Anthrax – Worship Music

Singer drama; scraping material; re-writing an entire record all coupled with world tours; monumental metal festivals (Big 4 Fest anyone?) and the desire to get this record just right—these things would normally have seen other, lesser bands take a bow and go their separate ways.  But, much like the vicious disease causing bacteria the band shares its namesake with–Scott, Frank, Charlie, Rob and Joey or Anthrax–refused to quit. This steadfastness permeates Worship Music and it’s an album that’s worth the wait.

Over the years, Anthrax’s sound has seen some changes from their bark-less thrash beginnings to a heavier—albeit less thrash—metal sound.  Worship Music is the perfect blend of that growth.  Scott and Rob have the meatiest guitar tones since the band’s inception; Charlie and Frank have finally found a favorable final mix on an album and long lost 80’s frontman, Joey Belladonna sounds the best he’s ever sounded.  I’ve always been less than a Belladonna fan; simply for that fact that I always felt he was trying too hard.  Maybe it was due to poor production
techniques and lousy recording equipment in the past, but his vocals always seemed forced.  Now, however, Belladonna sounds confident with the pipes he has and we’re treated to a record that sounds the way the band has (probably) always wanted.

Worship Music’s only shortcoming is its length.  Most of the songs break the five and six minute mark, which is fine, but at 13 total tracks and nearly an hour’s worth of material the songs start to blur together toward the end.

The horn-throwing worthy tracks include, “The Devil You Know,” “Judas Priest,” “Fight ‘em ‘til You Can’t” and “Earth on Hell.”  And, the lighter appropriate anthem to fallen headbangers, “In the End” is a touching track that—thankfully—isn’t a cheese filled ballad.  Overall, Anthrax has reestablished themselves in a crowded metal world; here’s hoping they can keep relevant for years to come.

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