Anthrax Takes Its Rightful Place On The Metal Throne With Its Latest LP

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

In 2015 veteran thrash metal outfit Slayer released its latest full-length album Repentless.  The band’s twelfth full-length studio recording, it was also the first new release from the band (at the time) in six years.  That means that it was one of the year’s most anticipated metal records.  Needless to say that it more than lived up to its expectations and in turn returned the metal crown to the rightful kings.  Now with 2015 turning to 2016 and dozens of new metal and rock albums already being turned out the question is who will the crown be passed on to this year.  That question has, thankfully, already been answered.  It has been answered in the form of For All Kings, the new album from Slayer’s fellow veteran thrashers Anthrax.  While 2016 is still very young it can be said with confidence that this thirteen song record is this year’s top new offering in the hard rock and metal category so far this year.  That is obvious throughout the sixty-four minute offering from the album’s lead single ‘Evil Twin’ to the equally driving ‘Breathing Lightning’ to the new, more radio friendly single ‘Blood Eagle Wings’ this record proves to be a solid new offering from Anthrax and the year’s best new hard rock and metal album so far.

Anthrax’s new album For All Kings has only been out about a week.  But the thirteen song, sixty-four minute record has more than proven in that time to be a record that is “for all metal heads.”  That is obvious throughout the course of the record thanks to the mix of the album’s musical arrangements and its lyrical content.  The album’s lead single ‘Evil Twin’ is a prime example of how that mix of material makes this record such a hit.  In regards to its musical content, the song is classic Anthrax.  Scott Ian shreds with buzzsaw precision in the song’s guitar line.  And drummer Charlie Benante’s work behind the kit is just as driving and solid.  And front man Joey Belladonna’s vocals are just as tight as ever in this song, too.  The song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes it such a clear example of what makes this record so impressive.  Its lyrical content stands out just as much.  The song’s lyrical content presents quite the powerful statement with Belladonna singing, “Ideology used as a weapon/With lines that cut so deeply to the truth/Your head’s on the block Still you threaten/A wretched way of life for those that choose and abuse.”  That is a powerful statement in itself.  And things don’t change as the song progresses either.  Belladonna goes on to sing, “You represent your discontent/Slaughtering the innocent/Insolence/You’re no martyrs/The arrogance to reinvent/The holy words their meaning rent/Evil twin/You’re no martyrs.”  While it may seem cut and dry what is being stated here, the reality of the song is that the band is not addressing just one group of individuals, but many.  Though, the commentary about extremists and the impact of their actions on the world stays the same throughout.  That in mind, the energy in the song’s musical arrangement serves to really accent the song’s message.  Both pieces together make this song a strong example of what makes For All Kings the year’s first truly great hard rock and metal offering.  Audiences can check out the song’s lyric video online now via Anthrax’s official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPmLkF3e6Fc.  It is just one example of what makes the album so impressive for all metal heads, too.  ‘Breathing Lightning,’ another of the album’s singles, is another good example of what makes this record one for all metal heads.

‘Evil Twin’ is a clear, solid example of what makes Anthrax’s new album an impressive new effort from one of the metal community’s hardest rocking and most respected bands.  ‘Breathing Lightning’ is another good example of what makes this record such an impressive return for the band.  This song is such an impressive example of the album’s content because while it does boast just as much energy as ‘Evil Twin’ there is also something in its musical arrangement that makes it more radio friendly, too.  The band doesn’t just jump right into things in this song.  And even when they do it’s not the full on thrash of ‘Evil Twin’ or any of the album’s other more old school sounding songs.  Rather it actually has something of a mainstream, melodic hard rock  sound that would make it a perfect fit on any mainstream rock radio station.  That’s just part of what makes it a good example of how much the album has to offer.  The song’s lyrical content proves just as important to the song’s overall presentation.  In regards to the song’s lyrical content it is a relatively easy song.  Belladonna sings in the song’s lead verse, “I have walked the world and back now/Too many times to count or stop, how/Time is nothing/Slow and focused/I stalk this land with just one purpose/A deal made the second that you choose to force my will/An extension of my hand/With the intent to kill by the white lightning.”  It is a pretty confident, self-assured statement from the song’s subject.  That confidence and self-assuredness is echoed in the song’s second verse as Belladonna sings, “My body broken there’s no quit/My will intact and I can’t stop it/Hearts and minds can see the end/Until it all happens again.”  The song’s subject comes across as saying here that even with everything that has happened there’s no giving up in his will and determination.  This is driven home even more in the song’s chorus in which Belladonna sings, “You always have the chance to do the right thing/Until the right thing comes undone/And with a thunderclap I’m breathing lightning/And this world has moved on.”  There is a statement in the chorus’s reprise in which the song’s subject contemplates what comes after life as motivation for not giving up on life, saying, “I’d do anything/Just to hear the angels sing.”  This after the subject notes that he doesn’t believe there is anything after.  So it comes across as someone that is having an internal battle with himself yet still stays strong and determined through it all.  It is an interesting piece to take in if only for that lyrical content.  That and the song’s musical content come together to make ‘Breathing Lightning’ yet another clear example of what makes For All Kings 2016’s first great hard rock and metal album.  It is hardly the last example of what makes this record deserving of such honor, too.  The album’s latest single ‘Blood Eagle Wings’ is one more example of this record’s positives.

