When a band hits a certain stage in their career, all bets are off. Progression is really the ultimate sign of maturity. A band with a discography as large as Anthrax (12 studio albums) has earned the right to have their efforts reviewed with the proper perspective, namely this is not Anthrax in 1987. This is Anthrax in 2016 and they are a different group.

Anthrax used to be one of my favorite thrash bands. I vividly remember cruising the streets of Chicago with the albums Spreading the Disease or Among the Living cranked as high as my stereo would allow but that was nearly thirty years ago…

Anthrax has been through the ringer since then, the arrival of grunge and numerous line-up changes nearly put the band to rest. But somehow Anthrax managed to weather the storm, putting out mediocre albums, waiting for things to come full circle.

Fast forward to 2010, The Big Four concert in Sophia, Bulgaria put Anthrax back in the spotlight. The group re-united with their most recognizable vocalist, Joey Belladonna and started to record new material: Worship Music (2011) and the Anthems EP (2013).

Although, the reviews for these releases were favorable, I must admit I wasn’t impressed. The addition of hard rock elements really turned me off. In my mind, Anthrax should be a thrash band. It never occurred to me that these musicians might have aged, matured and progressed musically. This narrow-minded view kept me from embracing the new efforts of many of the former thrash acts I once admired.

When a band hits a certain stage in their career, all bets are off. Progression is really the ultimate sign of maturity. A band with a discography as large as Anthrax (12 studio albums) has earned the right to have their efforts reviewed with the proper perspective, namely this is not Anthrax in 1987. This is Anthrax in 2016 and they are a different group.

For All Kings is a respectable metal album with a few songs that occasionally hit a thrash gear. What stands out to me besides the superb musicianship and sound quality is the songwriting. Solid songs have kept Anthrax alive all these years and there are a few tracks on this new release that command repeat listens. Highlight numbers for me are: “You Gotta Believe”, “Breathing Lighting”, “Evil Twin” and “This Battle Chose Us”.

While we may never re-capture the glories of our past, we can still celebrate the future. Anthrax have been around over thirty five years and they are still a force to be reckoned with. A one-time musical pioneer, forever a metal legend. \m/

Anthrax are:

Joey Belladonna – Vocals
 Frank Bello – Bass
•  Jonathan Donais – Guitars
•  Charlie Benante – Drums
Scott Ian – Guitars

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