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HARDWARES

ANTHRAX

Worship Music

(Megaforce)

Reviewed by : "Metal" Tim Henderson
Rating : 9.0

Armageddon must be near … the minute I press "play" an earthquake strikes the Eastern US/Canada sea-board. Better get my seat-belt buckled, protective head-gear attached, and if I'm gonna die, I better put my boots on! Let's get moshing. To begin, a bizarre, twisted space-age symphony about to catch fire, almost Floyd-esque in nature. Welcome to 'Worship' (the intro) which crashes head-on to 'Earth On Hell', a punchy introduction to ANTHRAX in 2011, Charlie Benante blast-beats and all. Yes, the beloved New York thrash legends have finally got their proverbial shit together. And when you hear the clock tick on 'Earth On Hell' it takes you back to the hands of time when Joey Belladonna last fronted the band on 1990's Persistence Of Time … geez, was it that long ago? 'The Devil You Know' points at yet another big chorus sing-along, Scott Ian's fingertips bleeding from the intense riffing. 'Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't' has been stirring fans in the pit for a few months now, a track that could easily fit on latter-era 'thrax, fun zombie-tale and all. 'I'm Alive' sees an acoustic intro until the marching backbeat of Benante and bassist Frank Bello is greeted with a near MAIDEN/TWISTED SISTER-esque sing-along. Catchy as hell with the Ian/Rob Caggiano team melding without mercy, the band maybe rethinking all the time they pissed away with Dan Nelson at the mic. For whom the bell tolls brings forth 'In The End' - a tribute to "Dime and Ronnie" - menacing, pristine production, chugging pace, Belladonna's lungs working full-force. The man is in top-notch form as the track moves from a towering METALLICA-influenced near seven-minute epic, to outright liftoff towards New Wave Of British Heavy Metal territory. I need to pick myself off the floor. 'The Giant' is yet another inventive two-fisted hit to the noggin' until the chorus kicks in and the lads unite in the ultimate team chant, a forum the band have always excelled in. Of course 'Judas Priest' was written shortly after the metal gods announced their Epitaph, so you know we'll see Painkiller-era dual axes and screaming for vengeance vocals, Bello leading the Anthrax charge in ultimate praise to the metal gods. With the pace slowed down just a bit, 'Crawl' brings to mind Chris Cornell, Belladonna's voice well-rounded with a keen subtle snarl. Another example of song-writing prowess unheard of in the past, Anthrax maturing gracefully with unhindered vision that will easily silence the naysayers. Man, is it me, or has Anthrax just found the sweet-spot 30-years into their career? 'The Constant' is typical, speedy fare and closer 'Revolution Screams' ebbs and flows from pugilistic juggernaut to an all-out jam as you try desperately to catch your breath from the intense work-out. And Charlie has revenge with a four-limbed assault on the skins as Worship Music fades into the sunset as a rolling ball of fury. In all, a varied yet highly entertaining affair that refuses to bow to a simple speed metal formula and solidifies Anthrax' place as part of the Big 4. Worship Music? Worship Worship Music.



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