Anthrax – Worship Music (2011)

Back in the mid 80’s “Spreading the Disease” was one of my favorite albums. “Madhouse”, “Aftershock”, the killer “Armed and Dangerous” and “Medusa” were daily head-banging munitions for me. And I love them since as I loved the 1990’s “Persistence of Time”, “Keep It in the Family”, “Belly of the Beast” or the murderous cover of “Got the Time” by Joe Jackson were killer proofs of how great band Anthrax really are and they definitively deserves to be one of the “Big 4” alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer.
During 1991 they collaborated with pioneering rap artists Public Enemy on a joint version of “Bring the Noise”. Also, the EP “Attack of the Killer B’s” was recorded during 1991, featuring a new version of “I’m the Man” and a cover of “Bring the Noise” on which Scott Ian did the vocals, as well as some other killer tracks: “Startin’ Up a Posse”, “N.F.B. (Dallabnikufesin)”, “Parasite” (Kiss cover), and two S.O.D. covers “Milk (Ode to Billy)” and “Chromatic Death”.
BUT, I also believe the best thing ever happened to this band was kicking out Joey Belladonna in 1992 and bring to the microphone John Bush, formerly of Armored Saint. Just listen “Only”, “Room for One More”, “Black Lodge” or “1000 Points of Hate” and you will hear definitively the difference. “Sound of White Noise” (1993), “Stomp 442” (1995), “Volume 8: The Threat Is Real” (1998) and “We’ve Come for You All” (2003) are all great Anthrax albums even if the record labels don’t offer them their full support.
“Worship Music” have history. The recordings beginning in 2008 and were finished this year…

Attempts to bringing back Joey Belladonna were occurred several times. Dissapointed subsequently by Elektra Records and Ignition Records the band in 1999 signed Beyond Records and released the greatest-hits album “Return of the Killer A’s”, although Beyond soon went out of business as well. During this period, a two-vocalist tour featuring both Joey Belladonna and John Bush was proposed and set to go, until Belladonna decided to pull out at the last minute.
On April 1, 2005, the band announced that the “Among the Living” lineup of Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, Dan Spitz, Joey Belladonna, and Frank Bello would be reforming. On some dates of the resultant tour, they performed “Among the Living” in its entirety for the first time and at the conclusion of the tour, it was expected that the reformed line-up would begin record and release a new album, but once again Joey Belladonna quit in the last minute. Following that announcement, speculation was cast over whether John Bush would return.
Eventually Bush subsequently did appear with Anthrax for Sonisphere 2009 festival in the UK. Due to the overwhelming fan response following his performance, a “Bring Back Bush” campaign was set up and subsequently endorsed by Scott Ian.
In December 2007, it was announced the band’s new vocalist would be Dan Nelson, formerly of Devilsize.
On December 22, 2008, Anthrax’s Scott Ian revealed that he’d “been in the studio working on the new Anthrax album since November 4” and later Scott announced that the album was being mixed by Dave Fortman whose previous credits include both of Evanescence’s multi-platinum selling albums and Slipknot’s album “All Hope Is Gone.” In a post to the Anthrax website, Charlie Benante stated that “Worship Music should be out in May 2009”.  This was delayed for an October release.
But in July 2009 manager Izvor Zivkovic confirmed the departure of Dan Nelson and in September 2009, it was announced that John Bush would be yet again singing with Anthrax. Also in late 2009, Anthrax confirmed a “Big 4” event with Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer as part of the 2010 Sonisphere festival. Asked, about “Worship Music” John Bush said: “Now we’re trying to figure out a way to see if we can re-record some of the songs that the band had already recorded for the album” and there was rumors that John Bush will re-recording some of Dan Nelson’s vocals.
But once again the fate interfered with the releasing of “Worship Music” and the band’s carrier when ultimately, Bush decided that he did not want to recommit to Anthrax full time and left the group. In early 2010 was announced that Joey Belladonna returned to Anthrax for the shows in summer of 2010 as well as committing to a new album.
Finally, on 24 June 2011 Anthrax released the first song off the new album called “Fight’em ‘Til You Can’t” on as a free download.
“Worship Music” is the upcoming tenth studio album of the band, now set for release on September 12, 2011. It is their first album of original material since 2003’s “We’ve Come for You All”, and the first Anthrax album to feature Belladonna on vocals since 1990’s “Persistence of Time”.

I had listen for several times the entire album and there’s one thing to say: “Bring Back Bush”!

“Earth on Hell” comes after the intro of “Worship” and it sounds just like a raging and fast thrash metal song from the “Among the Living”/”Persistence of Time” of era. Even the sound of Ian’s riffs are just the same. Rob Caggiano delivered a Slayer like solo, but Belladonna’s “the kids get wild on the street” type of lyrics are absolutely cliches and his vocal performances are not that bright as they were two decades ago. “The Devil You Know” sounds more like something left over from the “Sound of White Noise” period, it takes a little bit slower and it filled with excellent Anthrax taste-like riffs. “Fight’em ‘Til You Can’t” combined the classy 80’s more heavy metal oriented riffing and sounds with a twist of modern approach. And well, we must admit it: Anthrax always delivered great songs, drummer Charlie Benante is one of the greatest metal song writers ever and the riffs of Scott Ian are mandatory lessons for any metal guitarist.
“I’m Alive” is another slower, grinding construction with killer riffs, eventually reminds me of “Black Lodge”. After the intro of cellos from “Hymn 1”, explode “In the End”, one of the best moments of the albums, gloomy textures and cutting edge riffs delivered a perfectly balanced aggression, brutality and harmony melting into one, this is an absolutely classy and killer track. “The Giant” take us once again back to the 80’s and Belladonna – sadly once again – sounds like a burned-out Rob Halford. And well, the gallows-pole like drums of “Hymn 2” introduce us to the song called “Judas Priest” and not only because of its title – but who knows? – it’s quite a classic heavy metal track. “Crawl” is a dark, glowing song, taste more like the “Black Lodge” even than “I’m Alive”, but it’s a catchy and classy Anthrax composition. “The Constant” kicking out with some Pantera taste-like riff, it’s another great moment and song of the album with “Sound of White Noise” era Anthrax schemes. Absolute metal!
“Revolution Screams” is a thrash/Anthrax classic, no fissure in it, Anthrax is the same, strong, killer metal band. The album is closed by the Refused cover “New Noise”.

I love Anthrax, I always did, bring back Bush!

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One comment on “Anthrax – Worship Music (2011)

  1. Well, although I really LOVE the Bush Era, I think this album with Belladonna is awesome, it’s kinda of return of the “roots” of the band. Joey vocals are awesome in this one too. Actually I think Buh can sing more and have more power, but Belladonna is unique, u know ? Anyway.. I think Anthrax released an awesome album at the right time, I bought it went it came out!

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