Anthrax will never go out of style. I skateboarded to Spreading the Disease in sixth grade, and fifteen years later I’ve found myself headbanging to their latest release, We’ve Come For You All (although somewhere in the middle, I did end up giving up skateboarding.) Even during those years when radio and MTV became metal unfriendly, Anthrax continued releasing hard rocking albums. Even the loss of original singer Joey Belladonna (technically, their second singer) didn’t set the band back; ‘Thrax came back harder and heavier with John Bush, ushering the band into the 90’s.
And here we are again. A new album introducing Anthrax to another decade and another generation of fans. Old fans, don’t worry. We’ve Come For You All, Anthrax’s seventeenth album, might just be their heaviest to date.
After a slow and building intro, Anthrax kicks the album off with “What Doesn’t Die”. All questions pertaining to Anthrax’s ability to rock are answered right up front. The song opens up with a brutal, machine like drum track not unlike Fear Factory, complimented with the style of machine-gun riffing Scott Ian is famous for. The song quickly finds a groove and hangs there with Bush’s vocals right in the middle, where they belong. Unlike some of the band’s mid-80s releases, the bass track is loud and proud here, holding up the bottom just as it should. Ian and Bello do their best to keep up with Charlie — fast and heavy palm mutes give way to a groove heavy verse and a chord happy chorus before returning to the chunky trenches the band is known for.
Anthrax is back.
And if you think the guys in Anthrax are getting old, check out “Nobody Knows Anything”. Its complex drum rhythms and guitar pattern made me start the song over two or three times until I got the feel for it. Awesome stuff. “Black Dehlia” starts out as a semi-furious sing-a-long, but just wait until the end — Slayer, move over!
Songs like “Strap it On”, “Think About an End”, and “Cadillac Rock Box” maintain a medium rock pace. Ian’s guitar riffs have plenty of room to dance here in and around Charlie’s big open drum patterns and Bush’s balls-out vocals. Even the album’s slower moments, like “Refuse to be Denied” and “Safe Home” find ways to maintain the album’s edge.
While Metallica has wasted their talent covering old Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, and Nick Cave tunes and Megadeth has officially bowed out of the metal scene, Anthrax continues to be relevant in the current music scene. The latter part of the disc contains two fist banging anthems. “Taking the Music Back” and “We’ve Come for you All” are both catchy and rocking. Just what the doctor ordered to wrap this album up in a grandios fashion.
While the band has faced many hardships, the worst one may prove to be the Internet. With a two month difference in overseas and domestic release dates, digital copies of the band’s hard work are sure to hit the net before the album is available for sale. (Editor’s note: the album actually appeared online January 21st, weeks before the overseas release date and almost three months before the US release date. According to the band, the version floating around on the net is NOT the final version set to be mastered and released to the world.) Hopefully, fans of true metal will drop a little green and support this release to show the world that we are indeed “taking the music back.”
Note: The final release of We’ve Come For You All is also set to include a bonus CD including videos, multimedia, and bonus material, plus a phenominal booklet. On top of that, the album is also being released in vinyl format. Definitely worth the cost of admission.