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Party metal, don't fight it! - 90%

Ibanezmancons, September 9th, 2011

Riding on a chugging, back and forth riff which is impossible not to fist pump/head bang to, Joey gives a stellar performance on vocal duties unlike anything he's done before. He's sounds young and optimistic, but also channels the likes of the late Dio (The title itself is most likely a dedication to Ronnie's last album wth Heaven & Hell), combining it with the grittiness he showed he had in his solo stuff. He's definately the main attraction here, as the backing music is easily digestible, slimline modern metal, only better produced than 'We've Come For You All' and more energetic than your usual throwaway radio tracks. The breakdown begins a little to plain for my liking, but once Joey re-enters in a positively epic fashion, all is forgiven.

Some of the lyrics can be bad ('It's just the devil in me/there's no hypocrisy/what you see is what you see/what you get is what you get!), but Scott and Charlie's lyrics have never been quite the same after 'Persistence of Time'. Thankfully, those kind of lyrics sort of just fit the song, and are sung with believable passion by Joey.

'The Devil You Know' is pure party metal. Easy to listen to but melodically more interesting (that riff!) than anything since 'Stomp 442', as chantable as any of their classics (this will no doubt be a blast live) and it has totally changed what I want from 'Worship Music'. You see, for the past year, a lot of us wanted the band to return to their thrash roots, but you only need to look at the Big 4's latest releases to know it isn't always a great idea. Production has changed dramatically - no one can quite agree on the right sound ('Death Magnetic' was too loud, 'World Painted Blood' is rough in the wrong places), and the amount of riffs and talent left is thinning ('Endgame', or any of Megadeth's last four albums). So I'm almost glad Anthrax seem to have made it a priority to try and marry their classic sound with a more easy going heavy metal approach. 'The Devil You Know' adds buckets of colour where World Painted Blood' seemed bland, better production when 'Death Magnetic' rears it's ugly face and doesn't make my ears sick like 'Endgame'.

I've heard a heavily censored 'I'm Alive' (another track set to appear on 'Worship Music') on the NHL12 soundtrack and that follows the same pattern. A cool riff, catchy melodies and vocals courtesy of Belladonna and a real sense of enjoyment. We just need to face the fact that 'Worship Music' isn't going to be 100% old school thrash, but rather a modern, feel-good heavy metal record, which could be the most enjoyable thing the band has done since 'Sound of White Noise'. You can sit there and blame Rob and Scott's involvement in 'The Damned Things' (with members of Fall Out Boy and Everytime I Die), but personally this is the right direction for Anthrax. Things are fun again in the Thrax camp!

soso - 70%

morbert, August 23rd, 2011

After the very enjoyably ‘Fight em till you can’t’ Anthrax now release a second tune to warm up things for the upcoming Worship Music album. Honesty compels me to say this second song doesn’t live up to the previous one. Scott already spoke of an AC-DC inspired song in several interviews and here we have it.

It’s a fun song. It’s a song which would do nicely on an EP. I love Thrax, love Joey and I love Bon Scott era AC-DC but it’s average as best. It could’ve been written shortly after WCFYA since it had a certain Bushthrax rock feeling surrounding it. Not saying this is a bad thing since I love a fair share of Bushtrax songs throughout the years but one would expect something a bit more either classic speed, thrash or even traditional metal from the boys returning to the front with Joey to be on a regular full length.

All in all this song, Fight ’Em and the description of other ones promise a very varied album coming up. Let’s just hope ‘The Devil You Know’ isn’t one of the better tracks. That’d mean a pretty mediocre album…

Anthrax - The Devil You Know - 83%

Loloj, August 18th, 2011

Anthrax. One of those love hate bands. I know people who worship Anthrax and others who think Anthrax are the worse "thrash" band to walk the earth. I happen to be a big fan of Anthrax, and, as all Anthrax fans, have been waiting for them to put out new songs FOREVER. Their first song released from Worship Music was Fight Em Till You Can't, which is a good song, but uses the exact same riffs as Gridlock. It's basically Gridlock with better sound quality, so it didn't impress me.

I just listened to The Devil You Know this morning, and I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised. Joey didn't sound strained at all, and the riffs were great. There's also a solo a little past the middle of the song that's great as well. The lyrics are ok, although a bit cheesy. Unfortunately, the bass goes along with the guitar, but still adds a nice background to the whole thing. Charlie is very solid on the drums as usual.

With that said, this song does have some faults. The chorus is good, but it's been done a million times. It sounds almost mainstream, and it's extremely generic. The lyrics are also generic. The riffs aren't very creative either. It can get boring after a while.

Overall, I liked the song, although they could have been more creative with it. I also like the Dio support as well m/ honoring the vocal god is great. I think Anthrax's new album is going to be really solid, so I can't wait for September

Moves slower, but still hits hard. - 80%

hells_unicorn, August 18th, 2011

After being lifted to cloud 9 to the sweet sounds of Anthrax’s undeniable return to form “Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t”, I decided to come back down to earth when approaching the second single of the soon to be unleashed “Worship Music”. My return to a more measured composure turned out to be warranted, though the results are not by any means a dismissal of this song as a remnant of the band’s less than spectacular run with John Bush. “The Devil You Know” is definitely cut from a slightly different grain than the first single, but it is not entirely out of character for a band that is rediscovering their lost thrash roots.

While slower and definitely of a more groovy persuasion, this is a song that could have been heard on “State Of Euphoria” or “Persistence Of Time”. The principle riff contains a similar simplicity to that of a number of albums that were leading the pack between 1988-1991, perhaps most resembling a couple of the better songs on Metallica’s infamous 1991 commercial breakthrough album such as “Holier Than Thou” and “Through The Never”. It’s mid-tempo, it has a fair amount of fancy drum work surrounding a fairly basic guitar and bass progression, but this is definitely not a full out regression into the horrid world of “Stomp 442” or “We’ve Come For You All”.

Perhaps the key player in this song making all the needed waves to keep expectations of the soon coming return album optimistic is the vocal presence of Joey Belladonna. Possessing a clean cut and fairly predictable range, he does a decent job of injecting just the right amount of grit and attitude to keep this song from sounding too tame and the occasional gang chorus chime-ins definitely keep the Anthrax signature fully displayed. One shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the lead work of Rob Caggiano either, as the lead display on here is about as polished and flashy as can be for a song that hearkens to a time in thrash where simplicity and accessibility was becoming more fundamental.

In short, definitely not the best song I’ve heard out of this band, but worthy of the name and the perceived trend back towards a worthiness for inclusion in the media creation known as the Big 4. There is still always the possibility that “Worship Music” will turn out to be a dud with a couple of decent songs on it, but the likelihood of it is diminishing bit by bit with every released bit and piece. Now the question becomes, if Scott Ian can make time to break from the MTV interviews and excessive touring on past glory to write some solid material, what the hell is preventing James Hetfield from getting his act together?