Anthrax – Alive 2

For those of us who grew with the band, Joey Belladonna was the voice of Anthrax. Through albums such as Spreading the Disease, State of Euphoria and the classic Among the Living, thrax ruled the speed metal genre and gave fellow thrashers Megadeth and Metallica a run for their money. And then, things got weird. First was the firing and replacing of Belladonna with John Bush (Armored Saint). At the time, Scott Ian (guitar) commented that Belladonnas voice never really fit the music he was writing anyway. Right. So, Anthrax (now led by Bush) tracked on, releasing several decent (but unpopular) metal albums. Bush and the band made it clear that they would not be performing Belladona-era material live. Then there was the reunion (of sorts) that was to take both lead singers out on the road at the same time, with the classic songs performed by Belladonna to be followed by the newer material, performed by Bush. After that it got pretty messy; Bush said if you want Belladonna, you got him. The end result was 2005s reunion tour with Belladonna at the mic. Alive 2 is a live album recording during the bands 2005 reunion tour, featuring all five original members from the classic Anthrax line up.

Considering the fact that most of the material on Alive 2 is 15-20 years old, the music holds up surprisingly well. The blast beats, double bass and dual guitar riffs match most of todays new (nu?) metal in intensity. Belladonnas voice isnt what it once was (especially the upper range), but its still nice to hear him belting out the tunes he made popular. As far as the music goes, if anything, the band sounds tighter and heavier than ever.

Unfortunately the set list on Alive 2 leaves something to be desired. With only twelve tracks, tracks like Deathrider (from Anthraxs debut album) and In My World (from Persistance of Time) waste valuable space, while other classics from the era (like Madhouse) are conspicuously missing. Still, the bands strongest tunes from the early years (Caught in a Mosh, Among the Living, Antisocial and I am the Law) all make appearances.

Back in the day Anthrax was a revolutionary band. so its a bit sad to see them turn into one of those bands, riding the coat tails of their former success (7 of their past 9 albums have been either live albums or greatest hits compilations). On Alive 2, Anthrax proves they can still bust out the tunes. Its not the end all of live albums, but its a nice nod to the older fans.

01. Among The Living
02. Got The Time
03. A.I.R.
04. Antisocial
05. Efilnickufesin (N.F.L.)
06. Deathrider
07. Medusa
08. In My World
09. Indians
10. Time
11. Be All End All
12. I Am The Law
13. Metal Thrashing Mad
14. Im The Man
15. I Am The Law

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