Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Anthrax - Armed and Dangerous (1985)

Some months after the release of their debut album, Fistful of Metal, Anthrax parted ways with vocalist Neil Turbin and recruited Joey Belladonna. To help their fans (and, maybe, themselves) get better acquainted with the new line-up, they recorded an E.P. Armed and Dangerous, released in February 1985, is more of a collector's item than anything else.

The album cover does nothing to help the band, nor does the fact that the first song starts out with about two minutes of, what sounds like, a ballad. Poor song arrangement aside, this E.P. does include an interesting song that can be found nowhere else, "Raise Hell". It is an average, mid-paced Thrash Metal track, though the production helps make it more enjoyable. The sound is still a little more on the less-produced side, offering the grittier pre-1986 atmosphere. As for the rest, there is not much to say. Two "live" songs that were merely recorded in the studio, like Slayer's Live Undead or Metallica's Jump in the Fire. Joey does a decent job on these, but does not quite surpass Turbin's performance on Fistful of Metal. There is also a cover of "God Save the Queen", which is pretty out of place.

All in all, Armed and Dangerous is not particularly interesting. At least later versions include the Soldiers of Metal 7". It is clear why this was released at the time, but it became much less relevant the moment Spreading the Disease was released, and it probably something that only hardcore Anthrax fans would be interested in.