Release Date: February 25th, 2016
Label: Megaforce, Nuclear Blast
Producer: Jay Ruston
Personnel: Joey Belladonna (lead vocals), Scott Ian (guitars), Charlie Benante (drums), Frank Bello (bass), Jon Donais (lead guitar)
In the lexicon of Metal band names, Anthrax precedes most as one of the coolest. As far as infectious diseases go, it’s one of the worst. What’s more Metal than that? Sure, Metallica’s got “metal” in their name; totally Metal! And it’s got a “-lica” as a strong suffix to edge out the metalness of other bands. Slayer’s name simply describes what they’re going to do to you…slay you. That’s pretty metal. Megadeth says it all… death to you all; most specifically, probably to Metallica. But deth is misspelled…so completely Metal! In 1981, Scott Ian literally pointed his finger at a word in the dictionary that sounded evil. America’s shifting Metal scene has had an on-again/off-again case of Anthrax ever since.
By 1984, and after several personnel changes, Anthrax’s revolving door was set with its classic lineup: Scott Ian, founding member on rhythm guitar and primary songwriter, Charlie Benante on drums and principal songwriter, Frank Bello on bass guitar, Dan Spitz on lead guitar, and Joey Belladonna singing lead vocals. Anthrax is one of the bands responsible for the rise of Thrash Metal, often referred to as a charter member of the Big 4; Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. Being the only band of the Big 4 from the East Coast, Anthrax also incorporated influences into their Thrash Metal fusion that set them apart. On their early albums, Anthrax played the typical thrash metal; hard and fast, but later distinguishing themselves from their contemporaries by incorporating humor, comic book references, and songs based on Stephen King books. 1985 saw the release of the first full studio album with Joey Belladonna, “Spreading the Disease.” With Joey bringing a more melodic vocal and Anthrax’s rhythm section becoming a tighter outfit, “Spreading the Disease” further defined the classic lineup’s sound. The track “Madhouse,” which easily finds its way on one of my Top 10 lists, is an oft played metal anthem that still resonates with fans today.
1987 was both the height of the Heavy Metal Renaissance and the release of the incomparable “Among the Living,” Anthrax’s 3rd studio release; arguably their breakthrough, a fan favorite, and best seller. I was 14 and rife with a severe case of Anthrax. Since truly discovering the band and it’s catalog a few years prior, I was already trying to emulate Joey Belladonna’s vocal style playing on the small stage with my high school friend Nick Totoro; small stage being friend’s basements, backyards, and most assuredly my bedroom. At 13, Nick was a veritable virtuoso on the guitar, where my memory has placed him amongst the ranks of Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. Of course, we were just kids and any measure of talent at playing and reading complex lead guitar arrangements would qualify as virtuosity in my adolescent mind.
Nick and I met sometime during the middle of the school year in Mr. Lewis’ 8th grade Industrial Arts class, or shop for the less refined student. Industrial Arts was a clever moniker for students using artful expression while learning how to properly place rivets in sheet metal, learning how to use a foreboding pair of tin snips, or crafting a balsa wood CO2 race car in a band saw without cutting your fingers off. Not to speak ill of the Industrial Arts; in fact, I had more fun in Industrial Arts than most classes. Mostly, it was the goofing off kind of fun, but still…it was in Industrial Arts. Nick attended Seneca Ridge Middle School late in the year having just moved to the area after his mother’s recent passing. That was a tough year for Nick at such a seminal age; he was a bit lost and music was the only practical escape from his complicated home life. I was an extrovert in public, always making jokes and pratfalls to get a girl’s attention. Nick was obviously introspective, shy, and sensitive. He was selective from whom he wanted attention. My antics impressed him and provided the social outlet he needed to vicariously act out through me. I was of an average height and build, trying everything I could to stand out with my big shock of hair and goofy expression. Nick was diminutive in stature, mostly doing what he could to not stand out. Until he grew his hair out, the boy had never stood out a day in his life. Nick maintained what would become his signature coiffed hairstyle all the way through high school. You could always see him coming. We were indeed a pair; me, bouncing through the hallowed halls of whichever school we were attending, Nick and his coif never far behind. It was in Mr. Lewis’ 8th grade Industrial Arts class that we made our pact.
