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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Metallica/Slayer/Megadeth/Anthrax: The Big Four

Metallica/Slayer/Megadeth/Anthrax: The Big Four
2010, WB Records

Metallica.  Slayer.  Megadeth.  Anthrax.

These four bands, dubbed The Big Four, are the foundation of thrash metal and all of the musical tendrils that have shot fourth from the movement born in the 1980's.  Despite their shared roots, it wasn't until the summer of 2010 when the four bands actually shared the same stage for a string of seven European concert dates.  One of those dates, a June 22, 2010 concert is Sofia, Bulgaria was beamed to movie theaters across Europe and around the United States in high definition, providing an opportunity for those who would never dream of making the trans-Atlantic trip a chance to be a part of history.  On November 2, 2010, Warner Brothers Records releases a 3-DVD/Blueray set of the show as well as a limited edition package that captures both the video and complete audio of the show (on 5CDs) with extras.  To put it bluntly, The Big Four is your favorite metal head's dream come true. 

The first DVD in the set covers Anthrax (CD1), Megadeth (CD2) and Slayers (CD3).  Each set is approximately one hour and features some of the best known hits from each band.  Each set features some of the best known songs of each band delivered in high definition with blistering sound.  Anthrax lets loose with tracks such as "Caught In A Mosh", "Antisocial", "Only" and "I Am The Law", as well as a cover of Joe Jackson's "Got The Time".  Megadeth steps up with "Holy Wars...Punishment Due", "Hangar 18", "Head Crusher", "Trust", "Sweating Bullets" And "Symphony Of Destruction", amongst others.  Slayer blows what's left of the roof off with hits such as "Jihad", "War Ensemble", "Angel Of Death", ""Chemical Warfare" and the Grammy nominated "Disciple".

The second DVD (CD4 and CD5) feature the masters of metal themselves, Metallica.  The headliners of the show are bit more clean cut than they were back in the 1980's, and age may have mellowed their respective personas, but on-stage they still rock out like nobody's business.  Hits such as "Creeping Death", "Heavers Of Sorrow", "Cyanide" and "Sad But True" are worth every penny, but as Metallica enters the second half of their set they raise their game.  The version of "One" offered here is absolutely classic, with all of the raw energy that exploded from the original.  "Master Of Puppets" likewise seems to find the band recapturing their glory days.  "Nothing Else Matters" and "Enter Sandman" don't seem as out of place in the catalogue as they did upon their initial release and the closing triumvirate of "Am I Evil?", "Hit The Lights" and "Seek And Destroy" simply are not for the faint of heart.

The Big Four preserves an once-in-a-lifetime concert in high definition video and sound.  Folks who missed the thrash metal movement may not get it, but there isn't a band working today who refers to themselves as heavy metal or something-core who doesn't owe their livelihoods to at least one of the four bands featured.  Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax all helped build the foundations for thrash metal, but it was Metallica that turned thrash metal into an international conspiracy that was accessible to more traditional music fans by building the bridge that helped the form cross over into the mainstream with their ground-breaking The Black Album.  Hard core fans will have to have the "Super Deluxe" box set, which includes the DVDs, 5 CDs capturing the complete audio of the show, a 24-page book, a poster, band photos and a collectable guitar pick.  Whichever way you go, you'll be purchasing a record of rock history.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

 Learn more about Metallica at  Learn more about Megadeth at  Learn more about Slayer at  Learn more about Anthrax at The Big Four drops on November 2, 2010.  You can order the set on DVD, Blu-Ray, or as the Super Deluxe Box Set from

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