Anthrax
Worship Music


4.0
excellent

Review

by BigHans USER (108 Reviews)
September 20th, 2011 | 47 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Worship Music” is Anthrax not just embracing redemption but viciously assaulting it in a five man gang-bang.

When James Hetfield turned in his man card sometime around 2003 and started favoring expensive bottled water, fine arrays of fruit, and sweater-toting therapists over being one of the most badass dudes in music history, Anthrax officially become the Big 4 thrash band I would most like to party with. It’s fitting really, while their counterparts reveled in songs of death, destruction, crippling drug addiction, and pretty much every Goddamn morose subject available, Anthrax sang about starting up posse’s, how much ass Judge Dredd kicks, and how awesome it is to be in a mosh pit. Scott Ian strikes me as the pinnacle of cool because while he’s exceptionally laid back and says “dude” a lot he also once gave an interview bragging he was certainly going to be deaf someday but that he really didn’t care because f*cking METAL. Anthrax in the original Joey Belladonna era was at times more punk than thrash in embodiment and attitude, got off on trashing Al Bundy’s house, and the overriding atmosphere was simply embroiled in fun.

“Worship Music” could have been a disaster. With the exception of the beastly “Sound of White Noise,” every Anthrax release in the past 18 years has been average at best, forgettable as the norm, and devoid of the punk/thrash skills that brought them to notoriety in the first place. Joey Belladonna was brought in after having 20 years of practicing his diva skills on his own time, and anyone predicting “Worship Music” would fall on its face was not exactly going out on a limb. In fairness to John Bush, who in all actuality is an exceptional metal vocalist, Anthrax have been on life support for the better part of two decades, even if they heroically managed to avoid falling into mega-douche territory like their most famous colleagues. The fact “Worship Music” is not a disaster is a pleasant surprise. The fact “Worship Music” is one of the best Big 4 releases in the last 20 years is as shocking as if Sebastian Bach became the pinnacle of tranquility and ceased all ingrained tendencies of diva-esque douche-baggery. Either way, we wouldn’t see it coming.

Although many were expecting Belladonna’s return to prompt an epic thrash session of thrashing hard like they thrashed in the thrash days of “Among the Living,” “Worship Music” is not a thrash album. With the exception of the monstrous “Earth on Hell,” the towering “Judas Priest,” and a few verse riffs in the furiously engaging “Fight Em Till You Can’t,” “Worship Music” owes more to the mainstream metal leanings of the Bush era. The difference is it punches harder, is unequivocally more precise in its execution, and is exploding with the right kind of accessibility. “The Devil You Know” and its life-alteringly catchy chorus finds Anthrax finally embracing this sense of musical maturation they’ve been aiming for over the past decade. “I’m Alive” and “Fight Em Till You Can’t” are in the same vein, while this isn’t classic Anthrax the current formula stands almost as tall as the thrash mastery in their prime in the sense they are undoubtedly on top of their game. Belladonna seems to have embraced growth as well, abandoning almost everything we know him for but emerging arguably better for the fact. Despite the absence of his trademark nut-curdling wails and deliciously sophomoric lyrics, he shines at executing reigned-in vocals and song structures that on the surface sound like they may have been better suited for Bush himself. With the exception of a few forgivable clunkers like “Crawl” and “In the End,” “Worship Music” rarely fails to deliver on its redemption quest and fires on almost every cylinder.

Anthrax have wisely used the last 8 years to determine exactly who the f*ck they are if indeed they are not going to revel in awesome levels of immaturity anymore. They struggled mightily with the concepts of aging and maturity just like almost every other metal band in history, and while it took them a hell of a long time to actually figure it out they can take pride in the glaringly obvious sense that most never do. “Worship Music” is Anthrax not just embracing redemption but viciously assaulting it in a five man gang-bang. Unless Loutallica’s upcoming sh*tfest or Megadeth’s rock-f*ck retarded album name “Th1rt3en” somehow manage to surmount all of the obvious obstacles in front of them, “Worship Music” will undeniably be the best big 4 release of the year, and one of the best metal albums of 2011 overall.



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user ratings (535)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
FirstStrikeIsDeadly (5)
The 'Thrax is back! Joey Belladonna returns, and the band releases their best album in a long time. ...

lak89 (4)
Heavy, Catchy and not too serious. An excellent return to form from the Big 4’s arguably least rev...

dannyboy89 (4)
After two decades in the abyss, Anthrax makes a fine return to form. No classic, just a decent come...

David Foster Wallace (4)
Now we're Anthrax and we take no shit. And we don't care for writing hits. The sound you hear is wha...


Comments:Add a Comment 
BigHans
September 20th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Wasnt gonna review it but decided to anyway cause fucking METAL thats why.

KILL
September 20th 2011


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

m/

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

RosaParks
September 20th 2011


15047 Comments


“Worship Music” will undeniably be the best big 4 release of the year

....
you haven't heard those other albums yet
..........

BigHans
September 20th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I know Rosa, thats why that sentence that you cut out begins with the word "unless"

RosaParks
September 20th 2011


15047 Comments


lol my b

butthurt megadeth fan c:

BigHans
September 20th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

no worries

Nagrarok
September 20th 2011


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Rocks but did eventually send me back to STD and ATL, which of course are the pinnacle of Anthrax. Nice review etc., I'd hoped you'd still do this.

KILL
September 20th 2011


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

bro 13 is gonna rape all

RosaParks
September 20th 2011


15047 Comments


i did. skimmed it a bit too fast and missed the "Unless" part

BigHans
September 20th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

butthurt megadeth fan c:

^ I love Megadeth, am just not confident in the album with such a retarded name. It makes me worry they are going to mail it in.

RosaParks
September 20th 2011


15047 Comments


Dave made it sound like it's going to revisit all of their previous sounds

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
September 20th 2011


21583 Comments


Great review. What I've heard from this rules.

Digging: Foxes in Fiction - Ontario Gothic

BigHans
September 20th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Rocks but did eventually send me back to STD and ATL, which of course are the pinnacle of Anthrax. Nice review etc., I'd hoped you'd still do this.

^ Yeah its not as good as those for sure, I think its on the level of SOWN. I know alot of people hate that album but I think it just rapes hard.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2011


28815 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

this album was just such a surprise

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

ShinXetsu
September 20th 2011


605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"this is probably painfully average/awful, not gonna bother"

Nope. Have fun missing out m/

KILL
September 20th 2011


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

joey is BACK bro

BigHans
September 20th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

read the review Pyossified

Nagrarok
September 20th 2011


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They've only made two good albums without Belladonna (counting the debut of course). Production here is far too loud, shame. It does have some mainstream tendencies but it could have been a lot worse.

Blindsided
September 20th 2011


1871 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review/album.

BigHans
September 20th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The Devil You Know is so Goddamn catchy, every time I hear it its in my head for days



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