‘Evil Twin’ and ‘Breathing Lightning’ are both solid examples of what makes For All Kings this year’s first great hard rock and metal album.  That is because they show two completely different sides of the band this time out.  The prior is a full-on classic thrash metal opus while the latter is more of a mainstream, radio ready piece.  Both songs offer their own thought-provoking lyrical content, too.  The combination of both elements within each song clearly exhibits why they are such solid examples of this record’s positives.  They aren’t the only important additions to For All Kings.  ‘Blood Eagle Wings,’ the album’s latest single is another good example of the album’s positives.  This song is a much slower piece than ‘Evil Twin’ or ‘Breathing Lightning.’  Yet its heavy, crunching guitars give the song something of a sludge metal sound a la Black Label Society.  It shows once more the breadth of material presented throughout the record at least stylistically speaking.  In regards to the song’s lyrical content the song is just as certain to leave listeners talking.  That is because of the depth of said content.  Belladonna sings in the song’s first verse, “Everything’s been said/Walk among the dead/You can see my crimes/This is my design/There’s no right or wrong/It’s the same old song/Just keeps pounding me/Hits so hard.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Hell is empty/Cause all my demons are here/Ever so deadly/Hit so hard/Darkness in my soul is taking hold and becoming/Break me from this hold/As I unfold bloody wings.”  This song come across as a direct contrast to ‘Breathing Lightning.’  It comes across more as a song that sees its subject in a very dark place emotionally speaking.  And that isn’t just because of the lines presented in the song’s chorus.  Belladonna goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “My whole world/Built on bodies dead and gone/You ignored the signs/That was my design/And the loneliness hits so hard/In this grey place that exists in my mind.”  The song’s subject goes on in similar fashion in the song’s third verse, almost throwing up his arms in frustration.  The song proves in this regard to be just as powerful as in its musical content.  Both elements together make for a song that is one of the album’s strongest songs and one more example of just why For All Kings is a record that is fit for all metal fans.  Audiences can check out the song’s companion video online now via Rolling Stone at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-anthraxs-chilling-epic-new-video-20160302.  Viewer discretion is advised with this video due to its rather gory content.  Needless to say its content will leave some viewers unsettled and others talking even more when comparing it to the song’s lyrical conten.  That can especially stated with confidence when taking into consideration not just this song but this song alongside the other pieces noted here and those not directly noted.  All things considered members of the rock and metal community will agree in hearing the album in whole that it is not just a record for all metal fans but also the year’s first great hard rock and metal offering.

Anthrax’s new album For All Kings is 2016’s first great hard rock and metal offering.  That is saying quite a bit considering the number of rock and metal albums that have already been turned out so far in this still very young year.  The album’s musical content in itself does plenty to prove that.  It mixes together the band’s old school thrash roots with a more mainstream, radio ready sound that will keep audiences engaged from beginning to end of the sixty-four minute musical outing.  This is proven through the likes of ‘Evil Twin,’ ‘Breathing Lightning,’ and the album’s latest single ‘Blood Eagle Wings.’  The album’s other featured numbers could just as easily be cited as examples of how much this record has to offer.  All things considered audiences will agree that hearing the album in whole, it proves in the end to be a record for all metal fans and the year’s first great hard rock and metal offering.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online now direct via Anthrax’s official website at http://anthrax.com.  While there audiences can also keep up with all of the band’s latest news.  Fans can also keep up with all of the band’s latest news and more via the band’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/anthrax.

