Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009

03/16/2016

Album: How does Anthrax's 'For All Kings' measure up?

By REUBEN MOSQUEDA // Feeling somewhat indifferent about this new album.

Anthrax came roaring back with their 2011 effort Worship Music. The album was critically acclaimed after the ill fated Dan Nelson experiment shortly followed by John Bush declining the offer to return to the band permanently. So re-enter singer Joey Belladonna who in due respect to John Bush is ‘the voice’ of Anthrax. Anthrax toured extensively behind the record and along the way saw guitarist Rob Caggiano turn in his resignation and join the ranks of Volbeat. Anthrax quickly added former Shadows Fall guitarist Jon Donais and didn’t miss a beat.

Having Donais proven his value on the road for what seemed an endless tour Anthrax; reconvened to begin writing sessions for what they said would ‘most thrash metal record’ in over 20 years. The truth is when an band issues an album as potent as Worship Music it’s a tall order. And while the hardcore fans drank the Kool-Aide; I say not so fast. For All Kings no question is a ‘good’ record, it’s got some great riffs on it, Donais fits right in, no doubt due to his close to three years in the band. Joey Belladonna’s vocals haven’t been better, the melodies are unsurpassed and this record proves that Charlie Benante is a much better drummer than you ever thought he was. The production is once again top notch.

Where things fall short is in the songwriting; unlike it’s predecessor For All Kings seems to have been written in the same headspace as the Anthrax post ‘Sound of White Noise’ era. In fact the album reminds me more of ‘We’ve Come for You All;’ which is a middle of the road kind of an album. ‘For All Kings’ has three killer tracks that no doubt will work their way into their set; “Blood Eagle Wings,” “Evil Twin,” and “Breathing Lighting” the rest of the album leaves me feeling indifferent about.

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