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Anthrax | Anthrology No Hit Wonders | review | metal | Lollipop


Anthrology: No Hit Wonders (1985-1991) (Island)
by Tim Den

A no brainer here: Anthrology... contains - what else? - the veteran thrash band's brightest moments during its fabled Belladonna era, no doubt to coincide with the recent reunification and touring cycles of said line-up. But therein lies the problem: Having already struggled with this, their mythical "golden age," for the past 13 years as John Bush helped the band usher in a new, stompier identity, it's almost cringe-inducing to see the same ol' batch of songs getting milked for all they're worth. AGAIN. Just after Sound of White Noise (Bush's debut with Anthrax), Island issued Live: The Island Years. And then came Return of the Killer A's, Madhouse: The Best Of, and even re-recordings of the old classics in the form of The Greater of Two Evils. It was as if the band could not get away from its past, no matter how hard they tried. So is it any wonder that this comp (and its counterpart, Alive 2 (2005)) isn't selling? It's because the fans have heard the same tunes over and over again for the past 20 years! And right after the killer The Greater of Two Evils and Music of Mass Destruction, too, where the Bush line-up more than proved their worth. We don't need "Caught in a Mosh" AGAIN! We've heard Belladonna AND Bush sing it a zillion times! If this contained any surprises, it'd at least be worth its existence. But no, it's everything you'd expect: "Among the Living," "Indians," "Got the Time," etc. Chances are, you already have these songs in one form or another. Anthrology... is as useless as they come.

The DVD version has fewer songs, but all of Anthrax's music videos, plus some live excerpts from Oidivnikufesin N.F.V., their home video from the Among the Living tour. Is it essential? Not if you already own Music of Mass Destruction, which sounds and looks WAY better. Don't get me wrong, I was as stoked as a 15 year-old at the regrouping of the "classic line-up." I lost my shit when I finally got to hear Joey sing the songs live. But releasing predictable comps just to have a product to "push" is fucking lame. If this is about celebrating the band's 20th anniversary, then just play a lot of shows (which they're doing), let the fans come and enjoy, play more surprises than what we've all heard countless times, and walk away with dignity. Instead, Bush and "new" lead guitarist Rob Caggiano have been made to feel useless (especially after the effort they put into The Greater of Two Evils), and what should've been a through-and-through happy occasion has (yet again) been turned into a money-making scheme by the music business. For shame.


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