Actually, the guitars sound non-metal, except during heavier riffing. But again, it does not make this album grunge. They are somewhat muddy and are drowned into everything else. The guitar production is a sort of a failure, for sure. The drums sound powerful as always, as does the pulsating bass guitar. When I got this album, on its release day, I remember liking it partly. It felt like a small failure.
However, it did not take very long for me to start appreciating it as a whole. This is a solid album, period. It's not the biggest side step ever in metal music or for the band: This is a very tight album when compared to the band's lowest point, 'Volume 8 - The Threat Is Real' from , where the band had totally lost the red thread. Well, they went further with their simplifying later on Originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy. Change can be beneficial or destructive, though it can be stipulated that inorganic change has a greater tendency towards the latter, at least in terms of evolution within a band's signature sound.
Though few bands attempt to disguise a shift in direction, there are some that are just so clumsy in their delivery of a new sound that it literally screams desperate sellout right in your face. If there is one album that stands above the rest in how blatantly it conveys this lack of artistic integrity, it's the often dismissed but occasional defended sixth LP in Anthrax's discography Sound Of White Noise. Originally hitting the market in the still grunge-dominated landscape of , it embodies one of the most bizarre compromises between the band's thrash metal past and the flavor of the moment, splashing a gallon of Seattle-colored paint on top of a canvass that still comes off as within the parameters of a New York thrash album.
In some sense, it could be seen as an innovative step in metal's forward progression, but not long into its presentation it reveals itself to be one of many dead-ends in the faltering metal scene of the mids. Nevertheless, the exodus of Joey Belladonna from the fold in alone doesn't account for this auditory failure, in fact, Belladonna would have been equally up to the task of singing on a grunge album as his replacement when looking at his subsequent solo work.
Likewise, while former Armored Saint front man John Bush's punishingly unoriginal amalgam of Layne Staley and Scott Weiland that graces this album reeks of a corporate boardroom decree, his performance is reasonably adequate for what it is and doesn't really serve as a detriment to the album. The true culprit behind this farce of an LP is Scott Ian, or to be more specific, his desire not to lose major label backing, which results in the construction of an album that betrays a band trying to be something that they're not, namely an Alice In Chains knockoff.
From the very beginning of things, it's pretty clear that Anthrax was acting under some level of duress, because they display zero competency in emulating the style they are attempting to appropriate. Following just under a minute of ambient noise that is about as pleasant as a dozen tigers clawing mercilessly at a giant chalkboard, the opening riff work of "Potters Field" comes blaring in like a lost B-side from the Persistence Of Time recording sessions.
Despite taking its time to get going, this song ends up raging with almost the same ferocity as something heard out of Cyclone Temple, though the whole thing is dreadfully hamstrung by an extremely fuzzy, muffled production that could best described as a bad attempt at aping Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger sound.
It's a crying shame because this otherwise competent, albeit measured thrasher, alongside "Room For One More", and most of what occurs from "Invisible" until the end of the album could have culminated in the best thrash metal album of had it gotten a meatier drum mix and a more forceful guitar tone. Yet when putting aside the horrendous production job that should have resulted in Dave Jerden and his entire crew being keelhauled alongside the jerkoffs running Electra Records, there are some objectively bad offerings on here that point towards the sad state that Anthrax would find themselves in when Stomp 's proto-Limp Bizkit rubbish came to light.
The clunky mid-paced mess that is "Only" is a full on Dirt ripoff, complete with Bush trying and failing to emulate Staley and Cantrell's signature chorus harmonies via overdubs, while the goofy rap metal joke "Hy Pro Glo" is so cringe-inducing that only the most insatiable of masochists need try to resist the urge to slam the skip button. But the worst offender of the bunch is the lame groove metal closer "This Is Not An Exit", which is about 3 minutes too long and is so needlessly repetitive that it hurts.
Despite how lackluster and disappointing the actual contents of this album are, it's understandable why it still has a contingent of defenders, as this was likely the most metal thing to come out of '93 that wasn't Cannibal Corpse yet was about as visible.
The entire metal scene in America was basically being held hostage by a hostile recording industry and a belligerent musical competitor that had little to no respect for anything that wasn't from their depressing corner of the country. Nevertheless, there is a reason why almost none of the songs featured on this album or any other subsequent album with John Bush at the helm have been featured live since Anthrax's classic lineup reunited in It's too much of a product of its time, and that time is one that the vast majority of the metal world would rather forget, and for very good reason.
Somewhere within this awkward 57 minute long album is a 38 minute long thrash metal beast trying to get out, but it's been so hopelessly muffled that absent the band rerecording this album and dropping 3 or 4 of the songs in favor of better material, it can't really be appreciated as such.
