2013 Grammy Nomination for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for "I'm Alive"
I don't know a ton about Anthrax, other than being familiar with their name. But from what my memory bank holds, I feel like an album titled "Worship Music" has got to be on the side of ironic.
So we turn to Wiki because I love my easy-to-access app. I love that people make album pages.
Three years to record, runs about an hour, released in 2011 on Megaforce and Nuclear Blast, and the latest album they've released. Yadda yadda yadda. It's their tenth album and their first of original material since 2003 (whoa.). Joey Belladonna is featured for the first time since the 90's. San Nelson departed from the band, which was a major reason for the delay of release, as well as John Bush joining, but then not committing to the record. Oh legal issues.
They released is as a free download on the site to thank fans for being so patient with them for the release. It's also said, by the band, that this is their most emotional album ever. Critics say it's also their best since 1990.
But all that said, NO EXPLANATION OF THE TITLE. Sigh. Add that to the list of questions to ask bands if I ever meet them. I should really start that list.
"Worship (Intro)" is first up. Of course, I mean, the title kind of signifies that. I go into this with my least favorite warning ever: I am only getting 30 second clips of songs here. And for this? Just a tone building up. Damn it all. Hopefully more comes out when I look for videos in a bit.
So we launch into the real meat of the album, starting with "Earth on Hell" (ooh, clever). Of course it's moving super fast, probably where you can barely see the drummer's hands moving. But I think one thing I always liked about Anthrax, if memory serves, is that I could always actually hear the words. Joey was a great choice to take up lead vocals, and starts this things off crisply and in a great way. Sorry for the volume on this video - but it's definitely better than nothing.
Ooh, a lead guitar on its own for a second - that's always fun. It's also amazing to be what pauses in singing can do for these songs. "Fight 'Em Til You Can't" does go into some bridge/chorus where the voice is moving fast and faster and I'm sure gets more non-understandable, but that's the beautify of quick clips - I don't have to deal with that part!
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"I'm Alive" is the big single and the Grammy-nominated number from the album. Again, just a short clip here on my end, but I get it, totally. I didn't even hear the 'catchy' chorus (I unfortunately got whiff of another review before this) but the instrumentation has something really awesome going on by itself. That clip did at the very least leave me wanting more. And now we get it! Yay videos.
"In The End" is not a Linkin Park cover (and no one even snickered at that other than me), but it does have these great bells tolling, even if it's just once in the bit that I heard. No vocals come in for me until it fades out, but the song somehow has a more solemn tone overall.
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"Hymn 2" sits at 0:44. I guess we're heading into the last bit here already. This hymn relies on drums instead of strings, but they seem to have about the same progression, from slow to fast and ready to take off.
"Crawl" does have a crawling pace in this bit, but it's one of those that you know something more is coming for sure. Also, it makes for a far-more intense song. The little bit of chorus I start to hear is where the magic really happens anyway. It's a song that would catch on.
Final song time, sort of. "Revolution Screams" is the last title track on here, but my research shows that there's a hidden track, "New Noise" (originally done by Refused). I'll be 100% honest y'all - I don't know which song I actually heard. All I do know is that the track seems hard hitting and solid and a good way to end this seemingly great album.
Added to My Playlist (if Spotify ever added this album):
- "I'm Alive"
I hate not actually hearing the entire album when I review. I feel like I'm cheating the few of you that actually take the time to read those out of a good and true review. But trust me, if I could buy everything and hear every note, know that I would. And someday I will. And I just don't like doing these off of YouTube uploads of music. Not sure why on that one, but it's never been my thing.
Regardless - for the 15 minutes I spent listening and re-listening to these clips, Anthrax is a stand up band that can still produce quality. You don't see bands with this kind of longevity often enough, and this band should be really proud of the work they've done and continue to do.