Anthrax at The Forum, London - live review

NY thrashers relive their landmark album

Scott Ian on stage at The Forum

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It’s a Friday night and inside a sold-out Forum the atmosphere is electric. The headliners are revisiting their breakthrough album Among The Living in its 30th anniversary year. What’s not to like? To their credit, local lads THE RAVEN AGE [7] don’t look out of place. Let’s not patronise them by emphasising their Iron Maiden connections; their material is strong and, where necessary, melodic, coloured by light and shade.

ANTHRAX [8] have been legends for so long they’re almost cartoonish, Scott Ian’s beard now grey, Joey Belladonna skeletally thin but with a voice of pure gold and bassist Frank Bello doing an odd dance that looks like he’s trying to stamp on a bug. A 50-minute ‘by request’ set includes three songs from For All Kings plus the likes of A.I.R., Madhouse and Aftershock, apparently “one that we haven’t done since 1986.” The show loses momentum during a puzzling 10-minute interval, though everyone goes ballistic for Caught In A Mosh, I Am The Law, Indians et al. Truth told, …Living carries a couple of b-list moments, including One World and A.D.I./Horror Of It All, and a wanky guitar solo from Jonathan Donais adds another black mark, but signing off with Trust’s Antisocial sends the fans home beaming with satisfaction. This is a night of metal as it used to be and it feels like a genuine event.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.