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Anthrax has made their mark as one of the greatest thrash metal bands ever and their new single, “Fight ’em ‘Til You Can’t”, further proves that title. This is the first single to be released for their long running upcoming album “Worship Music” which has had many re-writes and re-recordings over the 3 year production period, but has finally seen the light of day. “Fight ’em 'Til You Can’t” is basically Anthrax’s wake up call to their fans yelling, “HEY, WE ARE BACK! OUR GRUNGY GROOVE METAL DAYS ARE OVER!” But most importantly, let’s get to the details of the song.
The lyrics have a simple, but very entertaining theme….killing zombies. With the song starting with a fake radio broadcast talking about, “body’s rising from the grave and attacking the living”. The song itself contains very catchy riffs and great drumming from Charlie and when listened through a good sound system, some well-placed bass slides delivered by my buddy Frankie! Like I’ve stated, this is a great song, one of the best Anthrax has written in years and even if you’re not interested in the new album, punch this song in on Google and download it for free off of Anthrax’s website. You won’t regret it!!!
I don't want to mention any of the band's recent history. Look it up yourself, formulate your own opinions. All I can say is Belladonna is the classic singer, and after all the shit that gone flying around in the last few years I'm glad something good came out of it all. Specifically, this song.
First of all, the production is huge. The drums are full of that all important energy, and the hi hats and crash cymbals give the song that great high-end that would seem at home on a Dead Kennedys album. The EQ has most in common with Megadeth's 'Endgame', which, whilst not my favourite release by them, was in my opnion the better produced of the newest Big Four albums. However, two things set Fight'em 'til you Can't apart from 'Endgame': the range of frequencies and the clarity of the instruments. Listening to the song through studio headphones, it has captured a wider sound - the kick drum sits as a clear foundation of low-end for which the guitars, snare and vocals can occupy their own small, but snug section of lowish-mid frequencies. The cymbals and hi-hat provide just the right amount of bright high frequencies, stopping you from feeling overpowered. One aspect of Megadeth's latest release that I had a minor gripe with was the squeezing of all instruments into the mid frequencies, with minimal low end, and a toned down high end. I remember it left me feeling a little underwhelmed. I did not feel that way here, as my heart was literally left pumping with the energy of the song, I felt like I could listen to it again and again. The clarity of the guitar is a nice improvement over the cloudy guitars I felt let down Anthrax's previous album 'We've Come For You All' and the above mentioned 'Endgame'. The riffs are better defined and have a more satisfying crunch, similar to older Thrax tunes like 'A Skeleton In The Closet' or 'Hy Pro Glo'.
Lyric-wise, the song is a nice nod to what made Anthrax so fun back in the 80's... it's about killing zombies.
The way the vocals have been arranged makes me visualize vocalist Belladonna being the world weary but determined protagonist of a zombie comic book, with guitarist Scott Ian's bellowing passages offering some sort of narration, whilst bassist Frankie Bello provides the vocal harmonies to add flavour to the story and makes it catchy as heck. Speaking of catchiness, I'll be singing Joey's 'I'll End You!!!!' section of the pre-chorus for weeks.
In terms of style, this is quite clearly a marriage of old school Anthrax thrash (think 'Among the Living' or 'Persistence of Time'), with the newer, more modern approach ('We've Come for You All'). Thanks to this new production, the drums are pounding like never before, with those brilliant Benante-trademark blast beats and double bass pedalling. The bass guitar is rather quiet throughout the song, but can be heard just below the other guitars, thundering out the rhythm. As previously mentioned, the guitars have a wicked crunching tone that as a guitarist I really envy - that's exactly the kind of sound I want to produce. The solo, whilst not groundbreaking, provides that little bit of hope: what all good zombie stories must have. (Except in reality, the hope has been that Anthrax can succeed with their next album. It's looking good so far).
It has been said that the chorus is a little bit too 'pop' for some peoples tastes, but I think it's optimism contrasts nicely with the bleak verses/pre-choruses. I think it's a nod to what I mentioned above, the marriage of two styles of Anthrax. No doubt I'll have this blasting out loud in my car, or at home when it arrives physically, it's just such a great for the summer.
Finally, the artwork is just awesome: the five members of the band attacking their zombified versions of themselves. Drummer Charlie Benante stabbing his zombie with his drum sticks, Bello's trying to pull his blood covered arm out of the torso of his, Scott Ian punching his zombified self through the throat, lead guitarist Rob locked in a choking wrestle with his undead copy, and my favourite: Joey busting his zombie's jaw wide open and aiming another punch. Like the front of a grusome comic book, it is perfect for the theme of the song.
