For those of you who want a damn good metal album:
Anthrax - Sound of White Noise
"Be dangerous and unpredictable... and make a LOT of noise!" Those are the final words on this disc, a mantra that not only perfectly describes this disc, but the band as a whole.
The album's first song, "Potters Field", is a rude awakening to the fact that Anthrax is now a much more powerful, much more devastating force in the world of metal. John Bush's intense vocals and Scott Ian's new penchant for writing riffs with Charlie's drums proves to be an intense, downright terrifiying at times, force. John spits out lyrics like they're his last breaths, giving more depth to something like "I was told to love you/I was told to try/ I was born to save you/I was born to die."
But if this album is anything, it is a testament to what Anthrax can do. Admitedly, I was trying to avoid stating the obvious facts, but it's simply impossible; This album marked the beginning of the Anthrax of the 90's, fronted by John Bush. If John was anything for the band, he was simply the best thing to happen to them at the right time. It was only a year after their last album came out the world went grunge and Scott Ian was smart enough to know he had to change the sound, or at the very least get the same sound he was trying to achieve with the last record and extend it. John Bush was the perfect fit!
Just listen to this album once and you'll know exactly what I mean. "Only" has a hook so aluring that even Moby Dick would bite for it! It has even been described by James Hetfield of Metallica as perfect. The same goes for "Room for One More", with what has to be the single catchiest chorus Anthrax has written in their entire career!
Again, John shines through with "Hy Pro Glo", who seems to have his vocals virtually strike in dynamic patterns. It's almost like watching a baseball bat hit a window; It is intense, terrifying, but the pattern it leaves and weaves as the glass breaks, but doesn't shatter, is beautiful and incredibly interesting. It simply stands heads and shoulders as one of the best songs on this disc. Songs like "Packaged Rebellion" and "Invisible" burn with all the hatred, angry, and frustration of the world, balled up into songs that allow you to give a voice to your rage!
"Black Lodge" is the lone quite moment on the album. Opening with a beautiful guitar riff that echoes and sounds like your going back to a place in your mind you rarely ever go to. When the chorus comes in, you can almost see two bodies struggling to get along with one another in a way that educes the feeling of passion of sex and the resistance to actually follow through in the act.
"C11 H17 N2 O2 S Na" (a.k.a Truth Serum) and "Burst" are the thrasiest songs on the album, presenting a head-butt to the listener. Resistance is absolutely futile to not go around your room and mosh like there's no tomorrow to it! "Burst" has the added effect of the chorus "Kill someone, save a life/Don't do drugs, drink all night/ Worship Jesus, Praise Satan/ Opinions are all contradictions!"
The album closes on what I consider to be the most experimental song of their careers up to this point, and I think it paid off. "This Is Not an Exit" is a song where you will find your own meaning. "I know I'll never be free/ Change doesn't come easy/ And I'll never be free/ You'll live in Hell with me" burn you, and the rest of the song is just as powerful. The song builds and builds, never pausing. The song is always working away at something to bring you, the listener, to a point where you simply are boiling over with anticipation. Again, it is going to be up to you to decide if it's worth it. "I know I'll never save myself, dying from this immortality" stands as one of the most powerful lyrics I have ever heard Anthrax, or any other band, write.
On a personal note, this was the album I attribute to me being alive today. I bought it around the time my mom went into the hospital, and it was the one thing that helped to heal the pain. "Pain is my way of self-expression" almost became a mantra, and when I had to decide whether or not to keep mom alive, "Kill what I love" became a reality, not just a lyric.
The album ends with the sound of a gerny being pushed through a long hallway of doors, or of simply a lot of doors closing after the other as if your running down a hallway. There is no greater, more horrifying feeling, than to feel locked and trapped in something you can't escape, and the song captures it brilliantly.
The feeling of lost, the feeling of having fun... this album seemed to simply embody what my life was like for the year my mom sat in a hospital bed, trying to live... all while I was trying to deal with the pain and cheer myself up. This album is just that; brutal and devastating, but still one of the best times in your life when you look back on it. It may not have been perfect, and it may not be excatly what everyone wants you to say or think, but it's an album that will always hold a place in your collection for being one of the best.
That is why this album gets a 4.9 out of 5.
BUT THIS ALBUM!