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4.8 out of 5 stars
Worship Music
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Anthrax released their tenth full length studio album Worship Music in 2011, which was the first album to feature singer Joey Belladonna in 21 years, and their first studio album at all in 8 years.

The story behind the album is fairly well discussed; the rumors of Corey Taylor joining the band, the mysterious dismissal of new singer Dan Nelson, the Big Four tour with the Sonishpere Festival etc. In the nineties Anthrax were left in the proverbial wilderness when their record company imploded and it seemed they've been back there again ever since their Alive 2 DVD was released in 2005.

You aren't likely to get many impartial opinions on this record. Some people have been clamoring for a new Joey Belladona fronted Anthrax album for over a decade however some people think the band have become irrelevant since parting ways with John Bush, the singer on the four studio albums released since Belladona left, and whichever singer a person prefers is likely to unfairly colour their opinion on the actual record.

On its own merits, Worship Music is a good record full of impressive musicianship and songs that don't feel as though you've already heard them before by a thousand other bands. Importantly however, it isn't exactly a return-to-thrash nostalgia record. The music was written before Joey even returned and only tweaked to suit him later, consequently the album feels like a mixture of both Anthrax styles, with songs that they'd never have written with Joey before as well as songs that don't sound like they'd suit John anymore.

Half of the tracks, like the initially slow `In The End,' (which is an album highlight) and the eclectic `Judas Priest,' provide the next logical step to We Have Come For You All, and would feel very out of place on any other Belladonna record, yet he makes them his own here on Worship Music and fits the album perfectly. If you came to the album without knowing the history, it isn't beyond the realms of possibility that you couldn't imagine the songs with anyone but Joey, and that is a testament to the quality of the finished product.

Of course; at least some of the music is directed at the return-to-form blurbs, such as the pre-released tracks `Fight Em Till You Can't,' and `The Devil You Know,' as well as the very 80s-Anthrax sounding `Giant,' all of which are great Thrash tinged songs that should give you an idea of the direction of the other half of the album. The only thing that seems out of place altogether is a hidden cover of Refused's classic `The New Noise.'

Aside from the music, the production is superb. You can imagine that the band had a lot of time in the studio to get it just perfect and it really shows, the band mix all the advancements made in technology with a key understanding of the relationship between the bass guitar and the drumkit that defines the signature 80s Anthrax sound.

Overall; Worship Music is a good album that may not be what everybody wanted and that will likely be met with mixed reviews from people who prefer one era of the band to the other. For those who like Anthrax period, who love the way Scott Ian's wrist moves, and the feel of Charlie Benante's kick drum, this is an absolutely great album that you shouldn't hesitate to check out or allow the history behind it to spoil your enjoyment of.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2011
Aaaah, at long last. Anthrax are back with a new album and in my humble opinion it rocks! Its not quite "Among the Living" but then its not quite 1986 anymore either so.......this is Anthrax, approaching their 50's, complete with Joey Belladonna back on lead vox kicking and screaming in 2011.

Opening with a very Slipknot intro and then a blastbeat into "Earth On Hell" this album constantly surprised me with its diversity, crunch and just plain Anthraxiness.....but its Anthraxiness with a modern edge. "The Devil You Know" and single "Fight 'Em 'Til You Cant" complete an opening 3 song salvo which truly confirms Anthrax are back.

"Im Alive" and "In the End" are both mid tempo chuggers with big choruses, the latter with a particularly catchy verse riff to boot. "The Giant" ups the tempo again and feels pretty experimental in the chorus but its all good. "Judas Priest" opens like a classic metal song, with mad keyboardy sounding thing, then its crunch crunch time again. Slightly ballady "Crawl" is a bit different and very interesting. Then we have 2 decent if not spectacular songs to finish and all in all, I think, the best Anthrax album since "The Sound of White Noise"

Welcome back Joey and well done the 'thrax dudes. Top record.

Recommended
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2011
It's brilliant, it's amazing and it's possibly one of the very best Anthrax albums of all time! Every song is awesome. For people who like total thrash pure and simple with speed then look no further than the opening track Earth On Hell. Goodness me that's one heavy thrash song if ever I heard one! Also The Giant is an awesomely fast heavy song, but quite melodic in places too...

In The End is epic, starting with bells which chime throughout, and the lyrics are great. A really long but excellent deep track. I'm Alive has brilliant vocals from Joey, and again is rather epic. Crawl is a change of pace but very strong and has a sort of Alice In Chains vibe, especially in the guitar solo. The Constant has a southern groove going on, really addictive and catchy. Judas Priest is pretty different, quite 80's sounding, but good and quite unique for Anthrax. It ends with the catchy Revolution Screams...

