They are acknowledged as being one of the groups that invented thrash metal but it wasn't so long ago that Anthrax was basically written-off as "has been" dinosaurs. A couple of things blew that sickly paradigm all to pieces last year as singer Joey Belladonna rejoined the band after a decade's absence and Anthrax took their rightful place alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer on the profile-raising Big Four Tour. With the newly invigorated band freshly on the minds of thrash fans worldwide, Anthrax now hopes to complete their comeback with the release of Worship Music. The album begins with "Worship," a minute-and-a-half long slow swelling of droning synth and screeching guitar that teases fans anxious after all this time to hear some Anthrax thrash. But then all earth breaks loose on "Earth on Hell," a cleverly-titled showcase for all Anthrax has to offer; superfast guitar playing from Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano and a pummeling rhythm laid down by bassman Frank Bello and drummer Charlie Benante. "The Devil You Know" is less thrashy and clearly aimed at garnering mass radio play as is the very melodic, Scorpions-like "I'm Alive." Don't expect "Judas Priest" to sound like the band of the same name; there's a melodic bent to the song but the Anthrax rhythm section pounds the song into the listener's skull in true thrash style. There's an obvious push for commercial success here but that shouldn't disappoint fans of the early Anthrax sound; there's still plenty of headbanging to be had and there's superior musicianship on display throughout. This year is the band's thirtieth anniversary and with the beloved Belladonna back on board there's no time like the present for Anthrax to cement their role as thrash kings and make some serious money at the same time.
Anthrax - Worship Music