For most kids, Mr. Lewis’ Industrial Arts class was a place to unwind from the rigors of a challenging academic schedule. There was no real pressure to do well. Mr. Lewis set the expectations and it was up to you to meet them. He could not have cared less and paced around the classroom hovering behind the students at each work station, usually delivering a whipping criticism. I always had a sarcastic retort to most things he said, and the stock Lewis response was, “You ain’t got no sent,” which I’m assuming meant that I was devoid of any common sense. He was probably on to something, but if you’d been around for a while, you knew not to take it personally. I’m sure Mr. Lewis had his charms, albeit hard to see on the surface. He liked to joke around too and sometimes laughed at our antics. He was a talented Industrial Artisan…if that’s a thing. Mr. Lewis could rivet sheet metal and operate a pair of tin snips with the best of ‘em. But, there was an air of strained tolerance with Mr. Lewis. He just wanted the day to come to an end so that he could go do whatever it is that shop teachers do after school. It was hard to miss while he paced around the classroom; he sniffled and snorted, often rubbing his nose. At least once a class period, he’d arbitrarily snap at a student for being stupid or not listening. All of us tender-aged students of the Industrial Arts were wholly unaware of Mr. Lewis’ condition. We just called him “Mr. Sniffles” behind his back thinking, “Why does he always have a cold?” There were always stories about him; drug use, harassment of female students. But, these were just stories. To us, he was just a crazy character in our limited world view. Most of us didn’t have the capacity to understand his depth of depravity or whatever the issues may have been. I was shocked when I heard years later that his cocaine use had reached a fever pitch leading to a murder-suicide. In a series of very unfortunate events, my 8th grade Industrial Arts teacher shot his wife, child, and then himself. The child survived. Death has a way of painting a broad stroke over a seemingly innocent, humorous memory. Mr. Sniffles was a rampage killer; there’s nothing innocent nor humorous.
The Industrial Arts classroom was like a warehouse, occupying an entire wing of the school. To enter the classroom, you had to walk down a long dark hall into 2 heavy double doors that had the push-bar across the front. I can still hear the clanking of metal when the doors opened. Directly to the left was a large display window looking into Mr. Lewis’ office. Next to the office was a door to a smaller classroom with desks for drafting. Mr. Sniffles didn’t like students milling about in the shop. When you were done with your project, the rule was you had to take your seat in the drafting room. Nick and I spent copious amounts of time in the drafting room, along with other strident students of the Industrial Arts. We mostly talked about music; debating the technical aspects of so-and-so’s guitar solo on such-and-such album or trying to name every song on every album by every band. We used the drafting equipment to sketch comic book characters and attempt to recreate great album covers. Sometimes I wrote song lyrics, while Nick composed melodies. It was here, in the drafting room, that we made our pact. Not a blood pact, but a band pact. As long as we’re friends, we’ll always keep the Rock-n-Roll spirit alive by making music. Nick was the guitar and I was the voice. Every day held something new for the band; a new song; a new melody; and new band name idea. We had to do it every day…keep the band alive. Nick’s passage in my 8th year book included the line, “Let’s hope the band can get together soon.”
The extent of my songwriting prowess in the 8th grade consisted of clever titles, rhyming, and simply re-writing Anthrax songs. For a yet unpublished song called “Stranger at Home,” I wrote such trailblazing lyrics as:
“Oh, take me back
Through the pages of the past
I could laugh
Oh, I could play
Live in today
Not another way”
In another near miss, I wrote the inimitable song entitled “Stand,” which is just Anthrax’s “Stand or Fall” but stupider. Maybe I thought by dropping the “…or Fall” it would uniquely be mine. The message in the chorus for “Stand” was so obvious that if it didn’t slap you in the face, you were missing the point:
“Stand – Don’t ever fall
Stand – Hear our call
To keep your feet on the ground
All you have to do is stand”
I suppose, if you’re not missing the point, it’s true. All you do have to do is stand…or you’ll fall. Brilliant. I was so taken by Anthrax’s lyrics, I included a few lines in an English paper, “Which one of these words don’t you understand? Talking to you is like clapping with one hand.” I’m not sure how I was able to weave it into the context, but I did get a 96% whether it made sense or not.
