Anthrax - For All Kings (Nuclear Blast)

Thick, strong and very long...
Release Date: 
26 Feb 2016 - 12:30am

Has it really been five years since Worship Music? Goodness, it's easy to see what Anthrax have been doing in the mean time; constructing some gigantic album it would appear. But beware - it's a big old beast so make sure that your glass is full afore ye stick this on the gramophone. It's all rousing cello and roaring hordes of goblin kings with opener Impaled - then it's straight into You Gotta Believe; a stomping mosh-tastic tune that will have you windmilling about like it's 1988. The artillery drumming (care of Charlie Benante) and the twin guitars of Scott Ian and Jonathan Donais are magnificent - and with Joey Belladonna's distinctive vocals and Frank Bello's bass, this is pretty much a classic fucking line-up. There's so much brilliant lead work in the mellower mid-section, and it's got groove too. Sweet as...

Monster At The End doesn't really do it for me; probably as it follows such a blinding first 'proper' track. There's nothing wrong with it but they probably could've stopped with You Gotta Believe and I would have been happy. Again, For All Kings is good, solid, standard Anthrax fare but it's going to take something pretty extraordinary after that opener. Breathing Lightning is next with some simmering cymbals and bombast. It's almost Faith No More so I love it already. Then the chunky riffs come in and Anthrax have done it again. Belladonna really does have a fine range, busting it out and holding back as the tune requires as the song soars about; it's not massively heavy but delightfully melodic. Breathing Out is essentially an outro to the previous track (bear in mind that there are 13 songs on here...) but more mellow and more restrained. It's a nice little breather.

Suzerain will bust your chops. Simple as. Fat and chugging guitars and some classsic Anthrax refrains. Sadly, being a weakened old man, I started to flag at this point, but a quick nap followed by a cup of Bonox got me ready for the second half of For All Kings. Some tight guitar runs signalled the start of Evil Twin and fuck me; I'm really getting into this album despite it's length...Blood Eagle Wings reinstates the pomp while Defend Avenge and All Of Them Thieves will force you into some massive head-nodding session. This is Anthrax, no question. Final track Zero Tolerance is everything an album closer should be; absolutely banging. It's a long old haul but definitely worth the commitment. When is the tour?