Written By Braddon S. Williams

Anthrax: Sound of White Noise

The John Bush era of Anthrax is generally overshadowed by the Joey Belladonna releases, but 1993’s Sound Of White Noise was a completely satisfying update on the Anthrax style.

Dave Jerden’s production explored a darker tone that matched Bush’s lower vocal register and brought in some new sonic influences that fit in well with the Anthrax attack.

There was still plenty of aggression to be had, too.

Anthrax were definitely not mellowing out with age, just redefining their approach with a new singer.

I love the entire album and used to listen to it straight through, but my favorites would include Black Lodge, Room For One More, Potters Field, 1000 Points Of Hate, Hy Pro Glo, Packaged Rebellion, and of course, Only.

Only is one of the best songs Anthrax ever wrote.

In fact, it is so good that Joey Belladonna even sings it in concert.

John Bush was the singer the first time I saw Anthrax, and it was a fantastic performance.

I believe it was the tour supporting Sound Of White Noise, so that is one more solid reason for that excellent album to appear on this list.

https://youtu.be/ZWSPItDCOkI

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Among The Living established Anthrax as one of The Big 4 of thrash metal in 1987. Where Slayer were fast and scary, Anthrax were fast and fun…2 different approaches that both rocked in a huge way. Of the Big 4, Anthrax were the only band from the East Coast, and they openly incorporated their love of movies, comics, and Stephen King novels into their songs. Among The Living’s title song was inspired by King’s The Stand, where I Am The Law drew its inspiration from the Judge Dredd comic book. Caught In A Mosh and Indians became thrash anthems and have remained in the band’s live sets throughout most of their career. Slayer and Anthrax, despite their musical differences, have toured together many times and are currently embarking on Slayer’s farewell tour. I think they compliment each other perfectly and I look forward to seeing them next week. Time to get Caught In A Mosh!

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

On this date in history, 8/21/1993, I saw Anthrax, White Zombie, and Quicksand at Deer Creek, in Noblesville, IN. Quicksand began the show with a punishing set of their own unique brand of post-hardcore metal. They were touring in support of their debut album, Slip, which went on to influence the likes of Deftones and many others.

White Zombie followed with their patented horror themed insanity. This was my first time to see all the bands on the bill, and from that day forward, anything Rob Zombie has been involved in has had my attention.

Anthrax were in the era when John Bush was their lead singer, and he did a tremendous job. I knew of him from his work with Armored Saint and have always loved his voice. He was a perfect fit for Anthrax, even though Joey Belladonna will always remain their most popular front man.

Bush sounded great on the classic stuff, but had also contributed heavily to one of the best Anthrax tracks of all time, “Only.” For bonus cool points, Anthrax threw in a crushing rendition of “Thieves” by Ministry…pure adrenaline rush!

My son Luke was 8 years old and had discovered the word “mosh” and he kept telling me he was going to mosh. I told him repeatedly that he wouldn’t be doing that, as he was too young and small.  When Anthrax played “Caught In A Mosh” near the beginning of their set, a colossal circle pit materialized in the center of the lawn and Luke ran down onto the walkway between the lawn and the pavilion and looked up at me in wide-eyed intensity and proclaimed “I’m not going in there!” I told him that was a pretty good idea and inwardly smiled a huge smile! Every band killed that night and Luke became a gigantic Rob Zombie fan. Proud papa? You bet!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Day in History

On this date in history, 7/15/2012, the 5th installment of the Mayhem Festival made its annual visit to Deer Creek, and my friends and I were part of the metal masses in attendance.

This show featured Slipknot, Slayer, Motörhead, As I Lay Dying, Anthrax, The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria, Whitechapel, Upon A Burning Body, I The Breather, Dirtfedd, Betraying The Martyrs, Hemlock, and our hometown heroes, the mighty Threat Level.

I am unable to comment on each band, but will do my best to spotlight the bands I enjoyed the most and welcome comments from anyone in attendance who may wish to fill in the blanks and give a review on any of their favorites.

The first band to attract my interest was Upon A Burning Body, but as good as they were, they were absolutely obliterated by Whitechapel, who played a singularly vicious set, raising the brutality bar to the highest echelons of intensity.

Anthrax have long been a favorite of mine, and they appeared to be in fine form on this day, but I was only able to catch 2 or 3 songs before I had to make my way to the stage where my friends in Threat Level were set to detonate the crowd gathered for their crushing performance. The band; comprised of Frank Rapacki on vocals, Troy Welch on guitar, Jason Weaver on bass, and Chad Smith (not THAT Chad Smith) on drums, had won a regional battle of the bands to secure their spot on this show and they made the most of it, impressing the large and boisterous assembly awaiting the band’s powerful blend of groove and thrash metal, topped by Rapacki’s roaring voice. Some fierce pit action accompanied favorites from their Leading The Vicious and A World Beyond Devastation albums.

After a much needed break following Threat Level’s set, I was ready for the trinity of terror comprised of Motörhead, Slayer, and Slipknot. Lemmy and company were a band on my bucket list and they were every bit as wonderful as I expected them to be. Mickey Dee drummed like a man possessed, Phil Campbell provided the guitar carnage, and the immortal Lemmy played the superhuman, jet propulsion bass and rasped out his one of a kind and singularly irreplaceable vocals on a set full of thunderous Motörhead majesty, including  “Ace Of Spades”, and “Overkill”, with its 2 false endings and the furious finale with nothing but truth.

Slayer followed with their diabolical majesty, continuing the onslaught that wouldn’t abate until the concert ended. Dave Lombardo was still in the drum throne at this time, and for my money he is the undisputed king of metal drumming. Jeff Hanneman was absent by this time and Gary Holt from the band Exodus did an admirable job of filling some nearly impossible shoes to fill. Kerry King and Tom Araya did what they have always done, with King hammering the riffs with beastly intent and causing sonic disturbances and eardrum lacerations with his punishing leads, and Araya summoning up that VOICE, the mouthpiece for the Slaytanic war ensemble.

A crushing performance it was…and this left the 9, the masked minions of Mayhem, the circus of the damned known as Slipknot to take us to the finish line as only they can. Joey Jordison was the 3rd and final superpowered drummer I had the joy to witness back to back to back in this amazing display of ferocious multi limb dexterity. Corey Taylor added his voice to the hall of fame duo of Lemmy and Araya, and the rest of the Iowa based madmen did what they do, delivering visual thrills and chills and a whole lot of metallic bombast.

This one may not have been the strongest lineup overall, but it definitely was the one with the strongest 1-2-3 punch to end the show of any of the Mayhem Festivals.

Written By Braddon S. Williams AKA The Concert Critic

On This Day in History