Thrash metal fans who have never heard this would do well not to bother with it, while those who have would be best served by forgetting it along with everything that followed up until In the wake of Metallica's game-changing "Black Album," virtually every major thrash band toned down their music and adopted new styles, hoping to maintain relevance in a post-Sandman metal world.
For some bands, the change was a disaster. For Anthrax, it was a triumph. Sound of White Noise was a pivotal record for Anthrax. A transitional album is one thing, but a transitional album with a new singer? There was every chance this album would be a wreck, and for thrash purists, it was. But for those open to a band trying new things, Sound of White Noise was a creative rebirth and revitalization with songs that are just too good to deny.
The album starts with—what else—but some white noise and a voice preparing you for "a journey into sound. This song has an infectious, stomping post-thrash riff that, while slower than the band's prior work, somehow sounds exactly like Anthrax. The "darker" vibe of Persistence of Time has also been maintained, as John Bush laments that while he "was born to save you," he was also "born to die. Personally, I'm a much bigger fan of the Belladonna Era, but Bush's thicker, grittier voice is a perfect match for the tone Anthrax is going for on Sound of White Noise.
And again, as much as I love Joey Belladonna, it's hard to imagine his over-the-top voice working as well on a song as serious and heartfelt as "Only. And from there, the album just keeps hammering you with hook after hook. This underscores something that's often overlooked about Sound of White Noise —yes, it's a different sound, but it's a fairly faithful evolution of what they'd been doing for years.
It's an evolved sound, but not a changed sound. Well, except for "Black Lodge. This is exactly the kind of material Anthrax could never pull off in the past, as their good-time thrash didn't translate to darker melodies as well as their peers. Just a beautiful song, and it's brilliantly followed by the album's fastest track in "Burst," an apparent peace offering to the thrashers. Sound of White Noise is a divisive album among metal fans, as most of these pseudo-Black albums are.
If you're a thrash fan who only wants to hear thrash from thrash bands, you're going to hate Sound of White Noise and that's cool. You might not like the style personally, but to deny its craftsmanship would frankly be disingenuous. The songs are honed to perfection, the performances are flawless and unlike the next few Anthrax albums, the stylistic change is clearly inspired.
As a mainstream heavy metal album, this is almost as good as it gets. So jump on the Sound of White Noise bandwagon. There's always room for one more. With Anthrax being my favourite act of the Big Four, I have to admit I was a bit apprehended about the album reviewed here.
Again, the album reviewed here came the closest to it, and kept the Anthrax name unstained… well, not for long. The music on the last two has come close to worshipping on the best moments, but the sound of this white noise made in the distant still makes the rounds more convincingly, if only as a capable adaptation stint. Sound of White Noise is a classic example of what happened to so many fantastic '80s metal bands by start of the '90s - they lost all of their identity and were swallowed into the corporate machinery of commercial rock.
Some bands managed a weakened but still decent effort that signalled their entry into the decade, but others fell completely flat, and few bands fell harder than Anthrax. Their work from the era was marked by the perpetual stench of mediocrity as they traded in any and all artistic principle in the name of monetary gain.
While this particular album isn't quite as awful as what would follow it is still a weak effort, either when viewed as an individual piece or when compared to other albums of its type from the period. By far the most baffling thing about this album is its sound; it is for all intents and purposes a grunge album. The biggest influence on the guitar work is Stone Temple Pilots, whose muddy guitar tone and hard rock tendencies have had a profound influence on this album's riffs, particularly the highly simplistic numbers such as 'Hy Pro Glo' or ' Points of Hate'.
There are also a few nods to Alice in Chains, or at least some attempts to interpret grunge through a heavy metal lens, which leads to the slower, more doom-infused numbers such as 'This Is Not an Exit'. In spite of the simplification from previous efforts the band were drawing from good influences - the problem is simply that the riffs are woefully uninspired. The music is very generic, and it isn't even a very remarkable or interesting take on the standard grunge template.
It's what happens when a band suddenly changes style after developing a previous sound, where they don't do enough to put their own spin on an established set of tropes because the style wasn't their own to begin with. This shows, as virtually none of the riffing on this album is particularly memorable or inspiring. Sure the drumming can be a bit overactive and the lead work can actually be quite impressive - but for every aggressive drum pattern or excellent bit of shredding there's a boring straight beat or a dry, short solo, and good drumming or lead guitar work can't make up for lazy riffs.
This era of Anthrax's output coincided with John Bush's stint with the band, and his performance borders on being terrible, as well as disappointing given his work with Armored Saint. He spends most of his time badly copying tortured croons of Layne Staley, and he's also taken on a substantial gravelly rock inflection akin to Eddie Vedder and Scott Weiland.