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Anthrax Discusses Its “Sixth Member” In New Behind-The-Scenes Video

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Anthrax is giving its fans another look behind the scenes in the making of its new album For All Kings.

The band released a new behind-the-scenes this week. This latest video sees the band switching gears from discussions on songwriting to working with producer Jay Ruston. Ruston manned the boards on the band’s most recent album, 2011’s Worship Music. He also helmed this new recording from the veteran thrash metal band. Over the course of the video, which runs just over three-and-a-half minutes, the band discusses working with Ruston on Worship Music and how that influenced their decision to have him on the boards again for this record. There are plenty of positive comments to be had as he is called the band’s “sixth member” and even the proverbial “Fifth Beatle.” As guitarist Scott Ian notes of Ruston, “He’s become an integral part of our process, that’s for sure. It’s cliche, but he really has become a sixth member.”

Ian’s comment is just one that stands out in the new discussion. There is also a note of Ruston’s ability to keep the band from going over the top in recording the songs featured in this record. In other words they trust him because of his ability to motivate the band yet also keep it from doing too much with any given song. Perhaps the best and most illustrative description of why Ruston helmed this record is Frank Bellow’s comment that he “knows how to make us shine.” There is much more discussion throughout the video. Audiences can check it out now online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1DEUJ-xGec&feature=youtu.be.

Courtesy:  megaforce Records/Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: megaforce Records/Nuclear Blast Records

Anthrax is currently on the road in support of For All Kings. The album will be available in stores and online on Friday, February 26th. The band will be in Nashville, TN today. It will then make its way East to Norfolk, VA, where for a show on Friday. Shows in NY and CT are currently slated to round out the weekend, weather permitting. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

 

JANUARY

20   Marathon Music Works, Nashville, TN

22   Constant Convocation Center, Norfolk, VA

23   Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY

24   Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, CT

26   Starland Ballroom, Sayerville, NJ

27   Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OH  (HEADLINE DATE)

28   Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI

29   Egyptian Room at Old National Center, Indianapolis, IN

30   Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL

31   Orbit Room, Grand Rapids, MI

FEBRUARY

2   Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland, Kansas City, MO

3   George’s Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville, AR  (HEADLINE DATE)

4   Revention Music Center, Houston, TX

5   Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX

6   Concrete Street Pavilion, Corpus Christi, TX

8   ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, Austin, TX

9   Diamond Ballroom, Oklahoma City, OK

10  Sunshine Theatre, Albuquerque, NM  (HEADLINE DATE)

11  Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas, NV

12  Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA

 

More information on For All Kings is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and tour updates at:

Website: http://anthrax.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anthrax

Twitter: http://twitter.com/anthrax

 

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Fans Get Another Glimpse Into Anthrax’s Latest LP In New BTS Video

Courtesy:  Megaforce Records

Courtesy: Megaforce Records

Anthrax is giving fans another glimpse into its upcoming album For All Kings.

The veteran hard rock outfit debuted its first official radio single ‘Breathing Lightning’ today. In celebration of its release, the band has also released another behind-the-scenes video, this one presenting a discussion on the song in question. Guitarist Scott Ian notes in the new video that the song was actually inspired by none other than author Stephen King, and that (for those that might not know) it is not the first Anthrax song to ever be influenced by the seminal writer. Charlie Benante opens the discussion noting that ‘Breathing Lightning’ is, in his view, “the accessible song on the record.” It makes sense that he would feel that way in hearing the song, which plays throughout the course of the video. Stylistically speaking it bears a similarity to music from both Megadeth and Metallica’s more mainstream material at least to a point. Audiences can hear the whole discussion for themselves now online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgMl5q0FXxE&feature=youtu.be.

