FOR ALL KINGS
Grownman's Track by Track review!!!!
You Gotta Believe - Great start on this one that matches up quite well with their last album. The writing is strong and Belladonna feels like a better fit for the pace of this song. The main riff is reminiscent of early Anthrax. This is the first recording with Jonathan Donais of Shadows Fall on lead. It's definitely a plus that he's such an instrumental part of this song with his solos. This is how you introduce a new member.
Monster At The End - Two tracks in and Anthrax feels like their back for good. With all the line up changes in the past few years it's pretty cool to see Anthrax back at it's best. Donais once again is the spotlight of this track with his leads and solos peppering the listeners ears throughout. I can't say it enough this song is made for Belladonna. The pace of the last album made it sound like he was playing catch up. This time around, this is a perfect fit.
For All Kings - Check out that friggin bass beneath it all, Frank Bello is on point. When I first heard this track alone, I wasn't digging it. Now in the context of the album, it makes a hell of a lot more sense. The pace of the track is in order with the rest of the album. The production is so well balanced that you can clearly hear how great the new lineup gels together. The band sounds tight.
Breathing Lightning - A radio friendly track that incorporates all the thrash crunch the band's known for. I guess this old dog can learn a few new tricks. It's probably the most pop thing the band's ever done and I can't hate on them because it's actually good. The track even ends with an outro similar to the acoustic strumming on Sabbath's Laguna Sunrise.
Suzerain - This is what Scott Ian was talking about when he said that this album will have some of the most metal inspired music they've performed in their careers. Belladonna embraces his Dio on this one and the new kid Donais adds that next level of guitarmanship the band's needed for a very long time. I recall the band heading into the much more metal territory when they first hooked up with Dan Nelson. We saw how that went right? This time around, I think the band is well equipped and comfortable enough to explore their darker side. Come on now, Donais solo in the latter half of this song slayyyyyyyyyyyys!!!!!
Evil Twin - Break out your long board and thrash hard.
Blood Eagle Wings - The track begins with Uniquely Distorted riffs that transition into a signature Anthrax thrash groove. This will keep you swaying and singing along the whole way through.
Defend Avenge - What year is this? This is straight outta the early Anthrax songbook. No time to write. Time to MOSH! ..... this will even put a smile on the hardened brows of Testament fans
All of Them Thieves - This tune has a heavy Pantera influence. By demons be driven this feels like something that could have easily been on "Sound of White Noise' or 'We come for You All". The band has never sounded fuller or more confident.
This Battle Chose Us - While it definitely has a beautiful crunch, I'm not completely sold on the entire track. It's lost a bit of the energy and steam the rest of the album embodies. It might grow on me after a few listens but for now this feels like filler.
Zero Tolerance - Bouncy signature grooves reminiscent of early Anthrax. Some of the best guitar work on the entire album and when I consider what I've just listened to, I'm blown away. The song as a whole isn't my favorite track right now but it definitely will thrash your face off.
extra live tracks - a bonus
This is the album that will finally satisfy both the Belladonna and Bush fans. The thrash and metal components really work well on this album in a way that I haven't heard for sometime. Compared to the many original Thrash/Crossover bands from the 80's, Anthrax still deliver and bring to the table some fresh ideas without changing the dynamics of their sound. The album really benefits from the lack of drama and lead vocalist shakeups their last one dealt with. That was a large problem with even getting that album completed. I can't say it enough, Jonathan Donais is the fuel injection that Anthrax really needed going into this album. Many fans had no clue what to expect from yet another Anthrax line up change. His playing brings out the best in these thrash vets. It sounds like the band has found a fountain of youth in their playing. The production is pristine and does a great service to the melodic moments that appear throughout this album. If I had my hands held to the fire to actually give this album a score, I'd definitely give it 8 out of 10. It's so much better than their last album and it feels like everyone is on the same page now. As a long time fan, I'd like to see the band be even more productive in the future to knock out a few more albums before any shake ups occur. Shadows Fall is on a hiatus, Ian is focused on Anthrax business again and Belladonna seems to be fully initiated into his role as vocalist which means that they should not wait very long before getting into the studio again after they complete a touring schedule for this one. Strike while the iron is hot men!