2 Stars out of 5
Anthrax has survived the test of time, 35 years since their inception the band is still active touring regularly. It’s been almost 5 years since WORSHIP MUSIC and fans have been hungry for some new Anthrax for awhile. We finally get FOR ALL KINGS, their first album with guitarist Jon Donais. Anthrax’s peers (Slayer, Megadeth) have put out some solid releases recently. How would the new album measure up and would they deliver the thrash goods?
I think the new Anthrax is a lighter more commercial album than WORSHIP MUSIC is. Opening track “Impaled” is fast and catchy, but not that heavy. Joey Belladona sounds more melodic than fierce here, and the riffing is missing some bite. The drumming sounds like Charlie Benante is holding back rather than really blasting us. “You Gotta Believe” is more of the same, as is the title track “For All Kings”, both are enjoyable with the typical Anthrax sing along quality but the intensity is just not there. If you compare these songs to “Earth on Hell” or “Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t” from WORSHIP MUSIC they feel a little light, let alone comparing this stuff to Anthrax’s best 80’s material. This trend continues even more so with “Monster at the End” and “Breathing Lightning”, which sound more like hard rock than metal. Joey’s voice lends itself to hard rock well (check out his side projects, the man can sing) as he is not a traditional thrash vocalist, and the band has built around that a bit. “Evil Twin” doesn’t have the heaviness it had live when I recently saw Anthrax too.
I’m sure most of this material will sound better live as it will have more punch. I think Anthrax has taken the more melodic parts of WORSHIP MUSIC (“In the End”,” I’m Alive”) and expounded on that sound, building most of FOR ALL KINGS around that. There’s nothing here that will rip your face off, and I think that is unfortunate.
FOR ALL KINGS is my first disappointment for 2016. I’ve listened to it several times and it’s just not clicking for me. I have all of Anthrax’s classic albums and I’ve seen them 14 times, so I am very familiar with the band and what their signature sound is. FOR ALL KINGS is missing a key ingredient. The anger is missing, and that is essential for good thrash.
- You Gotta Belive
- Monster At the End
- For All Kings
- Breathing Lightning
- Breathing Out
- Evil Twin
- Blood Eagle Wings
- Defend / Avenge
- All of Them Thieves
- This Battle Chose Us
- Zero Tolerance
- Joey Belladonna – lead vocals
- Scott Ian – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Charlie Benante – drums, electric and acoustic guitar
- Frank Bello – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Jon Donais – lead guitar
Buy Album: http://www.amazon.com/All-Kings-Anthrax/dp/B018RLBAFM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449068822&sr=8-1&keywords=020286221005
Band Website: http://anthrax.com/