Sound — 9
Anthrax has returned with their first album in 8 years, and their first album since legendary vocalist Joey Belladonna returned. Much is awaited from Anthrax's return, can they live up to their expectations? We'll see. The album consists of 13 songs and 1 hidden track: 01. Worship (1:41) 02. Earth on Hell (3:11) 03. The Devil You Know (4:46) 04. Fight 'Em Till You Can't (5:48) 05. I'm Alive (5:37) 06. Hymn 1 (0:38) 07. In The End (6:48) 08. The Giant (3:47) 09. Hymn 2 (0:44) 10. Judas Priest (6:24) 11. Crawl (5:29) 12. The Constant (5:01) 13. Revolution Screams (15:54)(with hidden track, a cover of Refused's 'New Noise') 1. Worship: This song is the intro to the album, and its really just a bunch of ambient sounds leading up to the next track. Its a nice way to open the album, its neither too long or too short. As the track ends it gets louder, thus starting the next song. 2. Earth on Hell: This is the most thrashing song on the album, it starts out with Charlie blast beating the shit out of the drums, and then it goes over to the classic Anthra thrasing. Its by now you realize that the old Anthrax is back, and better than ever. Joey's voice fits so good into this song, it isn't even funny, although this was written before he returned, it feels like this song was written for his pleasure. A classic Anthrax thrash song, and arguably the best song on the album. This is kinda like Battery on Master of Puppets, the fastest and heaviest song on the record. 3. The Devil You Know: You should have heard this one, if you haven't, then go do it. Scott described this song pretty darn well himself, its an AC/DC song that went through a Anthrax filter. Its not as much thrash as its just ordinary good hard rock, its nonetheless a really good track, and a real earhanger. 4. Fight 'Em Till You Can't: If you haven't heard this track yet, then you probably haven't even noticed anything about this album's release yet. Another really thrashing tune, and its even about killing zombies, who can resist that? A really great tune, but lets be honest, you've all heard it, so I'll just continue on to all the 'new' new stuff. 5. I'm Aliv: This is a real sing-along! Its starts out with Scott playing a few chords before Bello, Charlie and Rob kick in, and soon Joey comes chanting in. This one really takes me back to Persistence of Time, the main riff, the vocal pattern, this song might aswell have been written 20 years ago. Also, I foresee that this will be a live favorite due to it being a really good and catchy tune. 6. Hymn 1: Now this is an oddball. Its kinda this slow symphonic track which follows the rhythm of I'm Alive. It leads up to the next song the same way Intro to Reality leads up to Belly of the Beast, although this is waaay shorter and not quite as catchy. 7. In The End: It starts off with bells chiming, as though we were at a funeral, and that fits the meaning of this song perfectly, as it is written for the deceased metal legends Dimebag Darrell and Ronnie James Dio, close friends of the band. Its really heavy, dark and catchy, real Anthrax style. It follows the main riff's rhythm all the song through, as with most of the other songs on this record. This is also one of the favorites this album offers, and I foresee many people will call this the best track on the record. 8. The Giant: This one starts out real Pantera style, and then goes right into old-school 'Thrax thrashing. Not much else to say, you get the hint, also a really memorable track, and one of my personal favorites. 9. Hymn 2: Here we go again. This one doesn't sound like the other one at all, this one is basically Charlie thinking he is a march drummer for 44 seconds. This one doesn't go over into the next track as well as the previous Hymn did, it does however use the rhythm of the forthcoming track. 10. Judas Priest: A tribute to the legendary metal band Judas Priest, this song does the band honor. It kinda reminds me of Blood off of Persistence in the way the song is built, but more complex. there's also a short bass solo on this song, which sounds a little like Got the Time's more extended bass solo. 11. Crawl: This is the only song on the album which sounds like something taken right out of the Bushthrax era. Joey does a really good impersonation of Bush at the start of the song, but you can still hear that he sings it with his own style. Fans of the Bush era will love this song, but for those who want straigt out Joeythrax should probably consider skipping this one. 12. The Constant: This is probably going to be the underrated song on this record, as it reminds me A LOT of One Man Stands, again off of Persistence. This is definately one of the songs that really shines through and proves that Anthrax has returned for good. 13. Revolution Screams: This one is also quite new sounding, it does sounds kick ass though, but its not as much in the style of old Anthrax as the other songs on the album. Its another real good sing-along, and Charlie really wanna prove himself in this one it sounds like. Overall a really solid setup of songs, and they're placed in just the right order so it doesn't get tiresome to listen to.
Lyrics — 10
''Welcome to your Earth on Hell The worse that it gets The better it sells! '' The lyrics are really diverse on this record, going from the apocalypse (Earth on Hell), to mourning the dead (In The End), to Iron Maiden like fantasy (The Giant). Ofcourse since its thrash, the lyrics are mostly about negative things, and its a good way for the guys in Anthrax to express what have been going on in these 8 years which could have ended up completely tearing the band apart. Now the big thing about this album is ofcourse the return of Joey Belladonna himself. Whether you prefered him or Bush, Belladonna pulls off every song flawlessly, and proves once again that he has earned his place among the best metal vocalists out there.
Overall Impression — 9
Scott wasn't kidding on his Twitter/Facebook when he said that this was the best record they've done to date, cause it could very possibly be the best one they've recorded, atleast its the best one in 20 years. If you're missing the classic and old Anthrax, this is a must buy, cause it is way up there with Among the Living and Persistence of Time as a must buy from these thrash veterans, and I have a feeling that the rest of the Big Four will look in awe when they'll blast this beast live at the Yankee Stadium the 13th. No disrespect to Bush or Nelson, but Joey was the right one for this record, without him it would feel empty and really dull. Joey is definately the best thrash vocalist out there at the moment, and I'm glad that Scott and the crew finally woke up and saw the light. The most memorable songs on the record have to be Earth on Hell, Fight 'Em Till You Can't, I'm Alive and In The End. The production is also very good, it isn't over compressed like most new metal albums today, it isn't as loud as thunder, but it ain't too quiet neither. You can also clearly hear the bass, unlike many other metal records, and the bass drum is also mixed very good into the sound. 9.5/10 stars for this one, Anthrax proves that they still have the thrash spirit so many bands have lost over time, and this is definately the record of the year without a doubt, can't imagine how anyone can pull off a better album anytime soon.