I like to refer to the year 1988 as one in which quite a few high-profile Heavy Metal bands made equally high-profile missteps album-wise. Examples? Okay, sure. OVERKILL’S Under the Influence, MEGADETH’S So Far, So Good…debacle, and yes, ANTHRAX with the State of Euphoria LP. At that point the band had become more cartoonish than ever, literally and back album cover-wise. Sure they were blowing up huge, but they definitely got away from the sound that made earlier records more meaty and packed with NYC attitude. By the way, all three of the discs I mentioned never get any spins here at A&GS HQ. So two years later when ANTHRAX decided to unleash Persistence of Time upon the masses it was a breath of fresh air.
30 years later and welcome to Classic Albums (Remastered Edition). I can still remember being 17 years old and getting my hands on this CD. I had a taped copy from my buddy Mike Hayes, but actually buying it felt great, especially because it was with my own money. I had a brief stint working at Oaktree in Sunrise Mall, and of course I blew a few paychecks at Sam Goody! As soon as opener “Time” kicked off I knew we were in for something special. “Blood” only cemented that notion further, and to hear these crisp, clean remastered versions all these years later gives me those same tingles I felt back then. You just knew ANTHRAX was back with an absolute vengeance. They were leaner, meaner, darker, and hellbent on destruction.
“Keep It in the Family” and “In My World” were and still are fucking sledgehammers to the skull, while “Gridlock” was one of those tracks I loved to blare at full volume in my Mom’s ‘87 Chrysler LeBaron when I got my license two weeks later. Shit, the whole fucking album was a constant presence in that car. Instrumental “Intro to Reality” is a cool change of pace and gives everyone a chance to just zone in on the music and chill for a minute. Because next up is “Belly of the Beast,” without a doubt one of this band’s most vicious songs ever. Loved it then, love it now,and once again, when you hear this cleaned up version, you’ll probably have an organasm like I did!
The cover of Joe Jackson’s “Got the Time” is very special for me because whenever I hear it I am immediately transferred to the fall of 1990 and my band at the time, MIDNIGHT ANGEL. We played the shit out of this one over and over in practice, and it was in our setlist when we won the Battle of the Bands at Massapequa High School on November 30 of that year. Our bassist Mario really nailed his counterpart Frank Bello’s bass solo on this one. That was such an awesome night and we truly felt like rock stars. How were we supposed to feel, especially when you play in a packed auditorium like we did? “H8 Red” has a slicing riff and goes hard while also keeping the melody intact.
Another number I have always loved is “One Man Stands” with that heavy and pendulous intro before it rains thunder down upon you. Closing the record is buzz saw track “Discharge” which finds all five members going musically apeshit, making it another favorite on an album full of them. When all was said and done ANTHRAX came back with a monster outing in Persistence of Time. 30 years later, as I sit here and listen to this incredibly well-done remaster, I am instantly that 17-year old kid again without a care in the world, and I can’t help but grin from ear to ear. I know everyone worships at the altar of Among the Living, but this is my Classic Album. Thank you Joey, Dan, Scott, Frank, and Charlie for 30 years of memories. Here’s to 30 more! ~dc