Classic Album Review – Anthrax “Sound of White Noise” 1993

  1993 was the year Anthrax really grew up. Oh, I know Persistence of Time was their “serious” album, but that seriousness was predicated on a long and gloomy conceptual morass. SOWN is different yet again in that it’s a full but punchy record with singular purpose. No jokey covers, no synopses of comics and novels the band  liked as teens, but still immediate and in the moment, this is a mature metal release delivered at the height of grunge without missing a step.

Long songs have never sounded so short; the pioneers of thrash have here created a mid-tempo groove. Expert song selection by the band and producer Dave Jerden engross the listener in the self-declared mission: a “journey into sound”. Unless you’re drunk off your ass and in the mood for Fistful of Metal, there’s no other Anthrax record that can stand up to repeated spins on its own merit. The band had always cultivated a streak of pretentiousness which is out-muscled on this release by the simpler, state-of-the-world concerns of a band making nothing but heavy music. While “I Am the Law” and various other songs take up a lot of nostalgia space, I’d say at least four of the band’s top ten can be found within this hour. 

At the end of the day this is really John Bush’s party, capturing that new blood lightning-in-a-bottle that albums like Number of the Beast and Heaven and Hell have, and like them, perhaps never to be repeated. If anything, SOWN is too good, too soon, and makes the rest of the Bushthrax years look paler by comparison. 9 out of 10

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2 Responses to “Classic Album Review – Anthrax “Sound of White Noise” 1993”

  1. You nailed that one dude. BTW, Joey’s back. Again…

  2. WarSteiner Says:

    I do love SOWN and I do have songs from it on my iPod right now. Like you said, it’s not for nostalgia value, but it’s just good music. I think I’ll play some right now.

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