If there’s one thing Anthrax achieves with this limited edition release of their 2016 record “For All Kings”, it’s to prove just how much metal you can pack in 7 inches. If there’s a second achievement, it’s to remind us of just how awesome this album is.
This limited edition is spread over ten 7-inch vinyl records, with 6 tracks being paired with their demo version. I assume that the demos are what Charlie Benante, who writes most of the band’s material, brings to the band, and it’s interesting to observe how fully formed the tracks are. Since the release of “Worship Music” in 2011, along with the return of singer Joey Belladonna, the band has been on a roll, releasing music that stands shoulder to shoulder with their classic material, and “For All Kings”, in any configuration, is classic Anthrax.
In addition to the 6 demos, a track previously available only in Japan is included, “Vice to the People”, as well as two new covers, The White Stripes’ “Black Math” and Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son”. While the demos are exclusive to this release, the other three can be found on the deluxe edition of “For All Kings” and are well worth getting (they can also be purchased individually on iTunes). The Kansas track in particular is very good; the band sticks to the original arrangement, but Belladonna’s having fun and sings it great.
The set also comes with a download card for people to download the entire package digitally, and that’s a good idea. I only had access to a digital copy for review, but I can’t imagine listening to this set with one track per record side, having to flip and switch records after every song. The package includes a removable lenticular cover, and the original album cover art sketch by Alex Ross is also part of this package. Each 7-inch disc features double-sided four-color artwork designed by Douglas Heusser with additional art by Stephen Thompson, as well as band photos by Jimmy Hubbard. The vinyl discs are coloured – red, green, blue, maroon, orange, most with a two-color swirl design.
This isn’t a package for casual fans obviously, but it would look great in any Anthrax fan’s collection. It would make a great birthday gift for the metal head in your life (just checking if my wife reads my stuff…). And if you were lukewarm to “For All Kings”, give it another go. It never fails to impress me every time I revisit it.
A: Breathing Lightning
B: Breathing Lightning (demo)
A: Monster at the End
B: Monster at the End (demo)
B: Suzerain (demo)
A: Black Math
B: Carry On
A: You Gotta Believe
B: For All Kings
A: Evil Twin
B: The Battle Chose Us
A: All Them Thieves
B: Vice of the People
A: Zero Tolerance
B: Zero Tolerance (demo)
A: Blood Eagle Wings
B: Blood Eagle Wings (demo)
A: Defend Avenge
B: Defend Avenge (demo)
He's also a regular contributor at the excellent news site Montreal Rampage
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