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Anthrax For All Kings Review

Release Date: February 26th 2016

It's been 5 years since Anthrax released their brilliant "Worship Music" album and many asked how the band was going top it. With the return of Joey Belladonna on vocals, the anticipation was fairly strong but it was the follow up album that was going to see what direction the band would go into with a revamped lineup that also included new member Jon Donais who replaced Rob Caggiano a couple of years ago.

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What "For All Kings" sounds like is an album that would have followed "Persistence Of Time" had Joey not left the band at that time. With hints of old school Anthrax that give a "State Of Euphoria" and "Persistence Of Time" feel to some songs like the opening riff to "You Gotta Believe" or the thrashy "Evil Twin" but with the strong modern sound of later albums that Anthrax have been going into since John Bush entered in the 1990's. It honestly doesn't sound like a rehash of "Worship Music" or even a direct follow up in some weird way, it really sounds like the next album with Joey Belladonna after 1990. It's weird to hear that in my first listens thinking it would go away but it really does and it sounds fresh at the same time.

"Monster At The End" is another great song that slows it down a little. Emphasising on the more melodic rock that builds into a cool solo effort from Jon with Scott Ian riffing behind it. It's not the thrashy track that people may want to hear but it's a very cool song nonetheless. If you want thrashy though, look no further than the title track of "For All Kings" which races along nicely with Joey giving one of his better performances. Charlie Benante's drum sound always sounds fantastic but it's especially evident on this album as songs like "Defend Avenge" shows, combined with Frank Bellow's bass just makes it bounce beautifully. It's one of the best sounding Anthrax albums.

Going back to "Evil Twin", it's my favorite track on the album. It has that classic thrash feel of songs like "N.F.L." and "Be All, End All" but different at the same time. "Suzerain" is one of the heavier pieces here while still retaining a strong melody in the chorus, it's one of Joey's strongest aspects of his voice where it always keeps the song in that melodic pocket no matter how heavy the song may appear. "All Of The Thieves" is maybe one of the weaker songs on the album, only because it doesn't groove as much as the other tracks, instead jumping around from tribalistic beats to different tempos, slow and fast. It's a harder song to grasp but it's not exactly a huge weak link as it's still a decent song amongst a whole line of gems.

Towards the end "This Battle Chose Us" also has a classic feel to the song but in a more hard rock kind of way. It could easily be a single off the album and a song that radio may potentially play if it gets picked up. It also sounds like a great live potential with it's 'You give them hell' shouted in the lyrics and while "Breathing Lightning" is picked out as a potential lead track, I think "This Battle Chose Us" beats it. "Zero Tolerance" ends the album on a thrashier note and there we have it, a brilliant album from start to finish. Any serious Anthrax fan will love this album and if you don't, then it truly is a madhouse.

You Gotta Believe
Monster at the End
For All Kings
Breathing Lightning
Evil Twin
Blood Eagle Wings
Defend Avenge
All of Them Thieves
This Battle Chose Us
Zero Tolerance

Review by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie