Album Reviews

Anthrax – XL Review

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: July 15th, 2022



Time/Fight Em ’Til You Can’t
Caught In A Mosh
Metal Thrashing Mad
Got The Time
I Am The Law
Keep It In The Family
Lone Justice
The Devil You Know
Be All End All
Now It’s Dark
In The End
Evil Twin
Skeletons In The Closet
Blood Eagle Wings
Bring The Noise
Among The Living



Anthrax‘s 40th birthday fell on a year that was characterized by the pandemic. Concerts and tours were in the far distance and yet the five metal veterans didn’t want to let the date pass by just like that. Since live streaming was the only real way to play live at the time, the guys got together on July 6, 2021, at The Den at 20ft Bear Studios, Los Angeles to broadcast a live stream show to the world.

With a total of 25 songs, this particular concert included an extensive setlist. It’s not surprising, considering Anthrax has released quite a lot of stuff in four decades. Well, at this point a small note. ‘XL’ musically covers only the Belladonna years of the band. What is completely missing in this retrospective are songs from the John Bush era. This is a pity because albums like ‘The Sound of White Noise’ and ‘Stomp 442’ contain great songs, which would have been good to add to this special moment.

However, ‘XL’ still offers a lot of Anthrax riff power and draws mostly on old classics from ‘Among the Living’ and ‘Spreading the Disease’. As a metal fan who discovered the world of hard riff music for himself in the ’80s, songs like ‘A.I.R’, ‘Caught in a Mosh’,… are highlights that are always a pleasure to listen to. Even ‘Keep it in the Family, which has not been played live for a long time, can be found on the tracklist.

In addition, four very well-known and appreciated cover versions are also included. Chuck D supports the band on ‘Bring the Noise’ and also Joe Jackson’s ‘Got the Time’ as well as ‘Protest and Survive’ by Discharge have found a spot on the setlist. And it’s almost a no-brainer that ‘Antisocial’ can’t be missing either.

All in all, ‘XL’ is a well-done Anthrax compilation, even if, as I said, it only features the Belladonna era. Nevertheless, the record is fun and is best suited for a mini- mosh pit in your living room.


Written by: Markus Wiedenmann

Ratings:  (/10)


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