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Volume 8: The Threat Is Real

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After thrash-metal pioneers Anthrax signed a $10-million, five- album deal with Elektra in 1992, they lost the hunger that propelled them early on. Their 1993 album, Sound of White Noise, was aimless and lackluster, and while its follow-up, Stomp 442, restored some of the band’s former glory, it took Elektra’s severing the band’s contract (after just two records) to light a real fire under Anthrax’s collective ass. Volume 8: The Threat Is Real! seethes with betrayal and animosity, lashing out like a lean, rabid Doberman. This isn’t just the raging Anthrax of days past. It’s a revamped, reinvigorated beast with a modern, pugilistic sound. Songs like ”Inside Out” and ”Killing Box” combine the full-fisted groove of Pantera with the melodic roar of Aerosmith, while ”Crush” and ”Catharsis” deliver a power-metal assault that recalls vocalist John Bush’s last band, Armored Saint. The last couple of Anthrax efforts may have been false alarms, but this time the threat is definitely real. –Jon Wiederhorn

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  • After the somewhat disappointing and forgettable Stomp 442, it is a breath of fresh A.I.R (haha) to hear this album! Everythng about this album is great, from the thunder of Charlie’s drums on the first song to the last heartfelt lyric of Frank on the last song. Simply put, one of the greatest Thrax albums of all time!1:Crush-This song opens with the gatling gun drums of Charlie Benante and the agressive, dark vocals of John Bush. As an opener and song it rivals even the might “Potters Field!” The melodies are sharp and cutting and go perfectly with the drums and vocals. Great song, just goddamn great!2:Catharsus-Another good song! Intelligent lyrics, and innovative guitars. A good seperater between Crush and the next song.3:Inside Out-Heavy like nothing else! This song tears through speakers! Fast drums and a solo that’s god like. It is, in my opinion, the best song on the album. Dimebag Darrel (PanterA) plays guitars on this one, only adding to the heaviness. The lyrics are powerful and angry, Bush has never sounded better!4:Piss & Vineger (P&V)-This song is fast and heavy, and though its predesscor towers over it, its filled with good riffs and provocative lyrics.5:604-Ah, the humor of Anthrax. Comic genius, enough said.6:Toast to the Extras-This song is another funny one. It’s done in an almost country style. Funny, but true lyrics. Good song.7:Born Again Idiot-Angry, very angry, I love it. Makes you glad your not whoever John is singing about in this song.8:Killing Box-Another angry one, made doubly so by the addition of Phil Anselmo (PanterA) on backing vocals. This song screams with ferocity and interesting guitar work.9:Harms Way-One of my favorites. This song starts slow and builds to a creshendo. A very melodic song, with sorta cryptic lyrics. The chorus is something to really admire musically.10:Hog Tied-This song is a tad disturbing, but good. The riffs are heavy and the drums are great.11:Big Fat-The only somewhat forgettable song on the album. Decent song, good, but nothing special.12:Cupajoe-Right up there with “Big Balls!” This one is a laugh riot, absolutely wonderful!13:Alpha Male-Catchy, heavy, a good well rounded song.14:Stealing From a Thief-Heavy, real heavy, with great lyrics. This song makes Bush soud just plain evil! Lyrics that are thoughful and cryptic, a solo similar to “Random Acts of Senseless Violence.” This song has it all, it speeds up halfway through for some great drums.15:Hidden Track-This is sung and written by Frank Bello. It’s about his departed brother. It is touching and heartfelt, a good way to end a great album.

    Posted on March 9, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • If I may offend Joey Belladonna fans, the best thing that Anthrax could have done is hired John Bush as their singer. Anthrax does their own thing and they do it well. John Bush is easily one of the best vocalists in all of rock. Don’t forget that in the early 80’s every single metal band was courting this guy to be thier singer including Metallica. He adds a fresh and melodious element to Anthrax’s music that is uncontrolably infectious. Vol.8 and Stomp442 are my 2 favorite albums of all time. Since John joined the band in ‘92 Anthrax’s music has been really hard to define. Prior to ‘92 they were strictly lumped into the thrash category but after John joined you can’t label them as that. The music is still really heavy and uptempo but the vocals have a melodious twist that makes it very non-linear un-like old thrash. These guys are paving the way for 21st century thrash like they did for 80’s thrash. If you’re afraid to buy this album because you think Anthrax is a washed up 80’s band; you’re sorely mistaken. Vol.8 as was Stomp 442 is a very innovative album that shows that Anthrax is clearly ahead of their time.

    Posted on March 9, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The title of the lead track says it all – Crush. And this album does just that with bone crushingly heavy music in the form of tunes like Catharsis and Inside Out. This is a brutally stripped down heavy metal album, all pleasantness leeched out of the tunes. Their thrash roots are visible in the manic edge to a number of the tracks while some relief from the heaviness is possible if listeners direct their ears to 604 and Cupajoe – but that relief is only from the heavy duty lyrics – not the scurrying speed of the music.

    All the protagonists are in fine form – Bush has a voice I’ve always admired and Scott Ian’s stamp permeates the record. This album has a serious feeling of defiance about it, steadfastly hodling onto the bands niche audience. Though it must be said that despite the admiragble aspects such as steadfastness and the refusal of the band to mellow, this is not a loveable record, or even a particularly likeable one.

    The reasons for this are the barren feel of the arrangements. Anthrax were always a thrash band, or at least a metal one, but their albums and projects have usually felt more lush than this. One tune that does stand out amongs it’s peers is Toast to the Extras, which sounds like a piece of flippant silliness until you really consider what the lyrics are saying. At which point you may come to consider it the best tune on the album.

    This ‘98 album saw Anthrax fighting a rearguard action to maintain their market share. And the struggle of this oozes through every pore of the album. Though the somewhat amusing fold out cover art is kinda nifty. It’s also about the most optimistic aspect of this release.

    Anthrax rock out and rock hard on this album. But there isn’t the awesome tunes that we got on Stomp 442 and the band here make up for this via heaviness – the exception being Toast to the Extras. As of this relesae Anthrax were a band barely keeping their heads above water despite the good points of this rather dour album. 2.5 stars.

    Posted on March 8, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Anthrax’s albums have been getting progressively worse since Joey Belladonna left the band. White Noise was good, Stomp 442 was okay, and Volume 8 is just plain weak. There are only a few decent tracks on this c.d., not enough for me to recommend it.

    Posted on March 8, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • In Anthrax’s 1998 release “Volume 8: the threat is real”, Anthrax went back to their basics to create a new style of metal that suits them perfect. This was after Anthrax walked away from Electra records after making what is their best work with “Sound of White Noise” and “Stomp 442″ and almost going unknown. They signed on a little label called Ignition records and after they went through all the controversey and [...] with Electra they had to get somethings off their chests which makes for great music. This album holds great Anthrax songs including “Crush”, “Born Again Idiot”, and a true heavy metal anthem “Inside Out” (this is also Anthrax’s best music video and one of the best ever). Get to the end of this album after the last track and skip the blank space to hear the hidden song “Pieces” which was written and played by Frank and Charlie. This song is about Frank and Charlie’s late relative Anthony. With all these great songs don’t look past Anthrax’s greatest and best song “Catharsis”. Ignition records did go out of business which leaves “Volume 8″ the hardest Anthrax cd to find. Go out and search my fellow metalheads, trust me, it is well worth it!!!

    Posted on March 8, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now