When one of the Big Four drops a new album, if you are a fan, you can only hope the best. Anthrax is happening soon.
“The meaning, to me, for this title is that everybody can be a king. Everybody can have control over their own lives, control over their destiny, just by growing up and becoming a responsible human being. I’m not necessarily saying that being a “king” is being the boss in your relationship, or any relationship for that matter. A king of yourself is what I mean. Taking responsibility and ownership for your own shit is basically what it means to me.” ~ Scott Ian
February is shaping up to be one busy month of new records from established bands. In that mix can now be added For All Kings by Anthrax. Feb 26, 2016 looks to be the day that Megaforce Records/Nuclear Blast Records gets another feather in their respective caps. In case your wondering or simply curious the line-up for this release is as follows: Joey Belladonna (vocals), Scott Ian (guitar), Charlie Benante (drums), Frank Bello (bass), and Jon Donais (guitar). Make sure, if you want all the dirty on the new album and more topics, to check out the National Rock Review interview with Frank Bello.
For All Kings:
01. You Gotta Believe
02. Monster at the End
03. For All Kings
04. Breathing Lightning
06. Evil Twin
07. Blood Eagle Wings
08. Defend Avenge
09. All of Them Thieves
10. This Battle Chose Us
11. Zero Tolerance
At 59 minutes and 34 seconds long, the record covers eleven tracks of new material from the New York, NY boys. “Evil Twin” and “Breathing Lightning” are the first two singles off of the CD. We’ll add the link to the first single for you to check out on your own.
According to Charlie, “Evil Twins,” the sixth track on the album, was inspired by events like the 2015 attack on the offices and staff of the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo and various other mass shootings. Scott, who wrote the lyrics, added that it was about by the actions of people “who feel they have become judge, jury and executioner over their fellow man,” calling this mindset the “evil twin” of humanity. Regardless of the background of the track, from the ticking sticks at the beginning of the song, to the insane riff starting off the madness, to Joey’s vocals and Frank’s bass line, the song is a classic Anthrax vibe with just enough “newness” to keep things fresh.
At the National Rock Review compound, with the presidential race starting in earnest, we really dug “All of Them Thieves.” Charlie’s thunderous drums in the beginning really set the tone for the rest of the song. Joey’s singing is the same great sound many of us grew up listening to at various points in the band’s history. Scott and Frank play so well together it’s almost a crime to forget that they have Jon with them on stage. For us, this is the seminal Anthrax social/political anthem of this release, and it leaves little to the imagination to how the band sees those in Washington D.C.
“Monster at the End” is the second song on the CD and is a heavy guitar driven song right from the beginning chord and we can’t thank the band enough for it. Charlie’s rhythms and tempos are nothing to sneeze at in this offering either. Frank’s bass play gives it a heavy feel without dragging it too far down. Joey’s vocals give it an almost haunting feel to the song. Scott and Jon keep the beloved Anthrax feel and still have an energy that makes the song go on overdrive from start until finish.
This album isn’t drop driven or full of dirty vocals and we are perfectly fine with that. It is filled with solid Big Four sounds by one of its founders. If you’re old enough to remember when S.O.E. came out, you’ll want to grab a copy of this disc. If you’re just cutting your teeth on the band, grab the album and work your way back. You’ll thank us later.
Album artwork: by Alex Ross