Just as I do in this review, this single is already being compared to the newest offerings of Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer. And why not? Anthrax are a part of the Big Four and have just as much to live up to. Thankfully, this single proves they can do it. And do it very, very well.
I have never been that much into Anthrax. Maybe because I just got into metal music around 2005 when they were less popular and faced many complicated struggles. Maybe because I just adored thrash metal bands like "Overkill" and "Voivod" and from time to time some "Metallica" so that I didn't feel the need to look further. I never really understood why Anthrax was part of the so called "Big Four" and not "Overkill" or "Exodus" for example. Now those guys are back and I begin to understand why.
There were many strong thrash metal records in the last years coming from established acts such as "Heathen" or "Overkill" and also more recent bands like "Acrassicauda" but "Anthrax" show us here with their first single in years that they are back and can deliver something as strong as the bands mentioned above. I'm beginning to get slowly into their music and I'm looking forward for the new album right now.
The song has everything a great thrash metal track needs. We have a few sharp guitar riffs, a tight drumming and a solid bass guitar that fuses and supports the whole structure and also great aggressive but still melodic shouts and vocals in here. A great sample introduction and many changes of pace and style including a really catchy chorus are also included. Some vocal and sound effects as well as the commercial chorus give a fresh and modern sound to the band. The cover artwork fits perfectly to the song and pleases much more to me than the actual album artwork for “Worship Music”. Some people might judge this sound too trendy and not edgy enough, but I'm happy that the band tries out something different and has arrived in the year 2011 instead of just copying their old standards. The song is a truly diversified and yet catchy grower and probably the best song and single of its kind in the year of our Lord 2011. But it still simply doesn't beat the classics and some recent works of the concurrency again. But this time at least, "Anthrax" justifies its status and actually gets quite close.
"Anthrax" is still not amongst my favourite bands but with this comeback they have surely risen in my estimation and overall surprised me with this solid new single. It's a wonder that the phoenix has come back from its ashes and I hope watching him fly high.
After over 20 years of being pissed off at how the entire Big 4 all but totally crashed and burned after 1990, taking most of the great world of thrash metal with them, I can say with full confidence now that 3 out 4 are back on their game. I’m not sure if it was the recent death of the iconic metal god Ronnie James Dio that inspired it, or just a sudden realization that Anthrax needs to do something meaningful before all is said and done, but it is now official. Joey Belladonna is back, completely on his game, and with him is the original powerhouse that gave us “Persistence Of Time”, literally as if “Sound Of White Noise” and the rest of the musical abortions that followed it never occurred. The presence of Dan Spitz is missed a little, but ultimately Rob Caggiano is a competent enough to act as stand in, though to be frank, this band’s power was always more in their songwriting and vocal delivery than any sort of signature shredding routine more suited to Megadeth or Slayer.
The long and short of it is, “Fight’em ‘Til You Can’t” is a nasty riff monster that keeps it simple, invoking a sound reminiscent both of Belladonna’s traditional rock/metal roots and the hardcore/punk aspects that fed into the early thrash scene. Scott Ian all but shares lead vocal duties with Joey during the chorus, putting the emphasis on a gritty, punchy gang chorus sound that provides the perfect foil for Belladonna’s cleaner, tuneful vocals. The riff set is somewhat restrained and slowed down, reminding heavily of the well renowned “Persistence Of Time” tune “Gridlock”, but with a few more fancy drum tricks and a somewhat fancier guitar solo. In fact, I’d venture to argue that Benante all but pushes himself into equal prominence with Ian’s riffs and the vocals. But more than anything, this song just succeeds on being catchy as hell and a partial throwback to a time in Anthrax’s history much better than what took place after Belladonna left.
This is the Anthrax that everybody knew and loved, a band that showcased the compatibility between being heavy as a 10 ton tractor trailer without having to completely leave the realm of accessibility. They’re not going to win any awards for piling on the speed and stacking up a massive quantity of riffs the way Sepultura did on “Beneath The Remains” or Vio-Lence did on “Eternal Nightmare”, but that’s never what this band has been about. It’s a bit of a bittersweet reunion from the standpoint that Scott Ian has always been capable of creating masterworks like this, but has largely avoided doing so in order to cater to a generation of brain dead MTV drones, but since most of those dumb shits are strung out on shows like Jersey Shore now, it’s safe to say that the incentive is back to get more of where this came from. If this song is any indication of the total contents of “Worship Music”, then we’re all in for a real treat, and hopefully one that will convince Metallica to get off their asses and put out something worthy of their name.
