Anthrax - We've Come For You All (Nuclear Blast, 2003)
After upsetting the internet a couple of days ago with a comment about thrash metal being a fad in a blog about Green Day, I felt it best to clarify what was meant. What was meant is that people haven’t supported thrash en masse since the mid-80’s, thus it being “here today, gone tomorrow” in terms of popularity. And that is not down to a lack of quality. Havok’s Unnatural Selection, Gama Bomb’s Tales From The Grave In Space, the upcoming Cavalera Conspiracy album, This Is Hell’s outstanding Black Mass…in terms of quality thrash metal, there have been some belting albums that have gone by without anyone batting an eyelid. Why? Thrash shouldn’t be a retro thing, there is great thrash out there. Support it. I digress but, just for another curveball, today we’re covering one of thrash metal’s biggest and best bands replacing speed for groove and reaping all of the benefits.
Here on Modern Classics we like to celebrate some of the biggest and best albums of recent times but every now and then, we dig into something that was criminally overlooked so here’s a statement for you: Anthrax’s stellar, water-tight, headbang extravaganza We’ve Come For You All would be in the top 10, maybe even top 5 heavy albums of the 21st Century.
Kicking things off with What Doesn’t Die, the kind of streetwise hardcore meets thrash that Anthrax have always had down to a tee, this record has riffs in abundance. But this was also a moment where Anthrax excelled in the realms of power groove.
Sitting somewhere between the mid-tempo heaviness of Volume 8’s Inside Out and the grooving, swinging element popularized and perfected across two generations by Pantera and Lamb of God, the likes of effortlessly cool Superhero, the chugging Strap It On, the Dimebag Darrell-assisted shit-kicking swagger of Cadillac Rock Box, Taking The Music Back and the outstanding Safe Home are all bona fide home runs. While it’s often said in passing, it needs to be hammered home with an iron fist that John Bush is one of the greatest singers to have ever held a microphone and his alpha male, loin-stirring performance on Safe Home in particular is a landmark in Anthrax’s 30 year career. That’s not suggest this is all head-nodding radness, Black Dahlia contains a black metal guitar line and blastbeat that’s arguably the band’s heaviest moment. Don’t worry, there’s plenty to bang the head that’s never stopped banging too.
Alongside Slayer’s God Hates Us All, Megadeth’s Endgame and Metallica’s Death Magnetic (ish), We’ve Come For You All goes to show that age and passing years can’t throw water on an inferno. If you’ve never heard this record, if you have any passing interest in classically-tinged metal or if you love to be a slave to the riff, you need this album. Listen to it today. It’ll take your face clean off.