Clearing up the ongoing front-man debacle that has plagued them for most of the last decade, the return of Joey Belladonna in 2010 rekindled a collective fire in the Anthrax camp, the release of ‘Worship Music’ a year later met with frothing acclaim and delivering some of the NYC thrash veterans most melodically driven tunes to date. Whilst ‘For All Kings’ falters somewhat in matching their triumphant return, this is a follow-up which retains that sense of renewed enthusiasm and anthemic scope in spades:
Matching their 80’s, hi-top mosh stomp (‘Suzerian’, ‘Evil Twin’) with the more traditionally metallic, and even indeed progressive, facets of their past (the brooding Judas Priest tinged ‘Blood Eagle Wings’), the best moments here sit alongside anything in the Anthrax canon, be it the grandiose riff avalanche of opener ‘You Gotta Believe’ or the blitzkrieg assault that is ‘Zero Tolerance’. Top this off with some blistering lead breaks from newly recruited axe-slinger Jon Donais (formerly of Shadows Fall), and there is plenty to be excited about with ‘For All Kings’.
It is not all good news although, a couple of miss-steps (namely the uneventful plod of ‘Defend Avenge’ and ‘This Battle Chooses Us’) halting momentum somewhat with their blunt mid-paced slog. Yet between the Dio-sized choruses, dynamic interplay and rollicking thrash thunder elsewhere, the band turn in a healthy dose of that signature Anthrax stardust, and continue to reconnect with what it is that makes them still one of the worlds premier heavy metal icons.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)