While there are worse vocalists he could have copied the same problem as the music applies here - he's not putting his own memorable spin on the style and instead reverts to a weak take on genre tropes. He can't really carry a tune and several of the vocal lines and hooks are flat and unmemorable, while others are tuneless and grating. He generally sounds bad in one way or another, especially when he tries yelling and simply sounds weak.
The structuring of the songs is incredibly flat and redundant. None of the progressive writing from the last two albums is present, as the band elect to stick to very basic verse-hook structures that never excite or interest. Riffs are run into the ground, ruining the energy of potentially decent songs such as 'Potters Field' or 'Room for One More' with their surprisingly solid main riffs.
Songs don't vary in terms of energy or tempo, though there are a few faster sections such as the ending of 'This Is Not an Exit' or the entirety of 'Burst' - these tend to be the exception rather than the rule though, with most songs sticking to an upper mid-tempo and not doing enough to keep the listener interested in general. However, 4 out of 11 is an incredibly poor hit rate regardless of the band, made even worse when you consider who is behind this.
This is an incredibly uninspired, dull and in some cases downright bad effort from a band that were out of their depth. The band would somehow get worse as they weathered the decade, and this is blatantly the start of that tragic decline. Needless to say, don't seek this out; its highlights aren't enough to make up for the rest of the album or what it represents for the band. As a big fan of the legendary and unforgettable Twin Peaks series by David Lynch, there were two main reasons why I wanted to check this album out.
My first contact with Anthrax was in fact the video clip for "Only" where I recognized the actor Frank Silva which gave me a big jolt and made me remember my childhood nightmares and appreciation of the best evil personality ever portrayed on television which was BOB from Twin Peaks.
When I further checked out this album, I learned that the band collaborated with the composer of the series' brilliant soundtrack which is Angelo Badalamenti fr the song "Black Lodge" which had another Twin Peaks' influenced title and clip. That's when I decided to check the entire album out.
What I quickly realized is that the two first songs I checked out are easily the best on the record. I wouldn't go as far but it's a truly catchy track with great vocals, a dark grunge riff and a nice short and sweet guitar solo. The rest of the record falls off the edge. Anthrax play mostly the same dark grunge riffs on the entire record and goes away from the thrash and heavy metal roots of the band.
The band even used the same producer as Alice In Chains did at the time. The final result is quite close to the grunge and crossover genre where only the dark vibes of some weird intros remind of a slightly progressive thrash style. As many big names of the metal industry, Anthrax also changed their style and tried out something new to go with the time and gather a certain popularity. Back in the years, Twin Peaks and grunge music were two important parts of a barnd new cultural phenomenon in the United States of America and Anthrax worked with them and used them.
The band even went further. The bad single choice "Hy Pro Glo" is influenced by a television commercial and the experimental and slightly interesting album closer "This Is Not An Exit" is a tribute to the "American Psycho" novel that came out around the same time. That's maybe not extremely entertaining and courageous but it worked back then as the album got the highest American chart position ever for any Anthrax release.
Most of the songs sound worn out and closed minded today. I could only cite "Only" as a great song that still works well in the present time and one hit out of eleven tries is not a great average at all.
Even if like Twin Peaks and crossover music, this album deserves a rather low rating from an objective point of view and is a popular and sad example for the downfall and the assimilation of the metal genre in the nineties. One of the more visible and unfortunate shifts in mainstream music belongs squarely on the shoulders of the grunge movement.
Grunge within itself is a wide assortment of musical styles ranging from the dark, Black Sabbath worship of bands Alice In Chains and Soundgarden to the muddy hard rock tendencies of Stone Temple Pilots. Although some of these bands were good, even exceptional in some cases, their rise to the limelight opened the floodgates for many respected 80's outfits to follow suit.
In the 's, just about all of America's more famous thrash acts began collapsing underneath their own weight of trying to keep up with modern times. Metallica is probably the most famous example of this, but even while that band was hell bent on destroying their credibility as a reliable metal outfit, Anthrax topped even them in this contest.
Much of the crap this band released between the mid 90's to the end of the decade flirted dangerously with all out mallcore territory and bottom rung groove metal. However, Anthrax's first conformity to mainstream trends wasn't quite as abominable, but I can't say it was delightfully good. Needless to say, with age comes maturity and realization that conforming to trends in the name of survival as an artist is hardly a respectable reason for recording and promoting anything below what your band is capable of.
What we hear on "Sound of White Noise" is the sound of Anthrax abdicating their throne of 80's satrical thrash metal for darker pastures. The first recognizable new element to this group is John Bush, former Armored Saint frontman. Bush isn't a terrible vocalist for this style of music, coming out remarkably better than grunge's false icons like Eddie Vedder. Bush reminds me more of Scott Weiland off STP's earlier days, minus the horribly incoherent lyrics and with a more melodic tinge to his voice.