Anthrax Breathing Lightning Video Screenshot

Courtesy:  Megaforce Records

Courtesy: Megaforce Records

‘Breathing Lightning’ will be available at independent retailers nationwide beginning Friday, January 15th along with ‘Evil Twin.’ The songs will be available as a download card that will be included in a special customized, limited edition deck of Anthrax poker cards. The card will also allow fans to download For All Kings online on February 26th, the album’s release date.

Also on January 15th, Anthrax will hit the road alongside Lamb of God in support of its new record. The currently nineteen-date tour kicks off in Pittsburgh, PA and ends in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, February 12th. The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

 

JANUARY

15   Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA

16   Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA

17   The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD

19   Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA

22   Constant Convocation Center, Norfolk, VA

23   Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY

24   Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, CT

28   Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI

29   Egyptian Room at Old National Center, Indianapolis, IN

30   Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL

31   Orbit Room, Grand Rapids, MI

FEBRUARY

2   Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland, Kansas City, MO

4   Revention Music Center, Houston, TX

5   Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX

6   Concrete Street Pavilion, Corpus Christi, TX

8   ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, Austin, TX

9   Diamond Ballroom, Oklahoma City, OK

11  Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas, NV

12  Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA

 

 

More information on Anthrax’s upcoming album and tour is available online now along with all of the latest Anthrax news at:

 

Website: http://anthrax.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anthrax

Twitter: http://twitter.com/anthrax

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Anthrax Discusses “For All Kings” Writing Process In Latest Video

Megaforce Records/Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Megaforce Records/Nuclear Blast Records

This winter, Anthrax will heat things up when it releases its new album For All Kings. In anticipation of the album’s upcoming release, the band has already released the album’s lead single ‘Evil Twin’ and unveiled the album’s cover art. And just recently the band posted a video online in which the band’s members discuss what audiences can expect from the band’s eleventh full-length studio recording. That video has been followed up with yet another new presentation from the band that was posted this week.

Anthrax posted its second “teaser” video online for its upcoming album For All Kings this week.  The video, which can be seen online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rAYVGq-fTw&feature=youtu.be sees the band’s members discussing the songwriting process not just in general but also for its highly-anticipated new album.

Courtesy:  Megaforce Records

Courtesy: Megaforce Records

Fans will be interested to learn in watching this video just how much material the band had ready to go for this record versus previous albums and why. The full story won’t be spoiled. But it can be revealed that it has to do in part with drummer Charlie Benante having had carpal tunnel during the band’s last tour cycle. Bassist Scott Ian shares his thoughts on how that played a role in the album’s writing process. This leads to discussions by the rest of the band’s members on how the songs came to life from who developed the songs’ musical content to who handled the melodies and lyrics. The band’s newest member Jon Donais even adds his own insight noting that he basically played the role of a middle man for all intents and purposes. Of course there’s a certain playfulness in his tone as he explains this that will give fans a little laugh. That is just a small look at what the band has to offer fans in its latest “behind-the-scenes” video. There is much more for fans to take in when they watch the video for themselves. Again, the video can be viewed online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rAYVGq-fTw&feature=youtu.be.

More information on For All Kings is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://anthrax.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anthrax

Twitter: http://twitter.com/anthrax

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Audiences Actually Saw Some Real Worthwhile Music Re-Issues In 2015

In the world of the music business there are few releases that are more ardently frowned upon than the annual crop of album re-issues. From one genre to the next every genre sees its own share of re-issues released each year totalling some years close to a hundred if not more. That is counting re-issues from every genre of the mainstream and independent music industry. The reason that re-issues are so oft frowned upon is that nine times out of ten they are little more than contractually obligated space fillers that acts churn out between new albums in order to appease their bosses at their respective record labels. The result is that few re-issues (regardless of genre) ever really offer any real value to audiences. BUt then there are some that actually do bear at least some value. In fact some are surprisingly well worth the listen and even the purchase. This year, Judas Priest’s classic album Defenders of the Faith has proven to be one of those re-issues that actually stands out. Fates Warning’s classic album A Pleasant Shade of Gray is another one of those worthwhile re-issues at least for rock audiences. The same can be said of Anthrax’s re-issue of Spreading the Disease. The rock realm isn’t the only one that saw some worthwhile new re-issues this year. The R&B industry saw a worthwhile re-issue from British R&B star Rainy Milo in her album This Thing of Ours. Even the World Music realm saw at least one worthwhile re-issue in the form of Flavia Coelho’s Mundo Meu. These are just some of the rare worthwhile re-issues to be released this year. There are others, too. And they are all here on the Phil’s Picks list of 2015’s Top New Re-issues. Once again, fifteen total albums have been noted with the top ten being the best and the bottom five still being enjoyable enough to deserve honorable mention. All things considered 2015 saw some rather interesting and enjoyable re-issues. And they are listed here. For your consideration, dear readers, are 2015’s Best New Music Re-Issues.

