Anthrax: Worship Music

Let’s face it, when you think of the Big Four bands of thrash, Metallica are always the first band everybody thinks of and Anthrax are most likely the last band you think of. Unfortunately, there’s a sad reason, for why that is and thats because Anthrax have been very stagnant over the years. Suffering from various singer and lineup changes, Anthrax haven’t been able to create an album of any credibility, let alone on the same plane as the others in the Big Four. However, Anthrax aren’t dead and gone yet and this new album proves that they still have good songs in them and won’t go down without a fight.

For those of you who might have read my review of the new Children of Bodom record (back on the Facebook group page), you will remember that I said the new album was really good in a ‘much-better-than-Blooddrunk’ sense. It wasn’t brilliant and it certainly wasn’t better than “Hate Crew Deathroll” or “Are you Dead Yet?”. This new Anthrax album is similar in that it’s not a brilliant record, but because the band haven’t done really anything in years, hearing the band finally put out a really good record makes the record seem a lot better than it actually is. It’s a really good and strong record, but just because the band haven’t had decent albums in a while, don’t exaggerate how good this album actually is.

One other really important thing to keep in mind when listening to this record is that even though the band reunited with Joey Belladonna for this record, these songs were written back when Dave Nelson was the singer during the 2007-09 period. It makes you wonder how different the record might sound if Dave Nelson (who never officially sang on a record with the band) was on record. Most of these songs were re-recorded to keep the songs alive and earlier this year, he band released “Fight ‘Em Til You Cant” as a single and now the highly anticipated album has finally arrived to much critical praise, and for good reason. The songs on this record are not inly really good, but they’re also memorable. These are songs that I can remember easily and be able to describe them to someone who hasn’t listened to the album yet, unlike the new Dream Theater album or something like that. These are also songs that I wouldn’t mind hearing in a live show by Anthrax either.

“Fight Em Til You Can’t”, the single from this record, is a ripper of a tune, but there are tons of other songs on this record that are just as killer as this one. Songs like “Earth on hell” and “I’m Alive” are some of the best songs that Anthrax have written in years. The intricate guitar hooks are vibrant and sharp and Joey’s voice is just soaring on every song on this record. As a drummer, I can’t help but love some of the massive drum fills that Charlie Benante manages to sneak in. He really is one of the best metal drummers out there, but doesn’t nearly seem to get enough credit I feel in the drumming world.

Anthrax have not only made a name for themselves again as a great thrash band, but they’ve released a really strong and true blue metal record, which you don’t really see or hear as often nowadays. Thrash revivalist bands like Baptized in Blood and Evile are more Slayer-esque and are great bands, but lack a little in the song department. This new Anthrax record has lots of great songs on there and it makes me excited again about Anthrax. I feel like we have something to look forward to from Anthrax. It’s obviously way too early to start thinking about how the next record will sound, but I really hope that Anthrax are able to channel these good songs into the mix again.

Again, great record from a great, but struggling thrash pioneer band. There’s not much more to add beyond my praise for how this record is coming from Anthrax. Great job guys and keep up the good work. I don’t know if this band are touring as of now, but if they come to your neighborhood, you better be there when they raise hell.

Luke Helker


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