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Kings of thrash metal - 94%

kluseba, April 28th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, 2CD, Megaforce Records (Digipak)

Anthrax has been on an impressive streak since singer Joey Belladonna rejoined the band eight years ago. The band didn't only release two incredible comeback records with Worship Music and For All Kings but also delivered incredibly energetic live shows. The aptly titled Chile on Hell might be one of the very best live records ever released. Having attended two concerts of the band over the past few years, I can only confirm the band's incredible chemistry and will always remember these shows as some of the best I have ever attended. Kings Among Scotland doesn't disappoint in that regard either. The band is in great form. The drums sound dynamic, heavy and versatile. The bass guitar is the band sound's solid backbone. The guitar work is incredible, regarding both the fast thrash metal riffs and the heartfelt melodic passages. Joey Belladonna sings as if he were thirty years younger than he actually is and underlines his status as the genre's best vocalist. The crowd is great as well, sings and cheers along loudly to tracks like the hard rocking ''Madhouse'' and the atmospheric epic ''Be All, End All''. The production is crisp, direct and organic and makes you feel as if you were rocking Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow with the five lads from the American East Coast.

Obviously, one might debate whether it's necessary to purchase a live record less than four years after the legendary Chile On Hell. The track lists have quite a few similarities. Chile on Hell featured six songs from Among the Living, Kings Among Scotland includes the entire record consisting of nine songs. Classics like ''Madhouse'', ''Antisocial'' and ''Medusa'' are included on both releases. At least, the new release includes three great renditions taken from Anthrax's last high-quality studio record For All Kings with the powerful ''Evil Twin'', the epic ''Blood Eagle Wins'' and the wonderfully melodic power ballad ''Breathing Lightning''. Still, the track lists of the two releases are too similar in my opinion. If you are a casual fan, you could just purchase the slightly better Chile On Hell because of its incredible crowd. Fans of Anthrax's records with Joey Belladonna will certainly purchase both records and enjoy the hell out of both.

Kings Among Scotland simply underlines Anthrax's status as one of the best live bands in the world and offers a generous eighteen tracks with a running time just above two hours. The video version of this release additionally features a few video clips, behind-the-scenes footage and gear rundown with each band member. The only downside is that there seems to be no release that combines the two CD version and the live DVD. Since I purchased the video version of Chile on Hell three and a half years ago, I will go for the double-disc release this time around. I can't wait to blast this excellent release in my car this summer.