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 BEST NEW MUSIC RE-ISSUES

1. FATES WARNING — A PLEASANT SHADE OF GRAY

2. JUDAS PRIEST — DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH

3. ANTHRAX — SPREADING THE DISEASE

4. THE ROLLING STONES — STICKY FINGERS

5. KELAKOS — UNCORKED: RARE TRACKS FROM A 70S BAND

6. EUROPE — WAR OF KINGS

7. SAXON — HEAVY METAL THUNDER

8. SAXON — THE SAXON CHRONICLES

9. MEMPHIS MAY FIRE — UNCONDITIONAL

10. RAINY MILO — THIS THING OF OURS

11. FLAVIA COELO — MUNDO MEU

12. RED LINE CHEMISTRY — CHEMICAL HIGH AND A HAND GRENADE

13. FREEDOM CALL — 666 WEEKS BEYOND ETERNITY

14. NIRVANA — NIRVANA

15. CROWBAR — EQUILIBRIUM

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Anthrax Unveils For All Kings’ Cover Art

The time is near. Anthrax’s new album is coming.

On Friday, February 26th Anthrax will release its long-awaited eleventh full-length studio recording. First came its lead single ‘Evil Twin.’ Fans can hear the song online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPmLkF3e6Fc&feature=youtu.be. Then came the announcement of the title: For All Kings and the release date, noted above. Now the next step has been taken. The band has officially unveiled the cover art for its upcoming album. The artwork, developed by Charlie Benante–the band’s long time drummer–and Alex Ross is presented below.

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Megaforce Records/Nuclear Blast Records

Along with the official unveiling, the band has also released a video featuring Benante in which he discusses how the album’s art came to life. It can be viewed online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd7WVZcPEZc&feature=youtu.be.

Courtesy:  Megaforce Records/Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Megaforce Records/Nuclear Blast Records

The video also includes the album’s lead single accompanied by its socio-politically-charged lyrics. In regards to Benante’s discussion, fans will love the note of the kings featured on the cover and the tie-in to the band’s previous album Worship Music via the cover art. There is even a tribute to the victims of the recent tragedy in Paris in the video’s closing moments.

Anthrax will take to the road beginning January 15th for a tour in support of For All Kings. The tour kicks off in Pittsburgh, PA and currently runs through February 12th at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

JANUARY
15   Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
16   Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
17   The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
19   Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA
22   Constant Convocation Center, Norfolk, VA
23   Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY
24   Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, CT
28   Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI
29   Egyptian Room at Old National Center, Indianapolis, IN
30   Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL
31   Orbit Room, Grand Rapids, MI
FEBRUARY
 2   Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland, Kansas City, MO
 4   Revention Music Center, Houston, TX
 5   Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX
 6   Concrete Street Pavilion, Corpus Christi, TX
 8   ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, Austin, TX
 9   Diamond Ballroom, Oklahoma City, OK
11  Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas, NV
12  Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA

More information on For All Kings is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://anthrax.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anthrax

Twitter: http://twitter.com/anthrax

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Every Anthrax Fan Will Want Band’s New “Disease”

