Anthrax - The Greater of Two Evils
Classic Speed/Thrash Metal
14 songs (78:19)
Release year: 2004
Anthrax, Sanctuary
Reviewed by Jeff
Major event

I've been an Anthrax fan ever since the day, (back in my junior year of high school), I first heard Neil Turbin belt out a song called "Metal Thrashing Mad". I was even further blown away when Anthrax decided to redo that song on an EP with new vocalist Joey Belladonna. Never had I heard vocals with such clarity and power, as well as music that was driving and energetic.

I've also been a huge Armored Saint fan from the start, ever since I first heard their Metal Blade recording of "False Alarm" and the title track from the debut album, "March of the Saint". The group specialized in a style of straight-ahead power metal that was compared to such New Wave of British Heavy Metal acts such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon.

When Belladonna parted ways with Anthrax back in 1992, John Bush was brought in to replace him. At the time, I was a bit skeptical as to how John Bush would fit into Anthrax and how he would sound in front of their music. I didn't think he'd be able to handle the Turbin/Belladonna era material. Anthrax was more of a speed/thrash metal band where the vocal ranges specialized in octaves and styles that seemed well out of John Bush's league. His own vocal style was gruffer and deeper, yet could fit almost any type of metal convention. Unfortunately, Anthrax's sound became less unique and their audience dissipated slightly as a consequence. I pretty much gave up on Anthrax after "The Sound of White Noise". I didn't like the musical direction Anthrax was heading in and wished John Bush would go back to Armored Saint.

So here I once again find myself reviewing an album of re-recorded songs. "The Greater of Two Evils" is a collection 14 tracks (one hidden) that span the non Bush era Anthrax albums "Fistful of Metal", "Spreading The Disease", "Among The Living", "State of Euphoria" and "Persistence of Time". The tracklist was voted on by fans of the band through the Anthrax message boards. It was recorded "live" in the studio over the course of two days, giving the songs a fresh approach yet raw edge to them.

The songs have been re-recorded with lower octaves to help accommodate John Bush's vocal range. I wasn't expecting Bush to sound like Neil Turbin or Joey Belladonna for that matter. He holds his own very well. He just belts out one tune after another, not really singing them. I give him credit in that he doesn't try to over do areas that he knows he can't reach, playing it safe when need be. The overall re-recording of the music is very good. The songs are heavier, better produced and mixed and have an energy that lacked on some of the originals. The drums are more pounding and the guitars are crunchier. Musically, they didn't deviate that much from the style of the originals. They slow things down in some areas while speeding them up in others. A song like "Be All, End All", which had a cello start the song off on the original version, now has a distorted bass accompanied by a lead guitar fill. A track like "Deathrider", which was one straight speed from start to finish, now has some tempo changes. This is most notable during the verses, where they go to half time. The beginning of "Belly of the Beast" starts of with an ode to Celtic Frost's "Dethroned Emperor". The crazy whammy bar guitar lead at the beginning of "Madhouse" is all but non existent in this newly re-recorded version. Most if not all of the guitar leads are new.

After listening to this release, I must say that I do like most of these updated versions. But being I grew up on early Anthrax, I still prefer the original versions overall, especially the vocal styles of Joey Belladonna and Neil Turbin. Despite my personal taste, I highly recommend this release for any Anthrax fan, both new and old.


Killing Songs :
Deathrider, Metal Thrashing Mad, Among The Living, Keep It In The Family, Indians, Madhouse, Panic, I am The Law, N.F.L., Gunslinger (hidden track)
Jeff quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Anthrax that we have reviewed:
Anthrax - For All Kings reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Anthrax - Anthems (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Anthrax - Worship Music reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Anthrax - Volume 8 - The Threat Is Real reviewed by Goat and quoted 55 / 100
Anthrax - Persistence Of Time reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
To see all 19 reviews click here
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