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Anthrax’s XL live album is a dive into one of metal’s greatest back catalogues

Album review: Anthrax serve up the hits and deep cuts on killer livestream album

Anthrax: XL album sleeve
(Image: © Nuclear Blast)

Clearly not the 40th anniversary celebration they had originally planned, Anthrax can at least claim that they threw everything at their livestreamed soundstage show last July. XL captures the whole, catalogue-encompassing shebang, and while the absence of a baying crowd is hard to ignore, the New Yorkers’ trademark exuberance ensures that this two-hour extravaganza never lacks for intensity.

From an early quadruple-whammy of Madhouse, Caught In A Mosh, Got The Time and I Am The Law, to a full-bore clatter through Bring The Noize, Anthrax’s exalted hits are plundered with glee. Meanwhile, deep cuts like In The End and Blood Eagle Wings provide intrigue, depth and firm proof that their creators are still a vital creative force, with or without punters.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.