Although the songs sound dated compared to today’s music, there is no denying that this is one good album. Granted, some of the lyrics are a little weak compared to Anthrax’s newer stuff, but that is to be expected since this is their second release. Armed and Dangerous and Metal Thrashin’ Mad are two classic Anthrax songs that never lose their intensity. The last two songs are weak (lyrically), but they are even older than the songs on this release. These two songs are where it all began for Anthrax because these songs made up their limited edition demo. I recommend newer Anthrax, but fans should definitely get this album because it shows the development of the thrash style that Anthrax helped to start, and it includes their very first songs. (It’s almost impossible to find their demo tape now.) Armed and Dangerous is a must-have for any real Anthrax fan.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
D’you wanna know how much I paid for this? £5!! Or about $8 for all you Americans. This is one good little CD, and considering the price I got it for, this was a bargain. It’s nice to see that not all 80s bands are charging ridiculously high prices for thier CDs (eh, Metallica?) and bands like Anthrax who don’t enjoy the success that other bands have need to charge more, if anything. I give em my respect.If you want music that slightly resembles that of Metallica or Testament except with Iron Maiden style vocals, this will not let you down. Not as fast paced as some thrash metal bands, Anthrax developed a more mature sound and were blessed with a singer that could actually sing. I only have one complaint – thier cover of God Save The Queen. It’s a punk song written by the Sex Pistols, so giving it slick vocals completely defys the object of it and I’d rather listen to the original. Still, considering the rest of the CD and the price I got it for, I don’t care. God knows why this band aren’t now enjoying the success of Metallica, Slayer or Iron Maiden coz if this CD (which is meant to be one of their worst) is anything to go by, they deserve it.
Long before suspicious letters were in the mail, this metal five was probably the next biggest band to Metallica in the mid 1980’s. The nice thing about Armed & Dangerous are the rare tracks of the 1983 demos that were eventually re-recorded on Fistful of Metal. The B-sides of Raise Hell and God Save the Queen were fun to listen to also. Too bad Anthrax will never be re-united with Joey Belladona, but albums like this will remind us of the old ‘thrax. Don’t change your name to be PC!
“Armed & Dangerous” was ANTHRAX’s second release, a mini album of 5 songs. It marked the debut of singer Joey belladonna and Bassist Frank Bello. This was supposed to be a taster of the second full length album that was to follow, “Spreading The Disease”. With Belladonna on board, the band had a REAL singer, something that fellow thrashers SLAYER and even the mighty METALLICA did NOT have. This guy could sing classic metal a la PRIEST and MAIDEN in his sleep, but the music was 100% high octane thrash, although some of the songs here might sound a bit dated in that they tend to sound more akin to conventional metal.
The EP kicks off with “Armed & Dangerous”. A different mix than the one that appears on “Spreading…”, this song has that galloping thrash beat reminiscent of “The Four Horsemen” by METALLICA, but the song has a more melodic quality to it, not only from Belladonna’s singing, but from the rest of the band as well. I prefer this mix over the “Spreading’s…”. The overall sound is much heavier and the sound is much more spacier. Next is “Raise Hell”, a song that was supposed to be included on “Spreading…” but never made it. It’s a catchy, mid tempo metal song that has more in common with an ACCEPT or JUDAS PRIEST song than with METALLICA or SLAYER. Some fans even complained that this track was “too commercial”. I think it’s a great song and one of the band’s “lost gems”. They have never played it live as far as I know and it’s a real shame. Great vocal from Joey!
Next is “God Save The Queen”, a cover of the SEX PISTOLS classic. At this point on the EP, it seems awkward that ANTHRAX chose this song, because none of the band’s future “hardcore” tendencies were very evident at this stage. Nevertheless, the cover is played pretty much without any drastic changes over the original and I’m inclined to say this is the EP’s weakest song, although it’s not bad.
The original EP closes with two, live in the studio tracks. It is here that we truly get the ANTHRAX to come: Loud, fast and uncompromisingly brutal. First is “Metal Thrashing Mad”, a rehash from their first album (Fistful Of Metal), this new version breathes new life and totally crushes the original. Charlie Benante’s hyper drumming is a highlight and the insane guitar thrashing of Scott Ian and Dan Spitz are a force to be reckon with. All this leads up to the album’s closer, “Panic”. Again, a rehash from the first album, this sounds like a totally new song. It is played with such an unbridled fury and speed that it can make SLAYER sound tame in comparison. If there’s a definition of the genre “THRASH”, then this is it: a barrage of drum brutality courtesy of Mr. Benante and lunatic riffing from Ian and Spitz, plus Bello’s tight bass, all topped off with Belladonna’s supersonic wailing, this must be one of the genre’s highlights, along with “Angel Of Death” by SLAYER, “Battery” by METALLICA or “Darkness Descends” by DARK ANGEL. The first time I heard this song, I thought my turntable was playing it at tha wrong speed!!! For a song that was recorded live at a studio, this sounds impressively tight and extremely well produced. Ironically, their follow up album (Spreading) sported a less intense production. This song alone is worth the price of the EP.
The CD version includes 2 demo version songs featured on their debut album and feature ANTHRAX’s first vocalist, Neil Turbin. They are good for historical reasons, but the real deal are the previous 5 songs.
For fans of ANTHRAX and true THRASH metal in general!!!
ARMED AND DANGEROUS is the first time that we get to hear ANTHRAX with Joey Belladonna on lead vocals, and it is a preview of what is to come. Yes the album sounds dated by todays standards, but this album is almost 20 years old what do u expect. The songs have killer riffs, combined with Joey’s almost opera sounding voice, show why ANTHRAX is a metal band that sound be mentioned in the same breath as METALLICA or SLAYER, and MEGADETH. SOLDIERS OF METAL is a great song full of energy, and GOD SAVE THE QUEEN is a great cover of the SEX PISTOLS classic song. After this album the band would continue to polish their sound, but this album is a must for REAL metal fans. Buy it while u can, when its gone, you will regret not buying it.