I never thought this day would come, I really didn’t. But today we have a new Anthrax album featuring Joey Belladonna on vocals once more after a 20 year absence. I was shocked when I heard the news and I’ve been chomping at the bit to hear this new album ever since. Is this album worth the two decades I had to wait for it? I don’t think ANY album is worth a wait that long, but it sure is good to hear Joey out front again.
I remember as a youngster seeing the ads for “Fistful of Metal” and “Spreading the Disease” in Hit Parader magazine and thinking how cool the artwork was. I finally found a cassette of “Spreading the Disease” somewhere and just like when I first heard Metallica it blew my mind. Back in the late 80s and early 90s Anthrax was easily near the top of the pile of my favorite bands. I saw them twice; once with Ozzy on the tour for “State of Euphoria” and again with Iron Maiden for “Persistence of Time”. They sounded amazing both times.
Then in 1992 I heard that Joey was out and John Bush was in. I was distraught to say the least. No offense to John Bush, I love Armored Saint, but Anthrax just isn’t Anthrax without Joey. “Sound of White Noise” was released and I just couldn’t get behind it. I tried. But it simply was not Anthrax anymore. I’ve picked up all the albums since then, but nothing ever did it for me, I needed Joey.
Now here we are, September 13th, 2011 and Joey is back with a vengeance. He fucking kills on this album. The rest of the band does too of course, but that missing ingredient is back in the mix. I’m still becoming familiar with the majority of the tracks, but I’ve been listening to “The Devil You Know” and “Fight ‘Em Til You Can’t” for a few weeks now and I love them both. Particularly the zombie smashing anthem “Fight ‘Em Til You Can’t”. That one really makes me want to mosh it up. I wonder if that has anything to do with Scott Ian’s upcoming appearance as a zombie on “The Walking Dead”.
After a couple listens all the way through I really don’t think there is a song on here I don’t love. This is the new era of Anthrax. The old lineup with the current production values that make this album punch hard. In the 80s I always felt like Anthrax needed more low end, now they have that AND Joey so what more can I ask for? To see them take it on the road? Oh yeah, I just bought tickets for that too. Anthrax, Testament and Death Angel, you cannot tell me that show is not going to be awesome. I still have a month and a half before the show, so to pass the time I’ll be learning every line of “Worship Music”.