Courtesy: Island Records

Courtesy: Island Records

Early this week veteran metal act Anthrax announced the name and release date for its upcoming eleventh full-length studio recording. The album, For All Kings will be released Friday, February 26th, 2016. Considering that as of next Sunday, November will be halfway wrapped, it’s safe to say that February 26th is not that far off. While fans wait for the big day, Anthrax is giving audiences a special treat to tide them over. The treat in question is the re-issue of the band’s 182 sophomore album Spreading the Disease. The album will be released Friday, November 20th via Island Records. Whether or not fans already own this classic collection of songs, its new re-issue proves to be a great addition to the music library of any of the band’s fans. The main reason for that is its overall presentation. The band didn’t just phone it in per se and re-issue the original album and call it done. Along with the original album it features a complete concert that spans seventeen songs and runs for a total of an hour and sixteen minutes. This will be discussed at more length shortly. Speaking of the concert, its set list is just as worth mention in the overall experience. Last but not least worth noting is the concert’s audio mix. Considering that the concert was originally recorded in 1984 as part of the band’s tour in support of the then upcoming album, the audio quality in this recording stands well apart from so many other recordings. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Rather it makes the overall listening experience of this concert all the more interesting. In turn it makes the whole of Spreading The Disease’s re-issue that much more worth the listen among the band’s fans. All things considered, Anthrax’s new re-issue of its seminal 1985 album Spreading the Disease is one of the best of this year’s music re-issues.

Anthrax’s re-issued 1985 sophomore album Spreading the Disease is one of the best of this year’s music re-issues. The central reason for such honor is that it isn’t just another music re-issue. In other words, the band didn’t just simply re-issue the album and call it done. Instead it re-issued the album alongside a complete live performance recorded in 1984 ahead of the album’s original release. On the surface that might not be saying much. But in the grand scheme of things, it is in fact quite important to the record’s presentation here. The album itself was part of the movement of the rock world at the time away from the glam and hair bands that had dominated the rock community for the first half of the decade. Not only that but its brand of thrash separated it clearly from its counterparts on the west coast. It opted for substance instead of just speed and shredding. That is evident throughout the course of the album’s eleven tracks (nine of which come from the album’s original release and two that are bonuses) and forty-eight minute run time beginning with the Metallica style opener ‘A.I.R.’ ‘Medusa,’ ‘Lone Justice,’ and ‘The Enemy’ each exemplify that difference from the west coast thrash sound just as much. And they are not the only examples that could be cited as examples either. The combination of all ten tracks paints a vivid picture not only of Anthrax’s roots but those of so much of today’s thrash metal. In simple terms, it serves not only as a source of musical entertainment but as an important piece of music history, too. And it is just one part of the reissue’s whole that makes the album’s presentation so important. The bonus concert included with the record is just as important to the package’s presentation as the album itself.

The presentation of Spreading the Disease by itself is an important part of this album’s re-issue. It is just one part of what makes the album’s presentation so important to its overall listening experience. The bonus content included with the record’s re-issue is just as important to the package’s presentation as the album. The bonus material in question includes an eight-song performance that was originally recorded in 1987 during a performance by the band at Sun Plaza in Tokyo and nine isolated tracks. The bonus live material boasts songs from both Spreading the Disease and the band’s 1984 debut album Fistful of Steel. That element will be discussed shortly. What is truly important in regards to the concert’s recording is the fact that it displays the band in its younger days. This is especially important considering that front man Joey Belladonna and bassist Frank Bello had joined the band only three years prior to the concert. That means that Spreading The Disease marked the first time that the pair had recorded with Scott Ian and Charlie Benante and at the time of the concert’s recording the group had obviously not been together all that long. Even having not been together but so long one would not know it from the band’s stage presence in the featured live performance. it is just one element of the bonus disc that makes this re-issue such a worthwhile addition to any Anthrax fan’s home music library. The bonus isolated tracks add even more enjoyment to the package’s overall presentation. That is because they give the featured songs (most of which were recorded in the sessions for Spreading the Disease) a whole new identity. They give fans a glimpse into the creative process at the time and in turn make the reissue’s overall listening experience even more interesting for fans. The combination of the live elements and studio elements together makes the reissue’s bonus disc a bonus in both name in content. They still are hardly all that should be noted in regards to the reissue’s overall presentation that makes it enjoyable for fans. The live songs included in the package’s bonus disc are just as important to the package’s presentation.

