Antrhax – Worship Music – Review

September 13th was a great day for metal and the second week of the September slaughter.  Anthrax released their first new album, Worship Music, in….get this, 8-years.  Was it worth the wait?  Hell yeah!  First, let me say that I do not expect another 8-year wait for the next recording. I fully expect Anthrax to release new material by fall of 2013.  I think that’s ample time, just sayin.  Ok, on with the review of Worship Music.

Before I start though, I am going to say upfront that this review is not focused on the complexities involving the return of Belladonna on vocals.  I am not going to entertain a (Van Halen) Roth/Hagar-level argument, unless you want to on a sidebar.  John Bush is out and Belladonna is back in.  Personally, I think they are both great vocalists, but I am not here to play tit-for-tat.  Belladonna’s vocals are better than they have ever been and that’s just it.  Anthrax is officially moving on and so am I.  Best of luck to John Bush and the other guy Dan Nelson.  Actually, Dan Nelson isn’t a bad singer at all so maybe we’ll see him in another band soon.

The thing about Worship Music that stuck out to me the most was the maturity level of Anthrax’s new songs.  I always thought of Anthrax’s music as heavy, yet fun.  Worship Music is well written and arranged quite well.  The first song, Earth on Hell, comes out swinging with upper cuts; no jabs.  Anthrax obviously meant business and articulates that notion quite well with a superb opening track.

The Devil You Know comes up next and rocks with its cool riffs and smooth and consistent drum beat by master skinsman Benante.  It turns out this is a good song to run to if you are into cardio workouts.  The remaining tracks are arranged such an order that gives the album a purposeful flow.  Just when it gets heavy, it tones down and when the album tones down it headbangs again.  The first part of the album is not stacked with all the good songs.  There are good songs throughout the album that will keep you listening through its entirety.  There are a couple fillers with Hymn 1 & 2.  I am not sure the purpose of these not to mention 5-minutes or so of silence in the last track.  The bottom line is that you get 10-full length new Anthrax songs.

The length of the songs varies from 3:10 to 6:48 (not including the 15-minute song packed with silence).   Other than the last track the songs neither too long nor short.  The signature Anthrax sounds that you have known and loved are still there throughout Worship Music.  I think you will find that beloved sound of crushing riffs a bit more polished.  Obviously, they were not rushing with this one.

As far as Belladonna’s vocals are; he is primed and sounding better than ever.  Listen to Crawl and you will see what I mean.  He is a bit more diverse in range and depth than the old days of Anthrax glory.  Crawl is a bit slower than the rest of the album (could be considered pop), but not really.  Other songs that I think will impress you are The Giant, The Constant, and Revolution Screams.  I will admit there are a couple of songs that could see the light of radio, but that does not devalue the metal in Worship Music.

Worship Music is Anthrax’s permanent mark in metal at this point in time.  I find no faults with this album.  I am sure the general consensus is that it is better than expected.  The future of Anthrax is no longer questionable, unless they take another 8-years to release their next album.

Worship Music is metal in every sense of the word and yes it is worth the wait.  Anthrax is back and if you are or were ever a fan you need this album.  For such a long dry spell for the band, they really did release some of the best Anthrax in the last 8-years.  Just kidding, but yes this is top-notch Anthrax.  I give Worship Music 4.5 Devil Horns.

Fight’em Till You Can’t

In case you were wondering about Dan Nelson…

About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on September 15, 2011, in Album Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It’s an excellent album. It must be heard many more times than once to be fully appreciated. There were some songs I didn’t initially like (I’m alive, The constant) and others that I thought were so so. But all of these have grown on me. The album is perfectly sequenced. The intro is kind of soothing and unnerving at once and then ‘Earth on hell’ is among the most crushing metal you will ever hear. The slower tunes start to come from there. And the level of musicianship throughout is superb as it slowly grows on you. All the band members are great. Belladonna, in particular, is on fire.

  2. Cool, I am glad you like it. I was afraid after 8 years, Anthrax would have pulled a Morbid Angel or something, but looks like time was on their side. They are touring with Testament and Death Angel either now or very soon in the U.S., should be a great night of metal for the old school fan like me.

    My favorites on the Worship Music at the moment are The Devil You Know and Crawl. You are right about Belladonna, he does sound better than ever! Thank you for reading.

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