Nick wasn’t a lyricist either, but he could compose a melody laden with just the right amount of harmonics to get my heart beating faster. With a simple riff, my imagination would go wild with Nick and I surely becoming international rock stars. To my ear, his rendition of “Runnin’ with the Devil” was as good as Eddie Van Halen’s. So good, in fact that we learned the song in it’s entirety and included it as our opener for our first show; a basement party at this kid named Stuart’s house. Stuart was a drummer and offered to play with us at the party. We’d amassed a 4 song tour de force set and were ready to rock, even though there was never a practice session with Stuart and he didn’t know any of the songs. “No problem,” I said. “Just follow me for the changes and try to keep up.” “Runnin’ with the Devil” was a smashing success as our opener, but it was also our closer. Stuart’s mom complained about the noise and shut us down. It didn’t matter. For 4 minutes, we were rock stars. I felt like all the girls wanted us and all the guys wanted to be us. Considering that our complex compendium of equipment included Nick’s Ibanez guitar, pedal board, and my RadioShack microphone complete with on/off switch all plugged directly into a low wattage practice amp. In the weeks to come, I learned that my vocals were virtually unheard, Nick’s guitar was obscured by feedback, and the only thing the crowd was impressed by was Stuart’s drumming. After the party, his services were no longer required. Nick and I played on, however, doing our best to keep the dream alive. We did more dreaming than playing, but our pact was cement, and we did our best to get the band together soon.
High school brought with it a host of new challenges; complicated girlfriend situations, tougher classes, competing interests, and new social dynamics. Nick and I weren’t growing apart, necessarily; sort of growing in parallel. High school was a big place; too big for Nick. Despite my wide-eyed curiosity at our new world and daily existence, I often felt like a social life preserver for my drowning friend. He didn’t adjust to the socio-political norms of high school as well as I did. Of course, I only have my perspective and memory to rely on. Nick might see it differently. I remember branching out, meeting new people, trying different things. He might remember it as me excluding him, hanging out with the wrong crowd, participating in activities that Nick didn’t really approve of. Either way, we usually were able to meet somewhere in the middle. Our middle was a fast food restaurant. During our freshman year I was fifteen, and to keep me focused and out of trouble, I was encouraged by my parents to get a job. Up to that point, I’d mostly had summer jobs; the pool, local video store, drug store. All either ending with the end of a season or a firing. My dad, who was concerned about my grades and who I was spending my time with, started cracking the whip. I was sent out to pound the pavement on a Saturday and told not to return until I found a job. Luck was on my side that day. The first place I walked into immediately offered me a job upon inquiring. Of course, I had to finish my Frosty before filling out the application. My fast-food fate was fulfilled; turns out, Wendy’s was hiring that day. And to my parents eventual dismay, Wendy’s is where I learned to smoke cigarettes in the freezer room next to the blower vent, how to make-out on the roof with whichever girl I was into during whichever week, how to sneak free food to my friends who didn’t have any money that day, how to set the security code to delay closing long enough to drink beers, the basic facts of life, and it’s where I met Sandy. She would kill the pact, and nearly kill me.
Soon after learning what a fantastic career move flipping burgers was, as usual, Nick soon followed. He showed up one day dressed in a fresh Wendy’s uniform ready to get greasy. “Surprise,” he shyly said, expecting me to be as excited. I was not. Over the years, I’d grown protective of Nick and his innocence. Although wide-eyed and willing, I did understand the social cesspool that I was playing around in and I feared that Nick was not equipped to handle it. His descent into hamburger hell was going to be my fault. We typically worked similar schedules, so I could at least keep an eye out and ensure that the degenerate Wendy’s workforce didn’t corrupt my friend. We were fortunate to have one good manager. There were others, but only one was good. Her name was Patty and she was cool. Maybe a bit too cool to be managing a fast food restaurant; she also like to smoke cigarettes in the freezer next to the blower vent and drink beers after hours. Perhaps upon reflection, Patty was enabling the corruptible youth of the degenerate Wendy’s workforce. But, we had supervision. We were being bad while being supervised. It’s a whole world’s worth of difference than just being bad.
