Review: Anthrax- For All Kings

Big 4 alumni Anthrax have been riding high on a tsunami sized wave of success since the return of vocalist Joey Belladonna to the fold in 2010 and their triumphant comeback album- Worship Music in 2011. Finally, after a five year wait the band is set to drop their newest endeavor for Megaforce/Nuclear Blast called For All Kings. The album was produced by Jay Ruston in LA and is the first to feature former Shadows Fall guitarist Jon Donais, who replaced Rob Caggiano in 2013. It also showcases artwork by Alex Ross that depicts people worshiping them as the larger than life Metal Gods they are. “You Gotta Believe” starts with a brooding slowly building intro similar to “In The End” from Worship Music before erupting into the classic Anthrax sound of Spreading The Disease or Among The Living. While “Monster At The End” and “This Battle Chose Us” are more melodic hard rock than they are metal, but somehow wind up being not just a couple of the best songs on the album, but some of their strongest material to date. Go Figure. Title track “For All Kings” and “All Them Thieves” are musically akin to Stomp 442 or We’ve Come For You All, with Joey Belladonna’s soaring vocals leading the charge, while “Breathing Lightning” is another song that sees the band tapping into their more melodic side and just begs for radio airplay. Elsewhere, “Suzerain,” “Defend Avenge” and “Blood Eagle Wings” pick up sonically where Worship Music left off, continuing the bands further evolution of sound and lead single “Evil Twin” sounds some much like vintage Anthrax, you’d swear it was an unreleased cut from the Among The Living sessions. The album closes out with the slightly punkish “Zero Tolerance.” A song with muscular riffing so aggressive that it had to give Scott Ian and Jon Donais a workout and if you get the deluxe edition, you get 4 bonus live tracks including “Caught In A Mosh,” Madhouse” and “A.I.R.” Here’s the bottom line. Worship Music was damn good that any band would have had a hard time trying to top it, but For All Kings comes pretty close and continues Spreading The Disease to a whole new generation of metalheads. Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Eric Hunker