The overall collected bonus material featured in Spreading the Disease’s bonus disc is important in its own right to the reissue’s overall packaging. And while they are hugely important altogether, both elements in themselves play their own important role. Having noted the importance of the bonus disc’s featured isolated tracks the natural progression is to examine the featured live performance also included in the bonus disc. The live performance included in the bonus disc was originally recorded in 1987, three years after the original release of Spreading the Disease. And of its eight total tracks, five of those tracks were lifted from Spreading The Disease. The remaining three were lifted from the band’s 1984 debut record Fistful of Metal. The live performance paints a clear picture of the band both musically and personally at the time of the concert’s recording. In comparison to the band’s live show today it shows how far the band has come since that recording and how much its members have grown since then.

The set list featured in the live section of Spreading The Disease’s bonus disc is in itself an important portion of the disc and the performance. It is not the only aspect of the performance that should be noted however. The concert’s audio mix is just as important to the whole of the recording as the set list. What makes the audio mix so important is that unlike so many of today’s live recordings this recording’s audio mix sounds raw. It doesn’t have that, re-mastered, spit-shined sound of said recordings. Listeners will actually feel in listening to this performance like they are really there with the people who were there at the show’s original recording. This is obvious in the open, airy sound presented from beginning to end. Anyone that has ever been to a live concert in person knows exactly what that sounds like. It is different from when one hears it on disc. Even with that noticeably truer live sound, the concert still sounds surprisingly impressive. It never sounds like any of the band members are way off in the distance but that they are right up on stage. It makes for a truly interesting experience for audiences. Together with the concert’s featured set list, the performance in whole makes for a wonderful addition to Spreading The Disease’s new re-issue. The concert in whole, coupled with the album’s original presentation (and its bonus tracks), makes Spreading The Disease a great addition to any metal purist’s music library. Of course for all of the positives offered by the reissue’s noted elements one would be remiss to ignore the isolated tracks included in the presentation’s bonus disc. They play just as important of a role in the overall presentation as the album, its bonus tracks, and the bonus live recording included in the bonus disc.

Spreading The Disease’s full album presentation and its bonus tracks give plenty of reason for this re-issue to be added to any metal and rock purist’s home music library. The bonus concert gives those audiences even more reason to purchase this package. That is because it acts–together with the main album and its bonus tracks–as a complete look back at where Anthrax was then versus where it is now as a band. For all of their importance to the whole of this package, one would be remiss to ignore the isolated tracks included in the bonus disc alongside the concert. The isolated tracks add even more interest to said disc. That is because they give the featured songs new identities in whole. They also serve to give a glimpse into the work that went into bringing each song to life. From time to time, viewers get to see and hear behind-the-scenes featurettes on how bands’ albums come into being. The problem is that none of the noted featurettes give the kind of view as these isolated tracks. Rather they are typically short vignettes shot in guerilla style that do little if anything to illustrate the time and effort spent to create said albums. While the isolated tracks presented here are audio-only, they offer quite a bit more than so many of those “making of” featurettes included with so many of today’s albums. That being the case, the tracks featured here are quite the positive addition to Spreading The Disease in its new re-issue. And together with the bonus live recordings, the whole of the bonus disc proves to be a bonus in far more than just name. It is an extra that will not only entertain but enlighten fans regardless of their familiarity with Anthrax and its body of work. Together with the package’s main album and its bonus tracks, the bonus material included with the album makes Anthrax’s Spreading the Disease re-issue one of the best of this year’s music re-issues.

Anthrax’s Spreading The Disease reissue is one of the best of this year’s new music re-issues. That is because it doesn’t more than just present the original album and call it done. Anthrax, together with Island Records, has included a number of bonuses for audiences new and old alike. The main disc presents the original album and also includes a pair of bonus tracks for a total of eleven tracks. Along with the main album, the two have also included a bonus disc that is indeed a bonus in every sense of the word. It features an eight-song set recorded during the band’s 1987 tour of Asia and nine isolated tracks recorded in studio that display in-depth the work put into bringing Spreading the Disease to life. The bonus live set adds its own share of positives to the whole of the presentation. Each of the elements in their own right make Spreading the Disease’s new re-issue well worth the listen by any metal purist and Anthrax fan alike. Together with the package’s main disc the whole of this package makes it one of the best of this year’s crop of music re-issues. Spreading The Disease will be available in stores and online on Friday, November 20th. More information on this upcoming release is available online now along with all the latest updates on the band’s next new album and all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://anthrax.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anthrax

Twitter: http://twitter.com/anthrax

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