Benante worked on album through injury time

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Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante says the band is in a great position with new material because he kept working while sidelined with a hand injury.

He was replaced by Jon Dette for a number of shows in 2013 and 2014 after undergoing surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome – but those issues didn’t prevent him from continuing to play guitar.

Benante tells Revolver: “Sometimes I would become so possessed. These ideas would come out of me and I don’t even know where they came from. Before I knew what was going on I had huge stack of riffs. It was a great way to work.”

As a result, there’s more than enough material for the follow-up to 2011’s _Worship Music. _“We don’t want to put any pressure on ourselves, so we’re not giving ourselves any deadline,” the drummer says. “We want to make sure we get it right.”

Anthrax have moved on from the lineup issues that plagued them in the run-up to Worship Music. Classic-era frontman Joey Belladonna is back for the long haul, while Jon Donais of Shadows Fall is doing well as replacement for guitarist Rob Caggiano, who joined Volbeat in 2013.

Benante reports: “I’ve been working really closely with Jon on the leads, and they’re coming out great. He’s such an amazing player and he’s spot-on with everything he does.”

Track titles include The Battle Chose Us, You Gotta Believe and The Evil Twin, and the style follows on from Worship Music, says the drummer. “Some are even more aggressive,” he reflects. “Three or four are pretty thrashy – including one of the fastest songs we’ve recorded in years.”

Anthrax producer Jay Ruston recently said the band had “outdone themselves” with a seven-minute epic set to appear on the album. Their first new track in four years is expected to appear on a Game Of Thrones mixtape.