Metal it isn’t something you do for fame and fortune, some get the break but for most it’s a hard slog and few can claim to have been at game for as long or as proficient as Anthrax. One of the forefathers of thrash metal alongside Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth and really Anthrax for that matter paved the way for metal to get some diversification by teaming up with Public Enemy back in 91.
Since Anthrax have stayed the course, pouring their blood, sweat and often tears into Metal and have resurged in popularity partly due to the Big 4 concerts and their last album `Worship Music’.
`For All Kings’ isn’t quite your typical thrash album, yes it has it’s downright ridiculously fast riffage and explosive solos yet what Anthrax have managed to do is take aspects of modern metal that bands like Machine Head and even Behemoth have explored in terms of song length and adding atmospheric elements and exploring these aspects in the Anthrax way, I mean most of these aren’t hitting the 3 minute mark.
Take the song `For All Kings’ which rides in at just over 5 minutes, it’s one of those tracks that shows why Anthrax weren’t and aren’t your typical thrasher band especially with Joey on the mic. His vocal delivery is more Dio orientated and certainly his clean vocals were the perfect bridge to connect bands like Maiden and Dio to Thrash, which certainly is by its nature more aggressive.
`Suzerian’ launches far more aggressively and certainly akin to modern thrash with its hard and heavy and offers the head bangers the song to get their groove on too. Heavy guitars, pounding drums just add to the reason why Anthrax are included in the Big 4 of Thrash yet each track really has those choruses you can belt out at the club or arena.
This doesn’t feel like a thrash record, the feel here is Anthrax revisiting their love of what made them pick up a guitar but this isn’t a Maiden or Priest rip off or just a homage from Anthrax. This is album that has taken that melody, the solos and added modern metal elements to `For All Kings’ that certainly bands like Machine Head and Behemoth have manipulated to great effect within their respective corners although Anthrax is definitely closer to Machine Head’s musical knockings than the blast beating, Satanism driven Behemoth.
Only time will tell if `For All Kings’ will become a classic or which songs will deliver live but one thing’s for sure, this is Anthrax and here’s their middle finger.
8.5/10- A classic Anthrax album, maybe, maybe?
Stand out tracks:
`For All Kings’, `Suzerain’ and `All Of Them Thieves’
2. You Gotta Believe
3. Monster At The End
4. For All Kings
5. Breathing Lightning
6. Breathing Out
8. Evil Twin
9. Blood Eagle Wings
10. Defend Avenge
11. All Of Them Thieves
12. This Battle Chose Us
13. Zero Tolerance
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