Truth be told, I don't mind John Bush all that much on this release, but he's far from what he is capable of, as his pre-Anthrax contributions to music have proven. Amongst this initiation into grunge discipleship, we have a one song that pass for decent. It fuses what positive things Anthrax's new sound has going for it and creates a decent song. Beyond that, we have a collection of songs that try desperately to bring in some of the magic that Alice In Chains had going for them.
This tends to fall flat, since Anthrax ends up emulating a variety of bands from the era particularly a muddier, heavier version of what was heard on "Core. What you then end up with is a collection of grunge rock tributes with a halfway decent vocal job, but obviously nothing any 80's Anthrax fan should ever be caught with.
For what it is, a grunge rock record, "Sound of White Noise" comes out considerably well. Compared to previous material and heavy metal in general, this album succeeds on a few levels but misses out entirely on the more important ones. Ultimately, this album was the beginning of the slippery slope for Anthrax who, like Metallica, ended up ruining most of their credibility by the time the 90's ended.
I can't really recommend this album to anyone except maybe grunge enthuaists, but for everyone else avoid it entirely or seek it out second hand. Okay, so the album does have new vocalist, John Bush, and the album has some very 'soft' or over-melodic radio friendly sections, there is still plenty of material to be found here that is a logical follow up to "Persistence Of Time".
Their last album with Joey Belladonna already was an album with not much fast or thrashing songs but still remakably excellent. And that line is proceeded right here. Angelo Badalamenti himself. Maybe for all of these songs you can point to there simply being a sacrifice of shredding for groove, but these are the motherfuckers who brought the noise, and SOWN was still a full year before the advent of nu-metal.
In retrospect, this is much harder to attack because, unlike nu-metal, grunge was a catch-all for a wide range of music that shared few characteristics. But while the vocals are definitely the mark of a new band, to nail him as some sort of radio-friendly pariah is obviously completely misplaced.
After Anthrax decided to get serious and adapt, they were stuck with a relic. But even if you consider that statement high heresy, the video below shows that a SOWN with Belladonna would have been a featherweight version of the original. Much of this, of course, comes down to a generational gap. As much as it may pain those who actually remember the literal mosh this band was caught in, their previous material sounded under-produced and drab to our virgin ears when placed next to the blunt force of these tracks.
Tracklist: 1. Only 3. Room for One More 4. Packaged Rebellion 5. Hy Pro Glo 6. Invisible 7.
Retrieved August 4, ISBN Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5th ed. Omnibus Press. Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 14, Retrieved April 16, Rovi Corporation. Top 10". Retrieved February 6, Retrieved on March 14, Elektra Records. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on April 6, Retrieved March 5, Walt Grealis. June 12, Retrieved December 5, Retrieved October 24, Official Charts Company.
Retrieved November 26, Music Canada. Retrieved November 19, Retrieved September 5, Authority control MusicBrainz release group. Hidden categories: CS1 errors: missing periodical CS1 Dutch-language sources nl CS1 German-language sources de Use mdy dates from June Articles with short description Short description is different from Wikidata Articles with hAudio microformats Album articles lacking alt text for covers All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from September Certification Table Entry usages for Canada Pages using certification Table Entry with shipments figures Certification Table Entry usages for United States Pages using certification Table Entry with shipments footnote Articles with MusicBrainz release group identifiers.
Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Persistence of Time Sound of White Noise Stomp Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal. Burst How much does an opinion weigh Does it really matter what I say I can't be responsible Be yourself or be a tool Who cares what you expect What is politically correct?
All my ideas are in bad taste Get off my case and Judge yourself No one else I don't intend to offend I just offend with my intent Beauty's in the beholder's eye I just like the ugly side See things the way I do Walk a mile in my shoes Don't assume and damn it, don't praise me My thoughts would drive you crazy See things the way I do Walk a mile in my shoes Don't assume and damn it, don't praise me My thoughts would drive you crazy Kill someone, save a life Don't do drugs, drink all night Worship Jesus, praise Satan Opinions are all contradiction It's not a case of wrong and right You may hate what I may like Vice versa, it's the same Just do it, no pain no gain This is not an exit This is not an exit I can never change it This is not an exit Hand over fist Come and taste my dark trick Hand over fist Kill you when I give it This is not an exit This is not an exit I can never change it.
Anthrax « Sound of White Noise ». Potters Field Only Room For One More Packaged Rebellion Hy Pro Glo Invisible Black Lodge Burst This Is Not An Exit The Japanese release included a bonus CD with the following tracklist: 1. Noisegate 2. Cowboy Song 3. Auf Wiedersehen 4. Re-issued in August by Beyond Records with the following bonus tracks: Auf Wiedersehen