Sound — 8
My friend handed me this album and was like, 'Here, you can have it. Enjoy.' I was excited. Then I went home and listened to it. I must admit, I was shocked. The drastic change in vocal style surprised me. I'm used to Joey Belladonna's voice. It's softer and a bit more comical in style. But John Bush has a fierce, aggressive voice that I wasn't prepared for. Musically, this album is repetitive. A lot of the songs have the same sound. I noticed that I was singing the wrong lyrics to a song, simply because the music sounded the same. Part of this may have been the departure of Dan Spitz, the long-time lead guitarist. Overall, this album is a step in a new direction for Anthrax. And even though the style is very different, it deserves props as innovative.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on this album are very different than customary Anthrax lyrics. These are more aggressive, in your face type lyrics, as opposed to the comical, care-free type vocals of early Anthrax. John Bush is a talented singer. His vocals match the more aggressive playing style of this album. And yet, I can't help but feel longing for the return of Belladonna. There's a part of me that knows Bush was right for this album, and then there's the part of me that just can't get over Joey.
Overall Impression — 9
This album was a huge step in a different direction for Anthrax. As compared to their earlier albums, it is much darker and more aggressive. In actuality, it reminds me very much of a Pantera album, more so than Anthrax. But, I can't help but be attracted to some of the finer points of this album. As replacement for Dan Spitz, Dimebag Darrell was brought in on a few songs. These songs, 'Riding Shotgun' and 'King Size' are pretty phenomenal. And the opening song, 'Random Acts of Senseless Violence' really helps to set the mood for the rest of the album. Overall, this is a quality metal album. Though it isn't what you would expect from Anthrax, it is worth having as something to headbang to. You can really get involved with some of the songs and the lyrics are just catchy.