Still flowing the same high octane energy they possessed in the glory days of thrash, Anthrax have proved once again that age is only a number not a limitation. Following vocalist Joey Belladonna's return and their very well received 'Worship Music' in 2011, expectations were high. I won’t lie and say I’ve always been a die-hard Anthrax buff and that I know the ins and outs of every Anthrax album. I’m familiar with the well-known stuff ‘Persistence of Time’, ‘Spreading the Disease’ etc. But it was ‘Worship Music’ that really brought me in as a fan and I’ve been rummaging more and more into their back catalogue ever since then.
The direction and overall sound of the album seem to follow the more modern sound of ‘Worship Music’ especially in the sound engineering and production. This album though showcases a more progressive side of Anthrax, featuring atmospheric soundscapes, suspense ridden crescendos which build into fistfuls of RIFF! that punch you right in the face.
After all the decades of relentless touring, recording and the occasional party here and there, Joey Belladonna is still able to belt it out as well as ever! Soaring vocals and epic melodies seasoned with a dash of grit and gravel, Joey proves time and time again that he is without doubt the best singer of ‘The Big Four’. Evil Twin is a straight up thrash classic, the punchy flourishes on the open E note are still so, so effective after all these years. Probably the most 80’s era sounding song on the album, this will be a set staple for a long time to come.
The single Breathing Lightning is possibly my favourite track on the album, but with so many to choose from it’s impossible to pick one over the others. Atmospheric clean chords open the song, before unleashing a tidal wave of riffs and aggression, the chorus has a very catchy stadium-rock vibe that will get the whole crowd chanting “I’ve always had the chance to do the right thing, until the right thing comes undone”.
So many great tracks on the album Monster At The End, For All Kings, Suzerain and Blood Eagle Wings. The album flows very smoothly, each track transitions perfectly into the next. It’s great to see the ‘classic era’ line-up still out there kicking ass and taking names.
This album is shaping up to be one of the best picks of 2016, make sure to buy your copy and for the real die-hards you will want the vinyl just so you can really see how epic the of the album art on this one is!
Check out Breathing Lightning here!