Patty also liked to rock. She drove fast in a T-top Trans Am with the stereo blaring and her fire engine red hair flowing. She was from New York and spoke with a Brooklyn accent. Patty was a force. She was cool. Too cool. But, she was also grounded, despite her tendency to want to party with teenage degenerates. Patty took to both Nick and I and watched out for us; took us for rides in the Trans Am. After shifts, sometimes she would drive me home and I would lament to her about Sandy, who also worked at Wendy’s. She was one of the degenerates. On one of my rides home, the speakers in the Trans Am nearly blew my ears out with a familiar refrain, “Talking to you is like clapping with one haaaaaand!” I was struck with such delight; like a boy being kissed for the first time. I was melodramatic, “You like Anthrax!” “Sure. I know the singer.” Patty was so casual that, at first, I didn’t believe her. I was waiting for her to crack a smile, but it never came. “No way! Really!? You know Joey?” She said, “Yep. We went to the same high school. I’ve ridden in his Mustang. I know his Mom. I know his last name is not Belladonna. It’s Bellardini.” I was instantly smitten. For a moment, I was in love with this woman. Patty was at least 10 years older than me. I was just a kid, but I sincerely felt deep passion and reverence for her. She’d just shared, what felt like a secret that only we shared. I could see us sharing a life together, riding along in Joey’s Mustang. By the time the Trans Am pulled in my driveway, the moment past as the smell of French fry grease cut the air. I’d ridden home silently, pondering the possibilities. I couldn’t wait to tell Nick.
The luster of the fast food life had begun to take its toll on me by the time I started the 10th grade. From a fun-loving, goofy kid bouncing up and down the halls, I’d become complacent, apathetic, and disaffected. My clothing choices usually consisted of a button-down shirt with a rock t-shirt underneath, jeans with holes in the knees, and wrestling shoes. Yes…wrestling shoes. Entering high school, I was involved in the wrestling program. I was pretty good too, even taking down the best varsity wrestler in the 126-weight class during my freshman year. It was on a lark that I was able to take him down. I caught him off guard and got lucky. He tortured me for the rest of the season. But I soon quit because of the disaffected thing. I was too cool to play sports. The holes in my jeans said so. Nick, never being far behind, witnessed my fall. Nick, who’d tear up when talking about how good a friend I was or sob at the mention of his mother; yeah, Nick, the innocent kid who needed protection from the evils of the fast food industry was now idly standing by watching me crumble. He also witnessed my courtship of Sandy, who, like most women in my life, was a force. A force, to which I was powerless. I met her at the Wendy’s with the rest of the teenage degenerates. Wendy’s was a microcosm of the real world, and for me, it was everything. I’d grown to depend on it for more than a pay check. All my friends that I knew growing up were thrown to the side in favor of my new friends, and Sandy was the lure. She sucked me in without protest. I was 16 and I was only experienced with mere flirtation. Sandy was a woman. I fell for her feminine wiles and promises of a life together. I knew nothing, and she seized on that, understanding that she could mold me into what she wanted. Nick watched this like an After School Special, trying his best to right the ship. Nick and Sandy were not friendly. They were each threatened by the other and as hard as Nick tried, Sandy usually had my ear.
In late September of ’88, on a Saturday, Patty was late to open the restaurant. A few of us kids sat on the curb outside the locked door smoking cigarettes, as we usually did on breaks. We were closing in on opening time and still no Patty. Soon it was going to be time to open the doors to customers and we hadn’t done any prep. One of the other managers pulled up in his rundown, late model Chrysler New Yorker. He was one of the “not-so” good managers. He was balding, slightly overweight, and angry about it. He wore coke bottle glasses that magnified his eyes and made it difficult for me to make eye contact with him. His pants were hiked up to hide his belly, but his tie still stopped about an inch short of his waistline. When the degenerates would act up during a shift, he would yell in his whiny tone, “Awe, c’mon guys! Seriously!” I guess I kind of felt sorry for the Other Manager, but not enough to stop making fun of him. I feel bad about it now, but not bad enough to stop breaking out the occasional “Awe, c’mon guys! Seriously!” The Other Manager hovered over Nick and I sitting on the curb, “Patty wanted me to tell you she’s had a death in the family and will be out for a few days. Now c’mon guys, we’ve got a lot of work to do.” My heart sunk a little for Patty. I didn’t really know her on a personal level, but we were so fond of her and it was the only way to feel. Nick and I went to work prepping for a day of feeding the unsuspecting masses curious flash frozen meat and processed chicken.
