From the start it is superior, even though Worship was a solid return to form. Not only do we get to hear what Jonathan Donais can REALLY add, the whole thing just sounds better sonically than pretty much anything the band has done prior. Plus, peep that Alex Ross artwork! Another very memorable and amusing cover!
“You Gotta Believe” is good enough to carry the record by itself, but the rest is no filler. Still, the opening rager (after the build up intro track) is a future classic that finds Belladonna sounding modern and in full command. It is one of Joey’s best performances in a long time and a fair match for the best of John Bush, despite me having a big love for The Sound Of White Noise era. The sense of nostalgia is because we all grew up with these guys but the songs are more than some mere retread of past victory. Melody, fiery battle charged riffs and great unison sections beneath red hot leads…pure Anthrax glory.
“Monster At The End” has a big elbows in the pit stomper riff with some superb leads again over the top. The vocals are crystal clear but gritty and Frank Bello’s bass rumbles like the Running of the Bulls. Pure headbanger’s delight.
Benante also needs to be commended as his solid backbone and well placed accents are perfect. He has his Anthrax team player hat on fully but gets to do some great signature rolls, speed up parts and flat out cuts loose as we all want in other parts.
“Breathing Lightning” is already a new fan favorite, a tightly executed and epic number that can match anything on the new Megadeth and is MORE impressive because Anthrax doesn’t have a mercenary line up like Mustaine gets every few albums. “The Battle Chose Us” proves even post Caggiano the band still can write some really ballsy, big sounding stuff. “For All Kings”, the title track, almost sounds like Manowar at the outset before Benante fires up the snare hits and Ian lets loose with some meaty, almost industrial metal sounding crunch that would have fit on Stomp 442.
“Suzerain” finds Belladonna sounding a bit more weary at first but he gets better as song rolls out. It is one of the best performances from the band on the record instrumentally, though. Hard thrash mid tempo charge and some big chord parts plus Benante having the busier attack make it a walloping good time, even if the vocals drag more than rest of record.
All in all it is not Persistence Of Time but more than a worthy addition and certainly a late career victory of huge proportions from some true veterans we owe a lot.
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