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Persistence of Time


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iTunes Editors’ Notes

1990’s Persistence of Time served as a bellwether for heavy metal culture. Anthrax’s final album with singer Joey Belladonna closed not only an important stage of the band’s career but a larger chapter in thrash history. As the '80s turned to the '90s, the music became less hedonistic and hyperactive. The riffs became slower and harder; the lyrical content was darker and more solemn. You can hear those changes taking place in songs like “Time” and “Keep It in the Family,” the second of which was an anti-racism song at a time when most of the metal world was highly unwilling to take a stand for social justice. The production is thick and bristling, with the guitars right up front. The soon-to-depart Belladonna was forced to abandon his operatic yowl and reach for a raspier lower register. While thrash's golden age was coming to a close, “In My World,” “Belly of the Beast,” and a hyper-charged cover of Joe Jackson’s “Got the Time” showed Anthrax bringing the form to its apotheosis before bidding it goodbye.

Customer Reviews

A classic album, but NOT their best

Okay, first of all, don't buy into the hype that this is somehow their "best" album. "Among the Living" is faaaar better. "Spreading" rocks harder. Not preachy? All but one song on this album is "socially conscious". THAT SAID... This is a phenominally good album. Tracks 1,3,4,6,7,and 8 have some of their best riffing ever. The production/sound is definitely the best of the Belladonna era. Danny Spitz's lead guitar work on this album is probably his most polished- no over the top noodling, just melodic straight ahead solos. Charlie Benante's drum work on this album (at least for me) finally pushed him over the top and onto the same level as his contemporary, Slayer's Dave Lombardo. Scott Ian and Frank Bello create a formidable driving pulse for the band, and the strongest point of the songwriting lies in the notes these two create. The lyrical songwriting is much more of a look at society than previous albums (for better or worse), but the band would have done itself a favor by passing a note to Joey Belladonna to quit trying to sound like a tough guy with every word and just sing the songs. Too often, an otherwise great song is just a little off. The songwriting on "Among" wasn't attempting to tackle social ills, so on that album it worked. Unfortunately, the boys would hire a worse melodromatic screamer in John Bush for their subsequent albums. Looking to start an Anthrax collection? Try a couple of songs off this album, (#'s 3,4,7,8) download all of Among The Living, sit back and learn Anthrax.

This is probably their best album

While most would say that "Among The Living" is Anthrax' best, I have to disagree. Musically, "Among The Living" is great, but it gets overshadowed by the hyperliberal, preachy lyrics. "Indians" is so in-your-face bleeding-heart it actually makes me want to root for Custer. You will find the same worldview in "Persistence of Time," but they've toned it down a bit. And thankfully no more Stephen King references. They really deliver this time. My only complaint is that some of the songs are a bit too long. If you can't stand Anthrax because of the preachy lyrics and Joey Belladonna's whiny voice, you'll be pleasantly surprised. This is a step towards the sound you'll find on "Sound of White Noise," while retaining some of the more punkish qualities that they would lose on that album. If you're a fan of thrash metal or hardcore, you can't go wrong. Just buy it already. :-)


i love this album! anthrax is one of my all-time favorite bands! "blood" is by far the best song on this whole frickin' album! good job anthrax!!!


Formed: June, 1981 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Nearly as much as Metallica or Megadeth, Anthrax were responsible for the emergence of speed and thrash metal. Combining the speed and fury of hardcore punk with the prominent guitars and vocals of heavy metal, they helped create a new subgenre of heavy metal on their early albums. Original guitarists Scott Ian and Dan Spitz were a formidable pair, spitting out lightning-fast riffs and solos that never seemed masturbatory. Unlike Metallica or Megadeth, they had the good sense to temper their often...
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