ANTHRAX – Worship Music

ANTHRAX - Worship Music
  • 9.5/10
    ANTHRAX - Worship Music - 9.5/10


Megaforce Records
Release date: September 13, 2011

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Anthrax is back with its tenth studio album, Worship Music. It’s also the first to feature singer Joey Belladonna since their 1990 release Persistence Of Time. Needless to say, it is nostalgia time for the five guys known as Anthrax, and they definitely have something to prove. Anthrax regained momentum in 2010 co-headlining a series of Big Four live shows, which featured fellow Thrash Metal pioneers Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer. Additionally, the past couple of years saw the band shuffling lead singers between newcomer Dan Nelson and mainstay John Bush. Once the band settled on reuniting with Belladonna, it was very clear the magic was still there.

Initially, the Worship Music material was recorded and set for release in 2009 with vocalist Dan Nelson. However, upon Nelson’s departure from the band, Anthrax made the fateful decision to postpone the album’s release. The return of Belladonna could not have come at a better time, and right from the first track it’s evident he has not missed a step in 20+ years since he was last heard.

During the John Bush era, Anthrax moved away from its cartoonish image, and became increasingly more intense with their songwriting and material. Although most of that is maintained on Worship Music, there are still some visual images of the “musical sarcasm” that has always separated Anthrax from their contemporaries. Some of that manifests itself during the track “Fight ‘em ‘til You Can’t”, which begins with the narration, “City authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from the graves and attacking the living.” Anthrax has always been able to take something comical and create it into fortuitous hard and heavy Metal.

Belladonna shines throughout the entire album, and from the first track it is like taking a step back in time. After patiently waiting through a minute and a half long developing introduction, the band shreds into “Earth On Hell” and Belladonna proclaiming, “The kids have gone wild on the streets, I’m backing the havoc they wreak” … and you can immediately transcend back to 1985 listening to “A.I.R”, the opening track of Spreading The Disease.

Arguably, one of the best tracks of the album is “In The End”, which is actually a tribute to Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell Abbot. This is an extremely heavy and pounding song with a melancholy cello introduction. This may be the only track where Belladonna seems slightly out of his element as the song has a darker undertone not befitting his vocal style well. However, he still manages to produce an incredibly passionate vocal performance.

Overall, Worship Music is a culmination of Anthrax’s nearly 30 year career. They present timeless grooves and rhythms from their classic albums of the 1980’s, as well as the intense passion and solidity catered in their more recent years. Also worth mentioning, the ever present background vocals (or screams) from guitarist and founding member Scott Ian gives Worship Music the certificate of authenticity that Anthrax fans certainly desire.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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