Half way through my shift, I was surprised to see Patty’s T-topless Trans Am pull up in the Wendy’s parking lot. It was a bit of a lull in the dining room, so Nick and I ran out to the parking lot. I could hear the Other Manager starting in, “Awe, c’mon…” I didn’t even turn around, focused only on Patty. I wanted to deliver my condolences. Patty was already hanging out the window of the Trans Am, “Good. I’m here to see you guys before I head out of town.” Albeit a bit stunned, but glad to see her. Patty explained that her father had passed away. I was devastated for her, but Patty was tough. You could see that she’d been crying, but she would never show us boys. “So, I wanted to let you know that Joey will be at the funeral. Is there anything you want me to tell him for you?” Mind explosion! Nick’s eyes were like quarters and I’m sure mine were the same. I was at a loss and could barely utter a sentiment, “Tell him I’m sorry for his loss.” Patty chuckled, “It’s my dad that died dummy.” We just started randomly throwing whatever we could think of at her, “Tell him we think he’s the best. We love Anthrax! Come to Virginia! Can we have an autograph?!?!” Still chuckling, Patty said, “Sure kid, I’ll see what I can do.” She drove off with the T-top down and her fire engine red hair flowing. Patty was gone for about a week, but I would never see her again.
During that week, Sandy and I broke up. I was slowly coming to my senses and she was one of the unfortunate casualties. I’m not sure what inspired the moments of clarity, but I was feeling the bitterness of losing myself and needed to take control before it was too late. The lure of Sandy’s feminine wiles was not quite as strong and even the luster of the fast food industry was beginning to fade. My pact with Nick was not all lost, we were talking about getting the band together soon. Although I experienced periods of feeling disaffected, I was not a bad kid. My spirit was true, and I always found the way back to my center. Having a true spirt, I also had the tendency to be nice and forgiving. Since breaking up, Sandy had made several attempts at getting back together. She was persistent, but I was steadfast and held my ground. She was not good for me; for reasons beyond my ability to explain. But, Sandy was also my first real experience with an adult relationship. During a moment of weakness, or I’d like to believe kindness, I agreed to meet and talk about things. I was not savvy enough to understand how that might lead a person on. I suppose my adolescent mind weaved a tale of infinite mercy that I must bestow upon this poor, young girl. I would listen but let her down easy.
Saturday came, and Sandy showed up in her green 1965 Mustang. I failed to mention the Mustang; hot blond chicks in fast cars. Difficult to resist. I had my plan together. This would be swift and easy. I opened the door and jumped in the passenger seat. Sandy was waiting, turned towards the passenger seat and firmly kissed me. Already I felt weak. I reached for the seatbelt, but Sandy said, “Don’t worry about it, you won’t need it.” 60’s era Mustangs were equipped with a simple lap belt. I’m sure I shrugged it off, focusing more on resisting the determined female in the driver’s seat. Our first stop was the Mobile gas station, which was situated next to the Wendy’s. I pumped a few dollars’ worth of fuel, bought a pack of cigarettes, and then stopped in to say hello to th
e degenerates at Wendy’s. I could see the concern on their faces, as they noticed Sandy sitting in her Mustang. Just after we broke up, she quit her job. So, all the degenerates had already written her off. They were degenerates, but they cared about me and were concerned that I was willing to go somewhere with her; where, I had no idea. “Don’t worry. We’re just going for a drive. I’ll let her down easy.” I returned to the Mustang, situating myself at a distance from the driver’s seat. Sandy pulled away from the Mobile station, leaving the Wendy’s in the rearview. The Mustang barreled down Route 7 with purpose, but location unknown to me. That’s the last thing I remember; feeling the cool October breeze on my face and the warmth of the sunshine.
