2. Persistence Of Time (1990)
1. Time 2. Blood 3. Keep It in the Family 4. In My World 5. Gridlock 6. Intro to Reality 7. Belly of the Beast 8. Got the Time 9. H8 Red 10. One Man Stands 11. Discharge
Recommended Track: “Blood”. Angry, opinionated and massive in scope, Anthrax’s trademark humour is dropped in favour of 7 plus minutes of ridiculously heavy and epic Thrash which never bores despite its lengthy running time.
Persistence Of Time was the last Anthrax album to feature vocalist Joey Belladonna until 2011’s Worship Music and he bowed out with a bang; Persistence Of Time is a timeless thrash record which ranks as an all time classic in the genre.
All but abandoning the recognisable goofy sense of humour which permeated throughout 1988’s State Of Euphoria album, on Persistence Of Time Anthrax changed tact entirely and the tone is noticeably more mature. The only track to seem ill-fitting in this context is their insanely popular cover of Joe Jackson’s “Got the Time”, slightly out of place on an album intent on bludgeoning the listener with social commentary and a harder, more mature edge but their sense of humour inevitably had to bleed through somewhere.
Elsewhere, balls-out thrashers “Gridlock” and “Discharge” are powered as always by Charlie Benante’s inventive and powerful double kick drum patterns but the tracks which elevate this album to classic status are the dark and for forboding epics “Blood”, “Keep It In the Family” and “In My World”. Perhaps more reminiscent of Black album era Metallica than Anthrax’s Speed Metal of old these tracks highlight the bands growing confidence and musicianship. By 1990 Anthrax had no option but to up their game in light of the progression made by Metallica, Megadeth et all and this darker sound and mature approach was admirable and frankly necessary.
On Persistence Of Time, Anthrax demonstrated a social awareness previously hinted at (“Indian’s”, from their Among The Living Album springs to mind) but rarely employed as succinctly and with such righteous conviction; less comic book and more social realism penned to exhilarating and challenging Thrash Metal.
Persistence Of Time is an impressive, against the grain, descent into the plight and perils of urban life but those attributes aren’t quite enough to laud it as the best album Anthrax ever recorded.
That particular honour goes to….