ANTHRAX – Anthrology: No Hit Wonders (1985–1991)

ANTHRAX - Anthrology: No Hit Wonders (1985–1991)


Island Records
Release date: October 23, 2005

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Joey Belladonna was chosen to fill the gap in the line up that was created after the departure of Neil Turbin, who decided to get into something less heavy. This happened after the band’s debut release, Fistfull of Metal, back in the early 80s. The debut release with Belladona behind the microphone was the EP Armed and Dangerous, sending the message that something good was in the making. Spreading the Disease was the first full length release during the Belladonna years (1985 – 1991) under the blessings of Island records.

After the release of Persistence of Time, their most complicated album, Belladonna left Anthrax, who enlisted John Bush from Armored Saint as a replacement. Even though Bush was, and still is, a charismatic singer, the ensuing albums didn’t connect well with Metalheads who, by that time, were thinking that the band had come to a dead end.

In 2005, a reunion was announced only for touring purposes. Whoever had the chance to watch the band performing live, would definitely agree that the magic between the five members of the original line up was still present! The former record label, Island Records, took the chance to release a double CD comprising the best moments during the Belladonna era.

All of the songs in this anthology are the original versions from the Island releases. 28 tracks make No Hit Wonders the perfect compilation for the old to remember and the new to learn.

Spreading the Disease is covered with 7 songs, amongst them someone can find the mosh anthem with the hilarious video clip “Madhouse,” along with the classic thrashers “The Enemy,” “Lone Justice,” “A.I.R.,” the Maiden–ish “Armed and Dangerous,” “Medusa,” with the impressive high pitched vocals, and last but not least, “Gung-Ho,” a song that produces the same neck-wrecking results as does Metallica’s “Whiplash.”

The next featured album is Among the Living, with 6 tracks (they could have added the whole album without any complaints!). What can be said about the crowd surfing, headbanging anthems coming from this Thrash “el classico” album? From the catchy choruses found in “Caught in the Mosh” and “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.) (nice f*****g life)” to “Skeletons in the Closet” and “Indians,” which drives the fans crazy in every life performance when Scott Ian shouts “war dance.” “I Am the Law” is about Judge Dredd, the meanest man of the law in the universe who was born in the pages of the famous comic 2000 AD.

The first CD of the compilation closes with a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” and the first Metal–Rap alliance entitled “I Am Man,” coming from the homonymous EP.

The best sound production, a courtesy of Mark Dodson, can be found in State of Euphoria, which is represented by 6 songs. The reunion of the French band Trust was due to the success of Anthrax’s cover of “Antisocial.” Poverty and the social inequalities are some of the sources of inspiration in the lyrics of “Make Me Laugh” and “Who Cares Wins.” The perfect blend of Thrash and Melodic riffs with catchy vocal melodies makes songs like “Finale” and “Now It’s Dark” ideal for live performances.

Persistence of Time is the last album with Belladonna on the vocals. Seven songs come from this release, proving that the band had reached one of the highest composition levels in their history at that point. A plethora of riffs and time changes can be found in “In My World,” “Time,” and “Belly of the Beast.” “Discharge” is a classic Thrash tune, while “Got the Time” is another perfectly performed and rearranged cover song with a most enjoyable bass riff.

In the second CD there is “Bring the Noise,” which is the product of a bold collaboration with the Rap band Public Enemy and the French version of “Antisocial.”

No Hit Wonders sums up the best songs during the most creative chapter in Anthrax’s history. The members of the band are discussing if they should get in the studio to record a new album, taking into account the massive success of the reunion tour and the fact they still have strong bonds between them. Metalheads should cross their fingers to get an affirmative reply to the above question that is currently troubling Anthrax.


  • Dr. Dimitris Kontogeorgakos

    Dimitris was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has a diploma in Physics, a Masters in Medical Physics and a doctorate dimploma in Nuclear Medicine (this is the reason for his Dr. title). He was given his first Heavy Metal tape at the age of 12 which was a compilation entitled Scandinavian Metal Attack. The music immediately drew his attention and there he was listening to the first Iron Maiden album, trying to memorize the names of the band members. That was it! After some years, he stopped recording tapes and started buying vinyl records, spending every penny in the local record shop. The first live concert he attended was Rage co-headlining with Running Wild.

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