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It's not too surprising that my feelings about "We've Come For You All" after the first few listens were mainly of disappointment. During the period that this album was released, as well in smaller amounts in the years after, this was labeled as a true return to form; a return to the thrash days of yore. Of course these days it seems like every time a band from the 80s releases an album, people are jumping all over it as a "return to form," which in reality is true only 30% of the time, if that. At that time, however, I was more naive to those sorts of claims.
After a year or two of being banished underneath my bed to collect dust, I pulled out the album again and listened to it one last time to determine whether I should get a small return by selling the album to a local music store. When I listened this time, I was able to appreciate "We've Come For You All" a bit more. This is because my expectations for this album were different. I knew that I was getting an album that was quite different from their releases from the 80s.
For the record, there is no thrash to be found here. A couple of songs could be classified as metal, but most of the material is hard rock with a metal influence. The songs are mostly mid-paced with simple riffs and most of the songs focusing on the vocals, especially on creating a platform for a catchy chorus. This will obviously turn many Anthrax and metal fans off because one of the things that made Anthrax so great in their heyday was Scott Ian's furious thrash riffs.
The main reason that this album is worth listening to is because of John Bush. He gives his best performance with Anthrax and you can tell he's giving 110%. His choruses are memorable and he sings the faster songs really well too. He takes otherwise mediocre songs such as "Refuse To Be Denied" and "Superhero." He does his best to salvage "Safe Home," but that song was pretty much DOA from the beginning. "Any Place But Here" would have been a much better choice for a single because of its catchy theme and excellent chorus.
The best song on this recording is probably "What Doesn't Die." It's certainly a fast song (not thrash) and Bush again gives a great performance. Lead guitarist Rob Caggiano plays one of his only solos on the record which also happens to be one of the only decent solos on the album. Scott Ian and Charlie Benante play the rest of the solos and while Benante is STILL a better lead guitarist than Ian even after all these years (he had the better solos on "Speak English or Die" also), but neither are able to do anything especially interesting as far as leads go. Charlie Benante has always been an amazing drummer and he has done a fine job filling many of the songs with insane hyper-speed drumming; it's a shame that he couldn't write better music to go with it.
Overall this is certainly no return to form, but it's far better than anything Anthrax has done since "The Sound of White Noise." Once one gets past the fact that this isn't a thrash album, (I had high hopes for "W.C.F.Y.A." but it's just a lousy mid-paced song), then one can appreciate it for the decent hard rock album that it is. Obviously this is far from essential, but John Bush's vocal performance makes this album worth owning, especially for those who are fans of his singing. I've seen several copies of this in local bargain bins, so at that price this is definitely worth it.