Kerrang!Oct 25, 2011They are creative and explorative, restless and even daring. For the most part, though, these days they're also not that good. [Sep 2011, p.50]
Positive: 5 out of 5
Mixed: 0 out of 5
Negative: 0 out of 5
Mar 26, 2016This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. With Joey Belladonna deciding not to stick around after the band's 2005-2007 reunion tour, most fans were left in doubt as to whether he would record an album with Anthrax again. This album began life in 2008 when the band had new vocalist Dan Nelson in their ranks. However, there were obviously problems between Nelson and the rest of the band and by the next year, he was out. They went back to their other old singer, John Bush, and together they carried on touring, and it made fans speculate as to whether he would be the singer for Worship Music. However, Bush simply didn't want to commit to it and decided to leave again, which opened the door for Belladonna to return. Soon, it became pretty clear that Belladonna would be the singer, and this decision was certainly no mis-step.
This albums finds the bands revisiting their old thrash metal roots, yet does not sound like a rip-off of their classic albums. However, the band sounds more metal here than they had in many years, with their Bush albums generally having more of a straightforward rock feel. I'm a fan of Bush-era Anthrax and did appreciate those albums, but it's great to see Belladonna reunited with his old bandmates and making some great, heavy music together. It's a reunion album that sure doesn't suck.
The album's lyrical themes vary, but there's still definitely a theme running across: a celebration of metal. The album title and artwork alone strongly alludes to it, as well as references to metal bands in some song lyrics. "In The End" is an emotional tribute to fallen rockers Dimebag Darrell and Ronnie James Dio - now the band were especially affected by Dimebag's loss due to his work with the band on previous albums, providing additional solos, and was even referred to by band members as the sixth member of the group. The song is one of the best on the album. Belladonna's vocals are melodic and strong, and the band are tight. "Judas Priest" is...well, it's kind of obvious from the title - a tribute to the metal band Judas Priest! There are references to several Priest songs throughout. Another epic. In keeping with the metal celebration, there is an instrumental intro titled "Worship" and two "Hymns" that serve as musical interludes. When the track listing was revealed, I was a little worried that the band would be going overboard with the whole worship music theme with these tracks and that they would resemble a church meeting, but with heavy metal as the religion. Thankfully, when I listened to the album upon its release, I was proved wrong. This instrumentals serve as nice introductions for the track that follows.
The band's general attitude shines through well throughout. "Fight 'Em Til' You Can't" on the surface is a song about killing zombies, but is also, in Scott Ian's own words "a metaphor for out attitude" and that sounds just about right. The band has had to fight through a lot of obstacles in their career such as lineup changes and record label shutdowns, and they've sure come out on top. Many great metal songs are about protests and taking back what's yours, and Anthrax has songs like that on here, too. "Earth on Hell" and "Revolution Screams" are anthems that have apocalyptic undertones; they speak of the fall of empires and oppressive powers and the rise of a free world. And of course, Anthrax were inspired by books, films, and TV back in the day, and this tradition is carried on in "The Constant", which was inspired by the TV show "Lost". I'm sure "Lost" fans will certainly appreciate the lyrics on this one.
Stepping away from the faster songs ("Earth on Hell", "Fight 'Em", "The Giant") is the slow moving, menacing "Crawl". It's the first time we've really heard Belladonna sing a downbeat Anthrax song, and it's quite new to hear him sing in a lower register like he does here for some parts, but also rather refreshing.
Originally posted on Encyclopedia Metallum
Overall, fans should not feel much disappointment from Worship Music, if any. The band play very well and are just as fast, heavy and full of attitude as they always have been. Belladonna's voice has become a little deeper with age but if anything, this fits in well with the material on the album, perhaps more so than if his voice sounded exactly the same as it did in the 80s, yet it's still undeniably Belladonna's voice. The album has so many memorable moments and it does heavy metal a lot of justice, giving us a reminder that there are great things still to come from Anthrax.… Expand
Sep 20, 2011Their Best album since Persistence of time.Joey sounds better than ever,Charlie benante is a drumming machine,and the riffs are killer.This isTheir Best album since Persistence of time.Joey sounds better than ever,Charlie benante is a drumming machine,and the riffs are killer.This is the comeback album of the year,hands-down.Great old-school metal.If you're a fan of any Anthrax album pre-sound of white noise(before John Bush),You're going to love this.ANTHRAX IS BACK!!!!… Expand
Oct 8, 2011So, if you're like me, you were a little disappointed when you heard Belladonna was back for this record. I happened to really like the JohnSo, if you're like me, you were a little disappointed when you heard Belladonna was back for this record. I happened to really like the John Bush stuff, with the possible exception of Stomp 442 - his voice was perfect for the band. It seems to me that most people who get excited about "original lineup" are usually stuck in the past and won't like any new direction, regardless of how good it is. That said, this album was a pleasant surprise. I cringed a bit when I first heard Belladona's vocals, thinking this was going to be a limp nostalgia attempt. After about 50 listens all the way through, I actually couldn't imagine the album with Bush singing - or anyone else for that matter. Belladonna either can't or chooses not to hit the high notes any more, and the end result has more texture to it. The guitars are solid and heavy, with a handful of sick riffs [the opening of "The Constant" is positively Pantera-esque]. I still believe Charlie Benante to be the best drummer alive, so you know what you're getting there. Even the two brief instrumental "hymn" tracks work well - as a sort of audio sorbet to clean your palate for the next serving of heavy. Only the lumbering "Crawl" is regularly skipped, and "The Devil You Know" and "The Giant" are instant classics. Overall, a very strong album and a reason to think there's even better things coming.… Expand
Jan 5, 2017'Worship Music' is a triumph and dramatic return to form for Anthrax. It's Joey's first record since have rejoined the band after nearly 20'Worship Music' is a triumph and dramatic return to form for Anthrax. It's Joey's first record since have rejoined the band after nearly 20 years of absence and his voice is still fantastic form. The songs all feel cohesive and the album despite not having originally written with Joey in mind fit him perfectly. Strongly Recommended.… Expand
Oct 9, 2011To me this sounds like a mixture of Persistence of Time and Sound of White Noise, coupled with todays punchy production techniques. It soundsTo me this sounds like a mixture of Persistence of Time and Sound of White Noise, coupled with todays punchy production techniques. It sounds crisp and chunky, and retains the feel of an Anthrax album but with a modern edge. Plenty of catchy tracks and huge sounding guitars and drums make this a standout album for me and something I didn't expect to enjoy so much!… Expand
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