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Anthrax's HIGHEST point!,
This review is from: Volume 8: The Threat is Real [New Version with Bonus Tracks] (Audio CD)
This is certainly an album that splits the vote. The only certainty is that it's the one that crept under the radar; the early Anthrax material is very well known; Persistence of Time, Stomp 442 and Sound of White Noise signalled a revival in musical respect after the excesses of image that rather overshadowed their efforts in the late 80's. But "Threat"? Off the radar.
When I bought this way back in 98, it was almost under duress. I quit Anthrax along with Belladonna, viewing the whole thrash scene as tired, derivative and dominated by growlers. Boring. A friend of mine raved about the record, so I bought it eventually, slapped it on, and was hooked - maybe not from "Crush", which is a respectable opening but nothing outstanding; maybe not from "Catharsis" which was a good rocking number and certainly boded well; but from the pounding energy of "Inside Out", yes! "PnV", top notch metal number with a killer chorus! "Toast to the Extras", not typical Anthrax, granted, but so what? Have some fun from time to time! "Harm's Way", includes acoustic and slide, some top notch vocals, and is the outstanding track on the album (plus the bonus, "Pieces" - makes you wonder why Anthrax don't venture more into ballad territory, cos they can certainly hack it there). I don't want to go through the track list verbatim, suffice to say that when I listen to this, I never cherry-pick the best tracks; I stick it on and listen to every one because there isn't one I want to miss.
Yes, there are nods to other acts of the time, particularly Pantera. So what? There are no rip-offs, just a band introducing aspects of something that has influenced them into their own sound - just as bands like Pantera were influenced by Anthrax. This is reinforced by Dimebag's appearance on "Inside Out".
If there is a down-side, it's the fact that as a result of hearing "Threat" first, I've never really got the big buzz about "Stomp" and "White Noise" - top records both of them, but "Threat" is better. Also, I guess, that they weren't able to follow it up; "We've Come For You All" was a dog of an album. Anyway, I digress. I think it's an excellent record. Some say it isn't. I reckon you should buy it and make up your own mind.