Anthrax has been an ever-evolving musical beast for many years. In 1993 when John Bush, lead singer from Armored Saint, replaced Joey Belladonna, the music would remain heavy but the vocal styling would cause a ripple of difference. Some people loved it, while some could care less. Those that loved John being an addition, embraced the singer for his enthusiasm and presence on the stage. Those who could not look past the old material would remain such for in truth the vocal styles were from opposite sides of the spectrum. In a live setting, material that Bush created with them was dead on, however, the classic and vintage tunes were too different. Joey sang in a much higher register than John and was not the screamer that his predecessor was.
The group decided to re-record classic material and release it as The Greater Of Two Evils. On this release you would have John Bush singing everything and there would also be some reworking of the music you might have been used to. They came about the songs in a unique way by having an Internet poll of their fans who could select one or two tunes from each of a section of releases. The results were tallied and this CD was born. The good aspect of it, is the fact that you now have a better representation of the Anthrax of today in a live setting when it comes to older material. The bad part of it is the fact that a lot of the older material is just not John Bush. Being brutally honest I have to say that I disliked this CD more than I liked it. Missing are the covers by Trust and Joe Jackson ("Got The Time" and "Antisocial") but I am guessing that was more to copyright and licensing permissions rather than the band not wanting to do them. I see
them performed regularly in a concert setting.
The track "Deathrider" which was Neil Turban singing originally is a surprisingly good number, and perhaps one of my favorites. I also enjoyed "Gung Ho" and "Indians" and "Madhouse" for little was lost from the original versions. The playing is dead on from the guys, and Charlie Benante has never been better if you ask me. This CD would be the last studio album to feature Frank Bello on the bass while Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano attack their guitars in true 'Thrax fashion. However when you add the numbers I felt were good against those I felt lacked, I find myself leaving the piece with a low rating. Perhaps it is because I am too entrenched in the classic material. I do know that I still support them when they play and in the end, this is a good thing. Die-hard fans of the band might dig this, but I recommend trying to find audio samples first.
2. Metal Thrashing Mad
3. Caught In A Mosh
5. Among The Living
6. Keep It In The Family
10. I Am The Law
11. Belly Of The Beast
13. Be All End All