As a long time Anthrax fan I can say without a doubt that remastered versions of their Island catalog was waaaaay overdue. All in all, this is a nice compilation of their 4 studio albums as well as some EP stuff from 85-91. Where my gripe comes about with this is that basically well over half of each record (Spreading the Disease, Among the Living, State of Euphoria and Persistence of Time) is represented in this compilation. Personally, I’d sooner they would have just re-released those four records completely remastered. It eliminates the omissions that every long-time fan is going to have.
Now the positives are this. These songs sound amazing compared to the original releases. It is so nice to finally have an upfront and agressive mix of a song like “Be All, End All” that gives the song the punch it always had but the poor production always took from it. It is also cool to have the track that really surprised me, being their cover of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” remastered. It was a really nice “bonus” inclusion (if only they’d have done the same with “Parasite”). The worst complaint I can give to this is that some of the songs sound “treble heavy”. I think this is a matter of issues with the source material and that in order to make the tracks more punchy with the remasters that the high end sounding a bit harsh was simply inevitable. I’m just glad they didn’t try to re-record parts of the songs for the re-issues as many bands have done recently (Yes, I’m looking at you Ozzy).
Bottom line, definitely a long time coming and the improvement in sound is dramatic. I highly recommend it, but I have to wonder if I am going to be shelling out more cash later to finally get remasters of songs like “Stand or Fall”, “Imitation of Life”, “Misery Loves Company” and “One Man Stands” with full record remasters?