I came across a video a few weeks ago from the 2017 Loudwire Music Awards. It was the song Caught in a Mosh by Anthrax. I'm a sucker, so I clicked on the link and was floored by how great they sounded. Joey, Scott, Frankie, and Charlie are all still on their game. Even substitute Jonathan Donais hit the guitar solos. I shrank the window and only listened to the audio and it was like a time capsule to 1987. Sound mix wasn't the best, but that's not Anthrax's fault.
So what am I bitching about today? Caught in a Mosh came out 30 (!) years ago. What have Anthrax and Metallica been up to for the past 20 years? Suckin' the air out of the room!
Let's get up to speed and review each bands discography:
• Kill 'Em All (1983) 95
• Ride the Lightning (1984) 100
• Master of Puppets (1986) 100
• ...And Justice for All (1988) 88
• Metallica (1991) 50
• Load (1996) 66
• Reload (1997) 68
• St. Anger (2003) 45
• Death Magnetic (2008) 48
• Hardwired... to Self-Destruct (2016) 42
• Fistful of Metal (1984) 70
• Spreading the Disease (1985) 98
• Among the Living (1987) 100
• State of Euphoria (1988) 90
• Persistence of Time (1990) 75
• Sound of White Noise (1993) 78
• Stomp 442 (1995) 79
• Volume 8: The Threat Is Real (1998) 80
• We've Come for You All (2003) 5
• Worship Music (2011) 10
• For All Kings (2016) 15
I rated each album above on a scale of 1 to 100. Then made a graph 'cause graphs are fun.
Best of the 80's
Anthrax: One perfect album (Among the Living). Would have owned the 80's if not for....
Metallica: Two perfect albums (Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets). Between 83' and 88' Metallica owned Metal like the Ramones owned punk from 77' to 82' or Beatles owned Music Itself 65' to 70'.
Best of the 90's
Anthrax: John Bush stepped in and Anthrax made 3 more good metal albums. Not great, but very good. Past 1988, Anthrax's Volume 8: The Threat is Real was the best album by either band.
Metallica: The decade that Metallica wanted to be a Rock Band and not a Metal Band.
Best of the 00's
Anthrax: One of the worst musical efforts since the invention of vinyl. And then nothing else.
Best of the 10's
Anthrax: Absolutely nothing good. My love for Anthrax has turned to hate.
Metallica: Points for trying.
Last "Great" Metal Song by each band.
Anthrax: 1998's Alpha Male
Metallica: 1996's Bleeding Me
A quiet desperation not captured since ...And Justice For All.
Now you can say: What about Slayer? Slayer scares me.
Now you can say: What about Megadeth? Good singles, not great albums.
What is the point of the article? Simple. Neither band has been great for 20 years. (And that's being generous.) And arguing who's better now is like arguing between the Beatles v Rolling Stones or the Ramones v the Sex Pistols.
Metallica v Anthrax is now for the historians to decide because their last few albums sucked...
The most frustrating part about Anthrax is that between nailing their classics today and doing admirable covers like Carry on my Wayward Son, you know it's not their skills that have eroded, it's either their writing or their chemistry.
Listen closely to Wayward Son:
But the band nailed a classic rock song. From 1976. Bands like Municipal Waste, Trivium, and Toxic Holocaust have all blown right by them when it comes to good, new metal songs.