint replaced Joey Belladonna the music would remain heavy but the vocal styling would cause a ripple of difference. Some people loved it, while some could care less. Those that loved John being an addition, embraced the singer for his enthusiasm and presence on the stage. Those who could not look past the old material would remain such for in truth the vocal styles were from opposite sides of the spectrum. In a live setting, material that Bush created with them was dead on however the classic and vintage tunes were too different. Joey sang in a much higher register than John and was not the screamer that his predecessor was.
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