I remember nothing before December. It’s not like I woke up in the hospital, completely lucid and aware of my situation. I just loosely remember moments; flashes of memory. I remember family and friends hovering over me, crying. A lot of crying. I remember thinking the nurse was cute, even though she was doing terrible things to me with a catheter. I remember enjoying the food; each tray had a little brown cake that was a perfect square. I remember my mom, my dad, my sister. I remember Nick. His visit is the one that still haunts me. Although I don’t recall much, I remember his contorted face…sobbing. He was attempting to give me a piece of paper but was so overcome. The last memory I have of Nick during my hospital stay was of him draped over me on the bed, begging me not to die. I’m not sure who, but someone had to drag him out of the room. It was a while before I saw Nick again. It was a while before I remember seeing anyone again. Eventually, it was explained to me that I was in a terrible car accident. Sandy and I were traveling down Route 7 and slammed into the rear end of another car at a stop light. Later, I read the police report that described several cars stopped at a red light and the Mustang careening into the stopped cars at a rapid 60 MPH, without deceleration. The passenger, that’s me, was not secured by a seatbelt, ultimately sustaining massive neck and head trauma from hitting the windshield. The driver was protected by the steering wheel and sustained only minor injuries. My memory still plays tricks on me. Sometimes I hear screams, only to realize they are mine. For years after the accident, my broken brain would flashback to moments. Nothing I could clearly describe, or explain, but from time to time, something would make sense. A short dialogue came to the surface of my swiss cheese memory. I was telling her “no,” that I couldn’t do it anymore, that I needed to be left alone. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but Sandy yelled that if I didn’t do what she wanted she was going to scream. I can see her face, looking at me screaming, and then nothing. The paramedics had to cut me out of the Mustang and then I was flown to a hospital. The pain of the accident, I don’t remember. It’s that pain of surviving that was to follow that stays with me. I spent over a year in all sorts of therapies, wheelchairs, seizures, relearning the simplest of tasks, learning to survive, rediscovering and forgiving myself. I didn’t go back to work at Wendy’s, that chapter of my book was closed. I never saw Patty again or most of the degenerates that worked there. Nick and I remained friends, but we did drift apart. I’m afraid I failed him after everything we went through together. The brain is a complicated organism, especially when it’s healing from a head injury. I was merely doing my best to put the pieces back together. I fear that Nick may have been lamenting over what we had once been. The piece of paper was not a misremembered object. Nick was trying to show me the autograph. Patty came through for us, she brought us Joey Belladonna’s autograph after her father’s funeral. It said, “To Nick and Andrew, Thanks for being into Anthrax. Stay cool and rock on! Best Wishes, Joey Belladonna.” Nothing remarkable, but it was to us…for us. Our pact lives on through a yellow legal pad’s sheet of paper.
Fast forward 30 years and I’m a relatively stable adult, not living a complacent, apathetic, disaffected existence. I’m still into Anthrax and often think fondly of my pact with Nick and the autograph he saved for me. In 2016, Anthrax released their 11th studio album titled “For All Kings.” This is their 2nd album since Joey’s return and the 4th era of Anthrax. I may not be a qualified reviewer of bands I love, but this is a good record if I’m to apply my best critical perspective. I truly enjoyed this album, hopefully listening without prejudice. It is as close to the classic lineup as it gets with the lead guitar role being filled by Jon Donais from Shadows Fall. Scott Ian and co. wrote a few albums worth of songs during the production of the “Worship Music” album and I feel like “For All Kings” is almost a continuation. Worship Music was a triumphant return with solid songwriting and a defined, mature sound. “For All Kings” is more of the same, and I am the gracious recipient of its message having wanted more. Where I believe Anthrax’s music has evolved is that they maintain the spirit of Thrash Metal, while incorporating some of their classic influences from the 70’s. Joey’s voice remains strong and is in short company for Metal singers from the 80’s that can still do it. He’s a down to earth guy, still owning the same Mustang he drove in high school. Scott Ian, along with creating the chug-a-chug staccato brilliance of most of their catalogue, and sometimes the chug-chug-chug-a-chug-chug, he continues to write complex themes and paying homage to great comic books and horror literature. Charlie Benante is, in my estimation, one of the most underrated drummers in Metal. He has only continued to progress throughout his career and is more technically sound than most drummers out there. Frank Bello’s playing is like a furious attack adding melody with the clarity of a tapping style and a sense of groove. Jon Donais, the new addition to the band on “For All Kings,” is a return to the late 80’s lead arrangements of “Among the Living” bringing back the guitar solo. With Shadow’s Fall, Jon was instrumental in reviving the American Heavy Metal scene and I hope he continues to flourish with Anthrax. Although all the songs on “For All Kings” are enjoyable, “Breathing Lightning” is an anthem and must be listened to on repeat. “Evil Twin”, “Suzerain” and “Monster at the End” are also standouts deserving of a second and third spinning. For it’s production alone, this album deserves a high score. It’s produced extremely well, but damn…it’s just good. If you like Anthrax, no matter the lineup or the era, “For All Kings” should be in your collection.