ANTHRAX - Kings Among Scotland
April 27, 2018, a year ago
Anthrax surely are kings among the Scottish people in this concert documenting the celebration for the thrash classic album, Among The Living. Members from said album lineup; Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, Frank Bello, and Joey Belladonna still the team who recorded those timeless songs. Most recent addition, Jonathan Donais (2013 -) on lead guitar, has been a much welcomed, and needed, ingredient to the formula. John’s contributions to the latest 2016 album, For All Kings, brought back Anthrax recognizable sounds and styling even more. From the guitar riff tradeoffs in “Evil Twin”, melodic singalong “Breathing Lighting”, to the dynamic rhythmic “Blood Eagle Wings”, For All Kings deserved to land on many journalists year end lists in 2016.
Recorded in 2017, Glasgow, Scotland, while including the three songs I mentioned from For All Kings, Anthrax’s first set was eight songs, including the perfect opener “A.I.R.” (which really needs to be in the set more often), and often neglected “Be All, End All”. “Madhouse” and “Medusa” are often staples, and rightfully so. The crowd goes nuts for both. “Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't”, from 2011’s Worship Music, still holds up and enjoyed by the crowd. Ian and Bello are a ball of energy throughout the show, constantly on the move and Frank in the groove headbanging, while Benante continues to be one of the unsung pounders behind the drums. Belladonna retains his excellent melodic tone and range, an important key to Thrax’s successful formula. And John, like I said earlier, is the lucky rabbit’s foot. Plays all the leads and solos as they were recorded, only mildly changes notations here and there to make the phrasings his own without altering the purpose to what is being played for the song.
On to set two…Among The Living is played in its entirety, with a shuffle of the original album’s sequence. “Caught In A Mosh” and “Indians” are always a given, with “Among The Living”, “I Am The Law”, and N.F.L. often in the setlist. The perfectly paced romp and riff tradeoffs makes “A Skeleton In The Closet” an overlooked gem. And while “One World”, “A.D.I./Horror Of It All”, and “Imitation Of Life” never get any attention live are still none the less great and compliment the rest of the album Among The Living as a cohesive listen. Interviews with the band, behind-the-scenes footage, and B-roll moments on the band's tour bus, backstage, hotels and more are also included on disc two.