When people think of Anthrax, their breakthrough album, Among the Living, always comes to mind as their best. Brilliant though that album is, I feel I got to give this album the edge, and I, personally, feel that it is the best old school thrash album not made by Metallica.(better than Rust In Peace, Peace Sells, and Seasons In the Abyss. Easily.)After the somewhat disappointing and not terribly innovative follow up to Among the Living, Anthrax got things well back on track with this album. Though it is distinctly an Anthrax album, they still managed to change their signature sound quite a bit with out losing their identity. Time is generally slower than the 2 previous albums, but it’s also heavier and much more dense sounding, particularly with the crushing rhythm work from Charlie Benante and Frank Bello, who make up one of the best rhythm sections in all of rock. Ian’s riffs are thicker and more staccatto than his previous work, all of which makes the music a quite a bit darker than their previous albums. The lyrics are also darker, largely because they removed all the attempts at humor, as well as pop-culture tributes. Anthrax never wrote great lyrics, but they are generally at least passable on this album. These tend to focus on social problems, all surrounded with a healthy dose of misanthropy. Belladonna’s unusual vocal style is the weak point, as it always is, but the music is so good that these don’t matter to much. It’s too bad this album wasn’t recorded several years later with Bush doing the vocals. It would absolutely awesome if it had been.Song by song this album is extremely consitent. The only real weak spot is H8 Red, which is fairly acceptable, since the songs that follow it are all pretty good, and all the ones preceding it are true classics. Time is a solid opener, with some solid pounding by the band, and some of the better lyrics on the album. The next 4 tracks are all standouts as well. Blood has got an awesome introduction, and Keep It In the Family has got an incredible bassline. Gridlock is faster, as well as more raw and punkier, like some of their earliest stuff. It’s quite possibly the single best track. Introduction to Reality is essentially just an intro to Belly of The Beast, which is something of a centerpiece to the album. This is the other main candidate for best song. The rhythm work i simply spectacular, and Ian throws out some of his very best riffs. The rest of the album isn’t as good, but still rocks. Got the Time is frequently called the best track, though this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s fun, but sort hurts the continuity of the album, and simply doesn’t stand up to the great stuff from the beginning of the cd. It gets back on track fully the final 2 tracks. One Man Stands has got another great intro, particularly in the use of the drums, and Discharge is a great closer, similar to the brilliant Imitation of Life from Among the Living, and is another frantic, barely controlled hardcore-like composition.Anthrax is probably the least readily recognized of the 4 main thrash bands, which is tragic because they stand up well to anything released by any of those other bands. In my opinion, they are easily the better than Megadeth or Slayer. So if you don’t have any Anthrax, go pick some up.