The pre-John Bush version of Anthrax did fun metal with great aplomb and are great fun to listen to, even almost 20 years after some of these tracks were originally recorded. Seeing as some press reports say a new record from this line-up is unlikely, as old tensions have returned during the touring process, No Hit Wonders might be a cheap alternative to collecting their entire Belladona-era catalogue. Yes, the second disc lags a bit starting about half-way through because the material isn’t as good as some of the earlier material. But with 30 tracks, some uneven quality is bound to result.
Is this collection an essential collection for everyone? Probably not; but if you ever had a soft spot for this load of nuts or wondered what all the fuss was about, then No Hit Wonders is a great purchase. It’s a good collection: well put together, and light on the filler. It will put a smile on your face, of that I have no doubt.
Dragonlord: Black Wings of Destiny
Dragonlord is a black-metal supergroup of sorts, featuring Testament founding member Eric Petersen. Black Wings of Destiny is less of Testament under another name and far more of a nod to Dimmu Borgir in its black metal intensity, with the track “Blood Voyeur” as a good stylistic example. It’s very much a Euro-black metal release than the more North American flavour of Testament's prog-thrash. This stuff is complex and epic in nature, for sure. Interestingly enough, the last track is a cover of the Thin Lizzy track “Emerald,” not exactly a natural choice for a black metal band. It’s a rather good version that bizarrely fits in this collection. The cover of a black metal veteran’s “Merciful Fate” track in the form of “Black Funeral” is a bit more logical and just as good. Black Wings of Destiny is a quality release from a very talented band. While it doesn't break any ground in the genre, its quality speaks volumes. Who cares if it’s just Eric having a bit of fun on the side, as long as we get to hear the results?
You just knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Someone was going to produce an album that pretty much apes the mellower of Opeth's releases like Damnation. It had to happen, considering the well deserved praise that is being heaped on the Swedish/Mexican prog death metal band. Well, this lot of Poles Indukti are the first lot I have heard try it. The PR claims more of a Tool/King Crimson influence...well maybe via Opeth. And while these sort of clone bands tend to annoy this reviewer (Vanden Plas with their Dream Theater by the dots, for instance), it’s hard to fault this lot's release.