Just how good are Anthrax? Heaps good! Now I saw Anthrax back in 1990 on their Persistence Of Time tour and they were great. Like really great. And here’s a story from that show: They played at the Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide. This was back in the days when cameras were not allowed into venues so being a 15 year old punk with complete disregard for the rules, I snuck my camera in. Stuffed down the front of my pants, as I ran to the front of the stage, I got busted by security and they told me that I couldn’t bring my camera into the venue and that I had to hand it over to them. I wasn’t gonna hand over my camera so I told the security that I’d take the film out and give to him as I wasn’t going to give him my camera in case I never saw him again. Also, cos I sneakily had a second roll of film in my pocket. Yep, I’m that guy. So I opened the camera and gave him the roll of film inside and then got my place in the front row. Was quite happy with my spot. I befriended a photographer who was waiting to take photos of the bands and he had a bunch of photo passes around his neck. Since I was a punk kid with no manners, I asked him if I could have it. To my surprise, he happily gave the pass to me and to this day it resides in my office hanging with my other passes and knick knacks. Pretty happy with that! But the awesomeness of this story doesn’t end there. Trust me, it gets better. So on came the support band, Massappeal, and they were tops. I was a huge fan of their recorded works and was super happy to see that they were added as the support band to the Anthrax show, no matter how much of a mismatch some would say these 2 bands were. They played all the hits from their Nobody Likes A Thinker and Jazz albums and I was left with a feeling of “best 3rd gig ever!”
After Massappeal’s set was done, half an hour went by and the lights dimmed and out came Anthrax. I was stoked! They sounded awesome. The Thebarton Theatre is always good for sound and it’s a decent venue all round. So I started snapping photos, all the while trying not to let the security catch me (keeping in mind I was front row so it wasn’t an easy task) when about 45 minutes in, vocalist Joey Belladonna notices me taking a photo of him. I was like “oh fuck! I’m screwed now” as he leaned towards me and asked me to give him the camera. I was like “what do I do?!?!?!?!” and being the fanboy I was (and probably still am), I handed the camera to him, thinking to myself that I was busted and not allowed to take anymore photos and I’d be lucky if my mum ever saw her camera again. To my surprise, Joey aimed the camera at me and snapped a photo of me in the front row enjoying the show and handed the camera back to me. I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe what had happened. Especially the way the security were on my way in with my camera but instead, the security did nothing to stop it so my guess is that once the approval from the band was acknowledged, not a single fuck was given. The metal heads around me all seemed surprised at what had happened and were all like “fuckin’ hell! That was awesome!” This photo still makes me smile and is a good reminder of my youth.
Now here I am, 21 years later, reviewing one of the most anticipated albums of the year! Anthrax have returned to form with their latest album of awesomeness, Worship Music, complete with vocalist Belladonna back in the saddle; His first studio album with the band in almost 20 years. I was eager to hear this new offering because I always liked Joey’s melodic style of vocals. So when I first heard this new album, I was blown away. Anthrax are back. Bigtime, baby! They’ve always been a band who know how to write great tunes and this album shows a true return to form with great riffs, huge tight production and Joey’s vocals are in fine form. While yes, it is a far stretch from the likes of Spreading The Disease, Among The Living or State of Euphoria, Worship Music is still a collection of tunes that kick some serious ass. Not only fans of Anthrax will dig it but if you’re a fan of metal, there’s something here you’ll enjoy. It’s the 80’s Anthrax that’s modernised themselves with the times without losing the spirit that made you dig ‘em in the first place. Pretty damn happy with this one.
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