The sound and production is so good! I wish more metal sounded as good as this. I strongly recommend this album; in fact I can't recommend it enough! If you like Metal at all then I seriously suggest giving this a listen. Anthrax are such a tight unit and their instrumentation is some of the best in the field. Also the packaging is awesome, great cover and inner artwork, and back cover artwork too. I don't know what it is about these modern times, but so many album covers suck. This is more like the old skool covers where they mattered and were a piece of art in their own right. This could be my favourite front cover of any Anthrax album in fact. The whole package is just solid on all fronts. It took eight and a half years to come and many line-up changes, but damn is it worth it!...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2013
This is IMMENSE, a stunning return to form. I've got to say I didn't have great expectations for this, I've plodded along with Anthrax for years and not a lot they've done matches up to the visceral teenage thrill I got listening to Spreading the Disease and Among the Living, (although The Sound of White Noise was pretty good). It's not to say that they haven't had their moments over various albums, however, but this album is just great song after great song.
What's the magic formula? you may well ask. Well, fans will know the album has had a stormy gestation,with Bush departing, new vocalist Dan Nelson coming and going and then the mighty Joey Belladonna returning to the fold to re-join and re-record the vocals. I think that's part one of the revival. While he hasn't got the trademark wail of the past, you just know he sounds right - he makes it sound like Anthrax; in a way that builds on the classic albums. Which is not to deride John Bush, who lets face it toughed it out in the lean years with the rest of the band. In fact I'm surprised at how close (to my ears at least) Joey gets to the John Bush sound.
Part two of the recovery must go to the writing, the songs are credited to Anthrax, not Just Charlie Benante as in the past (Stomp 442 etc). You could take 'Fight them till You Can't' and put it on Among the Living and it'd fit right in. I think the band have rediscovered what made them great in the first place - good old fashioned thrashing.
Part three is Rob Caggiano (sp) for me at least, I'd be interested in how much of this he wrote or tweaked. His production is awesome, one of the best, most balanced productions I've heard for ages, all instruments razor sharp. His leads are great too.
Part four must be unity, I'm aware this sound odd, considering ahem, the vocalist problems, but it just feels like everyone was onside here. Too bad it couldn't last, with Caggiano heading mysteriously out of the door.
And one last word on covers; Anthrax are a great covers band, but on this album the cover is superfluous, it's not needed to prop up the album, it stands on it's own. For Anthrax covers fan like me however, an enticing covers ep is to appear soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Seems that Anthrax have created something inversely proportional to the latest Metallica output, Lulu. This is a truly magnificent CD, utterly barnstorming and probably one of the best Anthrax records made.

Not only is this a great Anthrax record - a band I must confess to being a bit 'take it or leave it,' it is one of the best heavy thrash records ever made. Seriously. And the thing that sets this apart is the musicality of it which somehow manages to sound thrashy, fast, heavy but tuneful at the same time. Not easy to do given the lack of records that have managed it.

There are of course some standouts such as I'm Alive and In The End which are so heavy and pounding Odin himself would submit. It's as if the gates of Valhalla themselves have been ripped off. Just crank up the volume and be aurally beaten. Superb examples of the genre.

Joey Belladonna of course has returned and I think has really boosted the sound. He just fits the band so well, adding tuneful voice and a bit of pizzazz that has been lacking since he got the order of the boot.

All of the songs are strong and there is a maturity across the board.

Overall I can't recommend this enough and if there was any justice Metallica would be supporting Anthrax not the other way around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2012
In a way, this album had been a long time coming, okay, it wasnt as long as chinese democracy, but it shouldve come out in 2009, roughly around the same time as death magnetic, endgame and world painted blood. The leaving/sacking of their fourth singer in their career, dan nelson, put the album on the backburner, and it seemed that anthrax were turning into a circus.

In some ways, the way things have turned out, it has worked out okay for Anthrax, as the album has turned out to be really good. I like the contrasting styles of songs, some fast, some slow, and belladonna really does well, singing songs that he had no input in writing, adapting his voice in a different style, which i think works, considering that he isnt getting any younger. Although it isnt on par with the best of the belladonna/bush era's, but i think it stands on it own two feet, especially when compared to their peers. There have been some accusations of plagiarism on this album i.e one song being very similar to an old sacred reich song, i think you would do well to find it, and even then it is minimal.

