ANTHRAX - FOR ALL KINGS (2LP)
Eleven studio albums and 33 years into their career, and ANTHRAX is set to output quite possibly the best thing they’ve ever done. “For All Kings” pulls no punches. This is a seriously heavy and astonishingly good record.
2013 saw the departure of guitarist Rob Caggiano to Volbeat, and the arrival of Jon Donais from Shadows Fall, who also makes his recording debut with Anthrax. Joey Belladonna is far and away the star of this recording, and I’ll tell you why. In a world where an organic instrument like a voice can deteriorate over time and change how it sounds can be devastating for someone who makes their living from it- I’m looking at you, David Lee Roth. It’s very evident that Mr. Belladonna does not have such issues, as his delivery is just as powerful as it was 30 years ago. Charlie Benante’s amazing drumming is another constant in Anthrax, as is Frank Bello’s bass playing; always top-notch and inspired. Band leader, Scott Ian, has brought Anthrax an incredible distance, and really shows off his mature musicianship with the other guys with his superior songwriting, even contributing lyrics for the first single, “Evil Twin”, which was loosely written about the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo publication offices in 2015.
They began recording in late 2014 with producer Jay Ruston in Los Angeles, California. Reportedly 15-20 songs were recorded and completed. Early in 2015, We were treated with a new song, “Soror Irrumator” which was featured on the Catch The Throne Mixtape Volume Two, and was scheduled to appear on “For All Kings”, but strangely, does not appear on the album, despite what the band had suggested. Alex Ross gets his third turn as album artist, as he depicts the band as giant statues.
Anthrax today, is not the Anthrax of 1987, and “For All Kings” is not “Among The Living”, even though 4/5 of the band are still intact from their peak period. I say that in a good way, because as good as they were then, to put it simply, they’re better now. Better songwriters, better musicians, seasoned bandmates that know that they’re better together than apart. If you loved “Worship Music” as much as I did, you’ll love this album. When you can be a band that has played together for well over 30 years and still put out quality music like “For All Kings”, it’s nothing short of magic.
- Rick Schwartz (Infrared Magazine)