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Anthrax: For All Kings

Album Review

NY metal legends bring the weight of history to bear

When Joey Belladonna finally rejoined the other members of Anthrax after a two-decade studio break from the band, some of us dared to hope for a return to the classic thrash stylings of 1985’s Spreading The Disease or 1987’s Among The Living.

Instead, 2011’s Worship Music continued to pump the more melodic songwriting muscles Anthrax had discovered on 1993’s Sound Of White Noise while drawing harder than ever on their trad metal roots. The result was a worthy return with some very strong songs, but one that ploughed a more simplistic road, steering away from the full-on thrash their hi-topped fans had been hoping for.

To be fair, Anthrax started out as a heavy metal band, as can be heard on their 1984 debut Fistful Of Metal. Having fired themselves out of that cannon, they sailed through the flaming hoop of 80s thrash metal, through hardcore, through the dark days of alt-rock, and now find themselves back in Metalville, standing on the shoulders of giants. Excitingly, For All Kings plays like the band’s overwhelmingly successful attempt, consciously or otherwise, to consolidate and reconcile their past and present – often within the very same song.

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