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Anthrax: Worship Music/Anthems

NY thrashers return with some fresh covers

Anthrax’s comeback album from 2011, Worship Music, was a breath of fresh air from start to finish. Sure, it wasn’t up there with Among The Living or any of the early albums that gave the New Yorkers such a formidable reputation in thrash circles, but who cares: most of us thought that Anthrax were finished by about 2005.

This reissue comes with an eight-song bonus EP of classic rock covers, the primary Incentive To Purchase© and a sure sign that whatever Anthrax go through, they never lose their sense of adventure. The songs – by Rush, AC/DC, Boston, Cheap Trick, Journey and Thin Lizzy – aren’t, as some fans might have feared or indeed hoped, thrash versions of the originals: they’re faithful to the core.

Joey Belladonna really steps up on Rush’s Anthem, putting his high-pitched pipes to perfect use when emulating Geddy Lee’s helium vocals. AC/DC’s TNT is hilarious, especially the completely over-the-top ending, although the versions of Cheap Trick’s Big Eyes and Boston’s Keep On Runnin’ don’t add much more than mild amusement. Jump to Lizzy’s Jailbreak (Joey’s Phil Lynott impression is unexpectedly on the money) and two mixes of Anthrax’s own Crawl for the meat in this eccentric sandwich.

Joel McIver is a British author. The best-known of his 25 books to date is the bestselling Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica, first published in 2004 and appearing in nine languages since then. McIver's other works include biographies of Black Sabbath, Slayer, Ice Cube and Queens Of The Stone Age. His writing also appears in newspapers and magazines such as The Guardian, Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Rolling Stone, and he is a regular guest on music-related BBC and commercial radio.