I’ve been a fan of ANTHRAX since I first heard “I’m The Man.” Yeah, I was a bit of a latecomer but I can offer up several valid reasons.
I lived in such a small town growing up we didn’t even have an FM radio station, a McDonald’s or Pizza Hut until I was in high school.
Hell, hearing KISS anywhere but by chance was unheard of and they were the biggest band in the world when I was 10, 11 and 12 years old. KISS were considered evil incarnate among a lot of my family and neighbors so when I started listening to harder and harder stuff like BLACK SABBATH and LED ZEPPELIN I became a bit of an outcast. Actually, more than a bit.
While thrash metal was bigtime underground stuff in 1982 and ’83 I was listening to the SCORPIONS BLACKOUT, DEF LEPPARD’S HIGH AND DRY and MOTLEY CRUE’S SHOUT AT THE DEVIL with not a mention anywhere in my circles of METALLICA or thrash metal. I was just discovering IRON MAIDEN at that time too as much of the world was after the release of NUMBER OF THE BEAST.
In 1984 and ’85 VAN HALEN, DIO, and TWISTED SISTER ruled my world. In 1985 I missed the rise of thrash legends like ANTHRAX, SLAYER, MEGADETH, and METALLICA. By the end of 1985 ANTHRAX, SLAYER AND METALLICA had released their second albums but I was still pretty much unaware of them.
That all changed in 1986. Though I had read and heard rumblings about those bands I didn’t know anyone who was in to them or had their cassettes(that’s what most of us listened to back then.) No radio station within 100 miles of where I lived was playing any thrash, doom, death or black metal. I’m not even sure anyone used those terms other than thrash back then.
The biggest change though was when I left my little hometown area and joined the NAVY. I met some of the coolest cats on the planet and they turned me on to bands and artists I’d never heard of. Marlon Montano: thanks for introducing me to one of my favorite bands of all-time, MEGADETH.
So yeah, I was a pretty late comer to ANTHRAX and all of The Big Four. Since those ear and mind opening early days of 1986 through to Metallica’s Black Album in 1991 and right up to today I’ve spent a LOT of time and a dump truck load of money on LP’s, casettes, CD’s and MP3 downloads, t-shirts, travel and concert tickets to hear, see, and support the Big Four and many lesser known bands and artists. Every single red cent well spent.
But none of those penny’s and dollars has been better spent on any ANTHRAX merchandise or music than on WORSHIP MUSIC.
It is simply the best music ANTHRAX has made since PERSISTENCE OF TIME, maybe the best work of their career.
I have always liked ANTHRAX more than any other thrash band besides MEGADETH. In fact I love ANTHRAX and MEGADETH, only really like METALLICA and SLAYER and own most everything ANTHRAX has ever recorded in one format or another.
Every single song is an instant thrash classic. The opening is vintage metal and the deeper you get into WORSHIP MUSIC, the better it gets. The End is a moving masterwork tribute to Dimebag and Ronnie James Dio.
Frankie Bello’s bass work is more prominent on this disc than on any since STATE OF EUPHORIA and he is killing it throughout. Make sure you keep the disc rolling after the last song. I promise you will be rewarded with a Frank Bello classic.
Rob Caggiano’s lead guitar work is more impressive than ever and he puts himself among one of the elite metal players on the planet with WORSHIP MUSIC.
The madman and legendary Scott Ian lays down riffs that are as good or better than anything he’s ever stroked.
Charlie Benante. Insanely good on ANTHRAX last album We’ve Come for You All (2003), he steps it up to unbelievable on this album.
For the piece de resistance, may I present Mr. Joey Belladonna. He delivers a tour de force performance on WORSHIP MUSIC sounding better than he’s ever sounded, showing a range and depth to his voice that he’s never shown before. Simply stunning. Belladonna proves he could have, and gives strong evidence that maybe even should have been the vocalist on all the John Bush discs too.
There are plenty of song by song reviews out there of this disc so I will spare you that. But if there is only one album/disc/mp3 purchase you make the rest of 2011, ANTHRAX – WORSHIP MUSIC should be it.