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Anthrax - Worship Music

Worship Music
by Fede "FedeRock" Taich / Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 02 October 2011, 8:09 PM

FedeRock (7/10)
Eight years pasted since their last studio album “We’ve Come For You All” and twenty one years after the last album with Belladonna, “Persistence Of Time”, ANTHRAX return with "Worship Music", one of the most long awaited albums of the decade since GUNS N’ ROSES’s "Chinese Democracy” and finally it is here.

For me, ANTHRAX has always been a band of two faces. One is the Speed / Thrash Metal. Back in the 80s they were a band that was unlike any other because of the young Belladonna's amazing melodic vocals that made the band sound like a mix of MEGADETH and IRON MAIDEN. On the other hand, the groove Metal of the 90s era with BUSH that sounded more like S.O.D meets PANTERA with a singer that came out of a Heavy Metal band (ARMORED SAINTS) but did not sound like one on ANTHRAX. So if you haven't listened to the album yet you would probably ask how does the new album sound like right?

Well it sounds like a bunch of songs that the guys wrote throughout the years without keeping in mind of the importance of the type of vocals that will be on them (the band worked on and off with three different singers on the album but BELLADONNA recorded the last version that finally came out).

The first song after the intro is “Earth On Hell” that is a great song title for an opening song in my opinion.  The song is totally old school ANTHRAX until the break part in that sounds more like ANTHRAX Mark II as I call them.

This is my opinion for most of the album. The songs are a mix of both styles. Some may think it is a good thing, for me, an old school ANTHRAX fan, it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, most of the songs are really good but I think it’s too notable that this is not an album that Belladonna was taken into account. It is a mix of songs by the same band but worked with so different singers that each song has its own style. I mean it’s all by the same band and players but I wish they could sit with Belladonna and write songs that would fit him 100%.

I think that the duo songs the band used to promote the album, “The Devil You know“ and "Fight ’Em Til You Can't" are awesome songs. Maybe the best ones on the album and a great promotion move.

Overall it’s a solid album if you listen to it without judging the band by their history and with an open mind. The only song that I really expected more from was “Judas Priest” because I thought it will be a Heavy Metal song that shows their devotion and kind of a tribute to JUDAS PRIEST but it just sounded like a song that has nothing to do with JUDAS PRIEST and in my opinion not even sound like ANTHRAX that I hold dear.

In conclusion it’s a fine comeback album and with what’s going on today in the Metal scene, especially in the US, I can see why the album has been getting such good reviews as it’s modern, sounds good, full of energy and fun to listen to. But for me it’s not the comeback record I would love to hear from ANTHRAX with Belladonna.
Steinmetal (7/10)
ANTHRAX is finally back in full swing in the studio, along side of being a constant live act, after nearly eight long years without and album. The band had its share of bumps along the years as they had several mix ups that concentrated mainly on the vocal post. Take a look for yourselves: John Bush in, John Bush out, Joey Belladonna in, Joey Belladonna out, John Bush in, John Bush out, Dan Nelson in, Dan Nelson out and finally Joey Belladonna back in. Call it frustrating or what? Call it political elections style? Well at least it turned up something for them. The new album “Worship Music” should have been out and running years ago. Nevertheless, the most important thing did happen and it finally came out. Nuclear Blast Records had the honors of publishing it in Europe along with Megaforce Records in the US.

To be completely honest, this end didn’t expect ANTHRAX to take back the world by making a comeback to their classic years of “Among The Living” or “Persistence Of Time”. “Spreading The Disease”, sadly, is way too far for them to go back. ANTHRAX, more or less, left Thrash Metal as they inserted the groove lines of NY Hardcore into their music. “Worship Music”, and it is hard to say this, is yet another sign that ANTHRAX won’t probably be getting back to the 80s. Although there were a few hints of the two latter albums, this new album sounded more of a continuance to “We’ve Come For You All” that dated back to 2003. Even the themes, while not taking into account the artwork, were closer to the zombiefied undergoing of their last album.

It was hard to admit it but ANTHRAX didn’t thrill as anticipated with “Worship Music”. The fact that this album was worked on for many years, no matter the substitutions between vocalists, should have proclaimed a way better result. However, in their favor, ANTHRAX did have a few advantages that saved the album. This band still has some fine old school energetic grooves to put out, even though some of them were rather overplayed over their career, those still kicked some ass and hard. Furthermore, Joey Belladonna came back with vengeance and he did it amazingly. Of course he is not that same young brat that once blew the scene away on “Madhouse”, but it clearly shows, and with all the loads of admiration for John Bush, that he was dearly missed all this time. There weren't too many high ends from him on this one but he showed that he could still catch attention on the songs’ peak moments with his great voice.

Most of the works on “Worship Music” seemed different than in the band’s past and it showed the ongoing change that started in the band since “Persistence Of Time”. Some of the examples such as “I’m Alive”, “The Devil You Know” and “Crawl” were pretty much as sideshow of Nu Metal influences. Even without the rather spongy choruses of the new age, it wasn’t that hard to identify a different dimension here. The results were nice. “Judas Priest” was the most awkward of them all. The first thought that came into mind was that Anthrax did actually wanted to make tribute to the JUDAS PRIEST. Well they didn’t. As for the song itself, besides the intent, it has a few nice 80s modern grooves but it didn’t impress more than that.

Nevertheless, “In The End” and “The Giant” along with their modern like manipulations, came out differently. This duo of tracks was the best of what ANTHRAX gave here. “The Giant” has that amazing lead guitar section work and it did justice for the entire release. Moreover, that song has that lead bass feel of the old “Got The Time” in it and it shook the ground. “Earth On Hell”, “The Constant” and the single “Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t”, were back in the Zombie’s land of death. “Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t” by its music of Groove with Thrash Metal escapes and its vocal rhythm reminded of “What Doesn’t Die” that was originally sang by John Bush.

ANTHRAX is back with “Worship Music” after so much time without something new. Whoever had the thought that this is going to be a 80s comeback, he or she should dump it to the trash can. “Worship Music” is a nice turn out after a long period of time, yet the expectance was too great of the outcome and it didn’t deliver. The way it seems, ANTHRAX went far from Thrash Metal although here and there, the Thrash bell still chimes.


3 Star Rating

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
Scott Ian- Guitar
Joey Belladonna - Vocals
Charlie Benante- Drums
Rob Caggiano- Guitar
Frank Bello- Bass 
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records / Megaforce Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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