Of course, Fight ‘Em isn’t exactly a new song anymore. It was one of the three or four tunes with Dan Nelson on vocals which could be found on youtube and possible a few other places. Since the Big 4 concerts and the return of Joey the band have been playing it live and various live versions have reached the public.
Most notable, apart from the old school feeling, are the elaborate backing vocals by Scott. Good to hear him stompin’ and shouting. In fact, they’re so elaborate they can’t be considered backing anymore. Furthermore the main riff is a bit borrowed from their earlier tune Gridlock but it doesn’t damage the enjoyment. Memorable as well is the good solo/lead by Rob Caggiano which sounds more Anthrax proof than a lot he did on previous Thrax albums.
Musically we hear a lot of old Thrax again. A Euphoria/Persistence atmosphere. This together with the melodic chorus makes it sound like the missing link between Persistence Of Time and, yes, Sound Of White Noise. Indeed they were telling the truth when they said it would be old Anthrax in the 21st century. This is exactly that.
Now what can be said about this new studioversion? Well it’s a bit slower than the versions we already knew and I honestly don’t really like that. Don’t worry, it hasn’t become a bad song all of a sudden but the faster live versions just sound slightly more energetic. Still beats the shit out of the old live versions with Dan Nelson. And that has of course a lot do to with The Return Of The Injun. Welcome back. And he sounds great!
The artwork is just great. Alex Ross did a superb job and this is the kind of cover that would end up between favourite metal posters and vinyl.
What else is there left to say? Here’s hoping the rest of the album will be at least just as good as this. Welcome back boys
I have never been a huge Anthrax fan, although I always respected them for their impact on the thrash metal genre. That being said, I'm really impressed by this new song. I was curious to hear what these legends had to offer after so many years. Luckily, they still can deliver. This song is enjoyable and is really energetic. It has everything you'd want from your thrash song; thrashing riffs, pounding drumming, furious and angry vocals, an angry chorus and lastly a rather melodic solo. I have to mention the awesome backing vocals; they sound so angry! The guitar work is punishing and the drums sound really decent. The solo is melodic and memorable. The riffs are also quite memorable. The bass is hard to hear, they should turn Frank Bello's bass louder in the mix. That would help the upcoming album sound really better. Joey sounds really good and I must say he sounds better than his live performances. He has probably been taking care of his voice, and that's good for him as he sounds awesomely angry on this one! A special note goes to the radio part at the beginning; it really sets the atmosphere and sounds great just before the galloping riffs that follow it!
This has raised the expectation bar for the new album really high and I only hope that it will live up to this song and the hype that is being created. This is really solid and promising and I hope the band continues delivering through the years. On top of this, the artwork is really cool; it pictures the band members struggling with their selves. This is just awesome!
And with their new album they're gonna kick your ass, and hard. Not since Belly of the Beast have I enjoyed an Anthrax song so much. After so many delays and not knowing who was going to record the vocals for the damn thing, Scott, Frank, Charlie, Rob and Joey have decided to let us get a tiny glimpse of what is to come on September 13th.
The new song begins with a man talking over the radio, saying ".. the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living" before Charlie begins pounding away on the drums while Scott and Rob riff away. The intro riff reminds me of the Time riff, but it fits the song perfectly before breaking into the main riff, which sounds slightly less harsher to make way for Joey's voice "When the dust breaks in!". it has been a while since I've heard this man sing so angrily. In the chorus we get the single best weapon Anthrax has in their arsenal, one that was kept in check during the John Bush era, waiting to be released for this album. The brutal and angry backing vocals that complement Joey's voice so fucking perfectly! Scott growls away in a very crossover thrash way before Joey comes in to deliver a finishing "I'll end you!". Then comes the solo, a very melodic and pumping attack that gives the song a unique sound among the extensive Anthrax discography. The song then ends with that crossover influence chorus one last time.
Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't is yet another track that proves that Anthrax was and is still at the top of the thrash food chain, near Sadus, Overkill, Megadeth and Morbid Saint and above Exodus, Slayer, Artillery and Agent Steel.
Oh and the single's cover, just click on it... need I say more :D?