Fireworks

Anthrax - 'For All Kings' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/10/c4/67/Anthrax-For-All-Kings-7-1479590030.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 19, 2016    
 
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This may be one of the best things to come from Thrash's "Big Four" in years.

Many may wonder what on earth Anthrax are doing in Fireworks / Rocktopia. What have the New York Thrash veterans got in common with the melodious tones and soothing harmonies usually featured in these pages? Eyebrows were certainly raised when this one plopped onto my review pile. Not that I dislike the band, quite the contrary, I've always had something of a soft spot for them from back in their heyday right through the John Bush era.

The return of Joey Belladonna for 2011's 'Worship Music' was their first in over two decades featuring the classic line-up (bar Dan Spitz). With much of that album written prior to Belladonna's return (with singer Dan Nelson), it was no surprise that the end result was a little fragmented. Fast forward five years and with Belladonna firmly back in the driving seat, 'For All Kings' is a far more cohesive collection of songs with a maturity that comes with years of working and touring together.

This release will surprise many. Sure, the big riffs and frantic drumming are all present and correct, but the main focus is the quality of the songs which are dynamic, expressive and supremely melodic. In fact, melody is the operative word and Belladonna takes a lot of credit, putting in an impressive performance throughout.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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That said, don't go expecting Journey-esque harmonies. However, if your tastes veer across to the heavier end of the spectrum then the combination of muscle and melody makes for one satisfying listen. 'Monster At The End' features some taught riffing and a chorus so big you could hang you coat on it while 'Breathing Lightning' adds a touch of Prog while retaining the melodic touch.

'Blood Eagle Wings' is rather brilliant; built around a King's X style riff, Belladonna is on fire as the epic builds over the course of eight minutes yet never over stays its welcome. Fans of old-school Anthrax won't be disappointed either with 'Suzerain' and 'Defend Avenge' punching low and hard, turning the riffs right up as Charlie Benante hammers his drums to within an inch of their lives.

For a band approaching thirty-five years, Anthrax sound vibrant, fresh and creative. 'For All Kings' may broaden their appeal well beyond their traditional fan base while keeping the older fans happy too. This is quite an achievement and may be one of the best things to come from Thrash's "Big Four" in years.

Mick Burgess

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