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They only covered mainstream bands - 73%

kluseba, May 25th, 2014

Less than two years after their diversified party album “Worship Music”, the sympathetic American East Coast thrash metal institution Anthrax comes along with a new fun ride in form of the EP “Anthems”. This release includes six cover songs plus a song from the last album in form of the modern and slightly alternative rock or grunge influenced “Crawl”. This song also comes along in an alternative version that has already been included on the Japanese version of the last full length release and that surprises with more experimental orchestral parts. The remix happens to be as great as or even more interesting than the original which doesn’t happen so often.

Concerning the cover songs, Anthrax chose six classic tracks from quite well known Western hard rock bands. Even though the songs are well done, I miss a few experimental choices and a truly courageous cover of the six well known tracks. Another mellow version of AC/DC’s “TNT” simply wasn’t necessary for me for example. Honestly said I even prefer Puddle Of Mudd's version of that song.

On the other side, the challenging Rush classic “Anthem” was covered in a great way and is almost on the same level as the progressive original version. This is by far the best song on this EP. It didn’t only give this release its name but opens the record with a lot of positive energy.

The new versions stick all very close to the originals and don’t really have their own note. Thanks to a good production, a solid instrumental work and last but not least a very convincing job by singer Joey Belladonna, the songs though still work well enough.

Faithful Anthrax fans should get this EP if it’s offered at a low price. Add to this that the simplistic but very fitting vintage cover art is also very appealing for collectors in my opinion. There are six different versions of it, so you can really waste your money on that. Those who usually listen to hard rock and don't like heavy metal, should also give this record a try because Aanthrax indeed delivers some energizing hard rock music on here without making it sounding all too metal orientated. The cover songs are also be included on a new edition of “Worship Music”. The metal fans in the world who haven’t bought this vivid record yet have one more big reason to do so by now. Anybody else could though also skip this release as it’s just an entertaining gimmick but far from being outstanding. Let's hope that this band soon comes around with some new material after this swansong by Rob Caggiano who left the band after the recording session and finally joined Volbeat.

Originally written for The Metal Observer