MARCH 16th 2013
ANTHRAX: ANTHEMS EP

Review by Metal Mom

Its been awhile since we last heard from these thrash metal gurus. They have been through some line up changes, but so what, many have. I actually was a little hesitant to review this one, as there were so many great things said, and I thought, geez, what if I don’t feel the same after listening, but you got to listen when people speak so highly of it. This long awaited 8 track EP pays tribute to some classic songs by some of Anthrax’s favourite bands from the 70’s.

Release date is Mar 19 (MRI/Megaforce), and Mar 22 in Europe (Nuclear Blast).

Track Listing:
Rush’s “Anthem”
Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak”
AC/DC’s “TNT”
Boston’s “Smokin”
Cheap Trick’s “Big Eyes”
Journey’s “Keep on Runnin”
Anthrax’s album version “Crawl” and a special remix “Crawl”

The band's vocalist Joey Belladonna states "These are all bands I grew up with and have listened to forever.  It's just great music.  I had fun singing these songs and I was happy recording together with Anthrax, doing classic rock songs.  Fun stuff!"

So lets give credit where credit is due, first ANTHRAX band members. Produced by Anthrax, Jay Ruston and Rob Caggiano, and recorded for the most part throughout 2012 literally all over the world, at Benante's home studio, in Ruston's New York studio, on the band's tour bus while on last summer's Mayhem Tour, in hotel rooms, and backstage at their Berlin show last December. The band brought in a special guest “Fred Mandel” to play keyboards on Boston’s “Smokin” (who has played along Alice Cooper/Queen/Elton John/Cheap Trick/Supertramp/Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”. Drummer Charlie Benante also says “If ever there were a perfect 1st album, its Boston’s first. The harmony leads later to be heard by Iron Maiden would lead to thrash metal”.

Anthem’s cover artwork, Benante and artist Stephen Thompson have subtly redesigned each tracks original album cover to “ANTHRAX” it, to make it their own. The Anthems EP will be first housed in one of the “re-imagined” digipak covers, then inserted inside the main CD cover sleeve. The main cover has been designed in a way so fans can see which of the 6 “re-imagined” covers is inside.

Now I am never one to enjoy a cover song, especially when I enjoyed the originals so much, but who would have thought that these heavy hitting thrashers could do such an excellent job. I will tell you the truth, me, I didn’t expect the exact same sound as the original songs, but ANTHRAX put their own unique sound to each of those and made it their own ANTHRAX version. Superb job too. They nailed it on the head doing these covers. Its an EP that you can enjoy at any time, most of you know that I am not a thrash fan, but executing these songs in their way and playing the old classics like they did. I highly recommend this , and tell your friends. This was a real pleasure to review.

Anthrax — Belladonna, Benate (drums), Scott Ian (guitar) and Frank Bello (bass) — hit the road last month in support of Anthems. They’ll return to North America to headline the Metal Alliance Tour, which kicks off March 22. For all of these dates, Anthrax will be joined by Shadows Fall guitarist Jon Donais.

Catch ANTHRAX on the confirmed itinerary for the Metal Alliance Tour:

March
22    House of Blues, Anaheim, CA
23    House of Blues, Las Vegas, NV
24    Marquee, Tempe, AZ
25    House of Blues, San Diego, CA
27    House of Blues, Los Angeles, CA
28    Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
29    Roseland Ballroom, Portland, OR
30    Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC
31    Showbox, Seattle, WA

April
 2    Summit Music, Denver, CO
 4    First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
 5    House of Blues, Chicago, IL
 6    St. Andrews Hall, Detroit, MI
 7    Bogart’s, Cincinnati, OH
 9    House of Blues, Dallas, TX
10    House of Blues, Houston, TX
12    House of Blues, Orlando, FL
13    Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte, NC
14    Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
16    House of Blues, Cleveland, OH
18    Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA
19    Palladium/Metal Fest, Worcester, MA
20    Irving Plaza, New York, NY
21    Irving Plaza, New York, NY