Anthrax - Persistence Of Time
Island Records
Thrash Metal
11 songs (1:01:12)
Release year: 1990
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Anthrax stormed into the 90s with this, their most intelligent album and according to some their best, although it doesn’t quite top the perfection of Among For Living for me. It’s still a bloody good album however, extending track lengths and creating an almost progressive style from their trademark stomping riffs. In addition, Joey Belladonna is at his best, abandoning the typical thrash wail to some extent for a more mid-pitched gang tone that works well with Scott Ian’s backing vocals. The real credit has to go to the songwriting, however, which played on the band’s strengths near-perfectly and managed to rival previous albums. For me, this easily beats Fistful Of Metal and State Of Euphoria in the best-Anthrax-album stakes – the consistency cannot be overstated. Thrash Metal is worshipped most by its devotees when it sticks to the purest standards of its past, yet it’s hard to deny the sheer quality on show, modernising without compromising and making a product that still somehow gets overlooked by fans.

From the ticking clocks speeding into infinity that open the album to the raging guitars that soon follow, it’s hard not to feel excited from the go. Time, the track itself, is like an improved song from State Of Euphoria, enjoying its near-seven-minute running length and really using it well, longer verses and increased instrumental complexity making for a truly killer opener. The following Blood is even longer and even better, a catchier chorus and intense instrumental section doing their work perfectly. By the time you’re up to the third track, the excellent Keep It In The Family, it’s hard not to think that Anthrax have made their best work here, and ensuing aggressive mini-epics like In My World make that a tough position to argue with.

Persistence Of Time is a Thrash album through and through, but it’s also a great showcase for the band’s talents. The guitar wizardry evident from Dan Spitz on the likes of Gridlock is among his best, and even Frank Bello and Charlie Benante prove themselves an excellent rhythm section throughout. Whoever thought of interlude Intro To Reality deserves a medal, as it is placed perfectly and breaks the album into two majestic halves, leading wonderfully into Belly Of The Beast. From then on, it’s genuinely impossible to fault the album – the excellent cover of Joe Jackson’s Got The Time is a gem, H8 Red is an enjoyably atmospheric Thrasher with a great solo, the rebellious One Man Stands and the closing all-out violence of Discharge all adding up to an excellent second half which rivals the first for quality.

There’s not a great more to be written about Persistence Of Time. It’s a genuinely solid Thrash album, not a weak point to be found throughout, and whilst I enjoy what Anthrax did after this to varying degrees I can perfectly understand why Thrashers consider it the last great thing the band produced. Hopefully now that Belladonna has rejoined the band they can produce a worthy new album, but there’s no shame in choosing this instead, and reminding yourself what the band were once capable of achieving with that line-up; any new album will have to be good indeed to match up to this, a near-classic that every Thrash fan should love.

Killing Songs :
Time, Blood, Keep It In The Family, In My World, Belly Of The Beast, Got The Time, Discharge
Goat quoted 91 / 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 - State Of Euphoria reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
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