I would really recommend that you check this album out, but for me its more of a grower.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2011
Now don't get me wrong -always ominous first words. I was never the biggest Bellandona fan, much preferring the John Bush era - save the brilliant persistence of time. So i wasn't sure what to make of Worship Music, what with Joey back in the fold and never quite getting used to his wide ranging vocal talents?

Glad i did though! Worship Music is worth the wait, now they're back together, minus Dan Spitz, it's an awesome (overused adjective alert) album. Make no mistake - there are obvious dodgy moments Hymn 1 etc. But rest assured it is well worth it. Play, play and play again - then enjoy the hard riffing as Meister "Scott Ian" and the crew take you on an aural ecstasy. As for Joey. Well age has made him into one of the finest vocalists around.

The King is dead, all hail the KING.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2011
You could paint pretty pictures with words aimed at creating textures of this album in your mind and all that blah blah blah...

Well? You know what? Time's short! So? Hot damn, get it! This is good!!

Solid production with great balance between drums, guitars, bass, and vocals. The sound is monster! Other albums should be this polished and powerful. Plenty of harmonies, strong riffs, vocal work... and it's like Anthrax picked up their best stuff from twenty years back and turned it up to eleven.

The track "Fight'em till you can't" will help you decide. Yes, the publisher made this available for free on youtube. Enjoy!
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on 26 January 2012
What a great surprise, and what critic silencer at that. I didn't know one person who was expecting anything great yet when it finally hit... i haven't heard a bad thing said about it.

Anthrax are one of my all time favorite bands. back in 2003 though i was happy with John Bush on vocals, i loved and respected their 80's output with joey belladonna but felt the definitive front-man for the band was John. As he gave the band a more modern and more versatile sound. 2002's "we came for you all" is a classic and the "music of mass destruction" live dvd that followed was also great. then the band rerecorded a collection of their 80's songs with John on vocals, it got mixed reviews but i personally loved it, it felt John's place in the band was cemented. then 2005 confusion........first the band goes on what seemed like a one off tour with Joey but it went on for two years! (i saw them at download on that tour and it was great!) then that came to an end and John Bush told the band bollox as he was waiting too long for his que to come back, then enter newcomer Dan Nelson, who kicked ass live, then as recording what would become this album became began Dan suddenly left/kicked out. what happened? only the band really know. so John Bush comes back for a total of 9 gigs then bails out. soooo they approach Joey, i personally wasn't looking forward to it i wanted John back and tho Joey wasn't my first choice and it seemed he wasn't the bands either.
how foolish of me!!

the album starts with an intro then blasts int earth on hell, the song kicks off with the almighty Charlie Benente double kick pedals he sound like a caged demon finally unleashed (its been 8 years since their last album) at first instance i thought i was listening to a death metal album, the song is actually one of the bands darkest and builds up a real claustrophobic apocalyptic atmosphere, then "the devil you know" another awesome song but its when "fight em til you can't" kicks in you know the band` are truly back, the signature stomping riff in the verse, the melodic and catchy chorus,the mid section with the band coming together and revolving round Charlie's drumming then they break into this amazing epic solo that just climaxes the song perfectly,
one song that strikes me as-well is "i'm alive" which wouldn't sound out of place on "W.c.f.u.a" its hear you see how this album musically picks up were that album left off and how Joey fits the bands sound like a glove. his vocals are richer then ever. on this he sounds like a rougher round the edges Ronnie James Dio. he's come a long way from the 80's wail he was known (and doubted)(wrongly) for. it makes you want to hear a similar album were Joey rerecord's John's songs. "in the end" is a slower song that is dedicated to Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell which is a great song bout loss. "Judas priest" is another standout, but every song stands on its own and there isn't a single dull moment

Anthrax i should never have lost faith, this is the album of last year i kept coming back too. it revealed more and more with every listen. awesome stuff and the best thing any of the big four have done since 2000. Metallica take note!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2012
I was sceptical about this album with the change of singer reverting back to Joey, but how wrong could I be. Being a fan of the 'Thrax from the mid 80's I was brought up on Metal Thrashing Mad and Madhouse et al. However, this album is a true return to form albeit a little slower in pace than previous efforts under either Bush or Belladonna but that doesn't matter as this album is truly awesome. Fight em til you can't and In the end are stand out tracks and it will be interesting to see them performed live. All in all a class album. Why did I ever doubt?
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