Album Reviews

Anthrax – Kings Among Scotland Review

Released by: Nuclear Blast Records

Release Date: April 28th, 2018

Genre: Thrash Metal

Links: https://anthrax.com/

 

Line Up:

Scott Ian – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1981–present)
Charlie Benante – drums (1983–present)
Frank Bello – bass guitar, backing vocals (1984–present)
Joey Belladonna – lead vocals (1984–1992, 2005–2007, 2010–present)
Jonathan Donais – lead guitar (2013–present) 

 

Tracklist:

1. A.I.R 7:19
2. Madhouse 4:38
3. Evil Twin 5:23
4. Medusa 5:20
5. Blood Eagle Wings 7:49
6. Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t 6:22
7. Be All, End All 8:05
8. Breathing Lightning 6:20
9. Among The Living 4:56
10. Caught In A Mosh 6:12
11. One World 6:17
12. I Am The Law 6:32
13. A Skeleton In The Closet 6:52
14. Efilgnikcufecin (N.F.L.) 6:38
15. A. D.I. Horror Of It All 10:25
16. Indians 10:34
17. Imitation Of Life 5:51
18. Antisocial 7:29

 

Anthrax is more than deserving of their placement in the Big 4 of Thrash. Basically revolutionizing, if not inventing, their own brand of fast-paced, crossover sound, they have remained one of those bands that are the very definition of Thrash as a fun genre. Never taking themselves too seriously (except during the Bush era,) they’ve always made the most out of tunes based on comics, horror stories, and simply moshing at a show. Speaking of Anthrax and shows, they’re definitely one of my favorite bands to see perform. It’s always been during the Belladonna periods, and they’ve always assisted in causing me severe neck damage every time I see them. Even as I get older and find it less enjoyable to bang my head, sometimes I can’t help it, paying the price for it later. I’ve missed them the last few times through my area, but I did catch them a few years back playing Among the Living in its entirety. Their latest release Kings Among Scotland is a show where they perform that record along with some additional classics, new and old.

The show opens with early classics like “A.I.R.” and “Madhouse,” getting the Dublin crowd warmed up and ready to go. Clearly, the crowd is loving it so much. The guys then tear through some stuff off their last album, For All Kings, and others from varying points in their career including “Be All, End All,” a song I’ve not seen them play live since that album came out. The band itself sounds on top of their game, nailing all the songs. After a short break, they perform their seminal release recognized by many of their fans as their quintessential album (I also happen to think Among the Living is a quintessential album for Thrash and Metal in general- period.) This album has meant so much to me damn near my whole life, it’s great seeing it still get recognized for its greatness all these years later. The only issue I can see nitpickers having with this release is Joey’s voice. He no longer can hit those amazing high notes he did (or at the very least chooses not to if he can from time to time. However, there are a couple good ones here. Still not all the way up there, but good enough!) I personally have no problem with that. In fact, Belladonna is one of those old-school singers that once had an impressive range that’s gone, yet he uses what he’s got better than most young singers handle the high stuff now. He is still the only singer I want with Anthrax.

Kings Among Scotland is an excellent chronicle of a tour supporting their last full length as well as playing all of Among the Living. I’m happy to see they’ve brought back “Be All, End All,” and hopefully they’ll keep that one around next time through my area. It’s a good live album (and I’m sure the accompanying DVD is awesome too,) and as a longtime KISS fan, I love the playful take of the classic album cover of Rock And Roll Over (I have the faces of that one tattooed on my arm.) Great setlist, the band sounds great, and the crowd is digging it. Doesn’t get any better.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings:  8/10

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