ANTHRAX

"For All Kings" 7-Inch Vinyl Box Set (Megaforce; 2017)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Anthrax fans, especially completists, are in for a treat with this terrific box set version of the album that many called a return to the form for the legendary thrash band.

"For All Kings" was well-received by fans and critics alike when it was released last year, with many saying that it was as good as any of the band's previous, now-classic albums. Personally, I like the epic, longer songs and the creative lyrics, as well as the band's legendary thrash sound.

The entire original album is included in this 10-record set, along with four bonus tracks: Six demo tracks and two cover songs: "Black Math," originally by The White Stripes and the iconic classic rock tune, "Carry On," originally by Kansas. The Kansas cover is particularly surprising as the Anthrax version is virtually identical to the original, albeit with the occasional heavier guitar and drums.

The question you must ask is this: Do I need another version of an album I may already own? And that is a question you can only answer yourself. The fact is that this is a very cool box set, with 10 different sets of artwork sleeves, the bonus tracks, and the cool, removable lenticular cover. As I said, Anthrax completists are going to love it as will vinyl fans. I'll leave that decision up to you.

For more information, check out http://www.anthrax.com.  

"Anthrology: No Hit Wonders" (Island; 2005)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Cashing in on reunion-mania, the boys in Anthrax have chronicled their most popular time with this twin disc set containing all of the best from 1985-1991, a.k.a. the Belladonna era. If you own all of these tracks already (and even a casual Anthrax fan is likely to), thereís really no need to purchase them again here. But, if you are relatively unfamiliar with the groundbreaking metal act that not only spearheaded the rap-metal trend but also put out some mighty fine metal in the process, then this collection is a great place to start. 

Letís hope that the band decides to make a move out of this time machine in the very near future and instead continues to forge ahead and show the metal world how true crossover is done. 

For more information, check out http://www.anthrax.com

"Alive 2" (Sanctuary; 2005)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Anthrax gets nostalgic, goes backwards, and becomes a reunion act? Sadly, thatís how these NYC pioneers of metal, after putting out unquestionably their best work to date with "We've Come For You," have spent much of 2005. 

With all original (well, best known anyhow) members in tow, Anthrax commemorates this reconvening with the 12-track "Alive 2." So, of course it sounds great, but is it a step in the right direction to reinstitute a lineup from twenty years ago and give it another go-round? Thatís really up to the fans, but if you have any doubt about how the band sounds, fear not. They still rip with the vigor and virtue that youíd expect from this incendiary act. 

Letís just hope they get it out of their system and continue breaking new ground sans the KISS-esque chicanery.

For more information, check out http://www.anthrax.com

"The Greater of Two Evils" (Sanctuary; 2004)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Anthrax put a poll up on their website asking fans to vote on their favorite tunes. While that in itself is not unheard of, Anthrax took it one step further: they re-recorded the top voted songs and released them on a new CD called "The Greater Of Two Evils."

I must admit that - although I have obviously listened to Anthrax before - I never really explored the band. After a few spins of this CD, however, I found myself really getting into the Anthrax spirit. "The Greater of Two Evils" has given me a new taste in the band and I will go out and re-explore some of their earlier material. 

As for this release, the Internet audience did a good job. The tracks featured on this CD offer excellent songwriting ability and tight presentation, loaded with attitude. Plus, John Bush does a great job singing all the classic Anthrax tunes.

I have often wondered what the big deal was with Anthrax and now I know: They fuckin' rock! 

Anthrax: Scott Ian - guitar and background vocals; Charlie Benante - drums; Frank Bello - bass and vocals; John Bush - vocals; Rob Caggiano - guitar.

Go to www.anthrax.com for more information, downloads, reviews and swag.

"Music of Mass Destruction" (Sanctuary; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It seems that the classic live double-CD set is being replaced by the "CD plus bonus DVD" set and that's just fine with me. This collection of live tunes, recorded during a show in Chicago on December 5, 2003, proves that Anthrax is still a force to be reckoned with. The band delivers an explosive performance, leaving no doubt that their music, as well as their onstage intensity, have solidly withstood the test of time.

Yeah, you can argue about the track selection but that's really a matter of personal choice. You don't get to pick the songs you hear when the band comes to your town, either. But the nice thing about the bonus DVD is that at least you get the entire Chicago show. The CD only contains twelve tracks and runs about 70 minutes but the DVD contains all sixteen songs performed that night, plus the interactive, multi-angle bonus tracks "Fueled," and "Metal Thrashing Mad" and behind the scenes footage, including a visit to John Bush's "Burning Bush" home pub.

If I have any complaint about "Music of Mass Destruction," it's that the DVD doesn't contain the band's infamous zombie video for "What Doesn't Die." I scoured the DVD, figuring it would be there but, alas, unless I missed it I'm stuck with the shitty Internet version at this point. Oh, well. Maybe one of these days.

Overall, however, "Music of Mass Destruction" does what it's supposed to do: Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of a legendary band and make it perfectly clear that they're far from finished.

For more information, check out http://www.anthrax.com

"We've Come For You All (Sanctuary; 2003)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

The long awaited follow-up to "Volume 8" is finally here and Anthrax have outdone themselves, making "We've Come For You All" well worth the wait. 

With 14 tracks of stomping grooves the likes of which we've come to expect from this seminal metal band, "We've Come For You All" pushes the bandmembers in ways never heard before, proving that Anthrax is not just another metal band cashing in on their '80s infamy. Instead, in true form, Scott Ian and crew continuously push the envelope and have created a monstrous metal record that may be the best album by this incarnation to date. 

From the over the top, kick-ass vocal rasp that John Bush has laid down, to the twin guitar assault of Ian and new axeman (and co-producer) Rob Caggiano, to the ever solid four string attack from Frankie Bello, "We've Come For You All" has got everything a classic Anthrax album should have. The real star of this release, however, is the master of the skins himself, Charlie Benante, whose percussive work here is mind-blowing and once again proves that he is quite possibly the most underrated drummer in metal today. Just check out the blast beat madness of "Black Dahlia" and the complex rhythm played in "Nobody Knows Anything."

The best thing about this album, however, as Ian has stated in interviews, is that "We've Come For You All" has it all, from the crushing riffs we've come to expect ("Superhero," "Think About An End") to the fist-pumping anthems that Anthrax have channeled from the bands they call heroes - like guest vocalist's Roger Daltrey's outfit, The Who ("Taking The Music Back"). Pantera's Dimebag Darrell also makes a guest appearance.

"We've Come For You All" also displays a great deal of depth, as the track "Safe Home" and its wide range of emotion is the most revealing Anthrax has ever recorded. 

It's a safe bet to say that Anthrax hasn't been resting on its laurels during its messy layoff; instead, they were merely finding a way to ... well ... come for us all, and on this aptly titled release, it seems as if the mission statement set forth is in full effect.

Quite possibly the best Anthrax album ever, "We've Come For You All" is a must-have for any metal fan.

For more information, check out http://www.anthrax.com.  

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2017 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 Apr 2017 22:32:24 -0400.