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Anthrax
Worship Music
September 2011
Released: 2011, Megaforce Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Robert Williams

It's been a little over eight years since Anthrax has unleashed a brand new full length studio album and since that time the band has undergone a reformation of the original lineup leading up to the eventual exit of vocalist Joey Belladonna and axeman Dan Spitz. After a short lived Dan Nelson fronted Anthrax Joey Belladonna has returned to the band and in the place of Dan Spitz is Rob Caggiano who originaly had debuted with Anthrax on the band's last studio album "We've Come For You All"



After a brief atmospheric and ambient into titled "Worship" the listener is greeted with a harsh blastbeat courtesy of seasoned skinsman Charlie Benante on the crushing and abrasive "Earth On Hell". I had heard some previous hype about the new material being similar in feel to the "Persistance of Time" era. I tend to disagree a bit with that sentiment. The new material is very modern in both production and delivery and Joey Belladonna sticks to the mid range for the most part. That's not to say that the songs on tap aren't catchy the same way as the group's older material is, as tracks like "The Devil You Know" and "Fight Em Til You Can't" are surefire crowd pleasers and destined for auto-repeat in your head. It's strange but I almost hear an uncanny resemblance at times to the heavy progressive feel of "Justice" era Metallica.



"In The End" is a righteous little ass kicker of a tune with some awesome vocal phrasing and catchy choruses on the part of returning vocalist Joey Belladonna and trademark Scott Ian hooks in the rhythm guitar department. Robb Caggiano lends some tasteful soloing to boot as needed as well. It's also worth noting that there is an old school flavored romper stomper titled "Judas Priest" (Look for some lyrical nods to The Metal Gods in the lyrics). Closing out WORSHIP MUSIC is the frantic riffery of "Revolution Screams" a fast paced vocal driven number with multiple percussive shifts in tempo built around a solid rhythmic structure of heavy palm muted guitars.



Keeping in mind the recent high profile Big Four concerts that saw Anthrax perform in front of festival sized crowds alongside metal heavyweights like Slayer, Megadeth and Metallica it's safe to say that Anthrax are finally having their triumphant day in the sun. It remains to be seen how cohesive the current lineup will prove to be in the long run but as of the here and now they are sitting on top of a pretty badass record.
Track Listing

1. Worship (Intro)
2. Earth on Hell
3. The Devil You Know
4. Fight 'Em Til You Can't
5. I'm Alive
6. Hymn 1
7. In the End
8. The Giant
9. Hymn 2
10. Judas Priest
11. Crawl
12. The Constant
13. Revolution Screams

Lineup

Joey Belladonna - Vocals
Scott Ian - Guitar
Robb Caggiano - Guitar
Frank Bello - Bass
Charlie Benante - Drums


Next review: » Anthrax - Worship Music
Anthrax
Worship Music
December 2011
Released: 2011, Megaforce Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Long time readers of this site may have picked up on the fact that over the years I’ve given Anthrax a bit of a rough ride. In fact, I pretty much gave up on the band about 18 years ago, 1993 or so, but I have watched their career from the outside hoping they might return to form one day. Over the years on this site I’ve given a pretty poor review to their last several releases, RETURN OF THE KILLER A’s, VOLUME 8, THE MUSIC OF MASS DESTRUCTION and THE GREATER OF TWO EVILS. I didn’t even bother to review WE’VE COME FOR YOU ALL (aka WE’VE COME FROM YOUR MALL) it was so bad. My main thrust of these reviews was always consistent. The band can no longer compete with the younger hungrier, more aggressive bands and if they are to stay at all relevant to the Metal community they need to get back in the saddle and write and record a heavy, fast album. Well, almost 10 years later they have finally…sort of…done it.



WORSHIP MUSIC is easily the best Anthrax album in 20 years. However, it is a sad state of affairs when we get excited or pleased when a formerly world-class band…one of the original Big Four no less…puts out an average album by today’s standards and a good (not great, but good) album in comparison to their own catalogue. Can Anthrax compete with the young thrash bands like Mantic Ritual, Toxic Holocaust, Municipal Waste, Macbeth, or Suicidal Angels? Not at all, I don’t think Anthrax even bother to try anymore. However as a reinvigorated band in 2011 this is a fantastic comeback album, maybe even the comeback of the decade.



Back in September of 2011 Robert Williams wrote a great review of WORSHIP MUSIC on this site and I generally agree with his sentiments about the new record. I recommend you check out his review as well. I don’t have a ton to add except to reiterate the hype, the first album in over eight years, Joey’s back, it’s faster, it’s heavier, the production is good, it’s still all about the comics and zombies and the songs are actually good. Even the lyrics have a newfound (or rediscovered) sense of defiance and aggression on cuts like ‘I’m Alive’, ‘Fight Until You Can’t’ and ‘Revolution Screams’. Let’s face it, Anthrax has always been the runt of the Big Four Litter and after hanging around the stadiums with the big dogs (Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer) for the past couple years, maybe they realized they had better start competing again. They also likely realized (what I have been saying for a decade) that have one last chance to put out a killer Metal record.



This is a bit of non-review in the sense that I haven’t really talked about the music, but in the final analysis I never thought I’d see myself type the words, Anthrax has made a very, very good album. WORSHIP MUSIC is a bold statement of intent; a declaration of purpose and perhaps most importantly a metaphorical fist in the face to all the naysayers, like me. If this is the kind of audio punishment Anthrax is still capable of dishing out all I can say is, “Please sirs, may I have some more?”
Track Listing

1. Worship
2. Earth on Hell
3. The Devil You Know
4. Fight 'em 'til You Can't
5. I'm Alive
6. Hymn 1
7. In the End
8. The Giant
9. Hymn 2
10. Judas Priest
11. Crawl
12. The Constant
13. Revolution Screams / New Noise

Lineup

Joey Belladonna-Vocals
Rob Caggiano-Guitar
Scott Ian-Guitar
Frank Bello-Bass
Charlie Benante-Drums






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