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| 27 February 2016 | Reply


Label: Megaforce Records

Release Date: February 26, 2016

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

One of the most anticipated discs of 2016 so far has been For All Kings from Big 4 alumni Anthrax.  The first new material in over four years has been getting sneak previews on recent live dates as the band toured with Lamb Of God.  Finally we can wrap our ears around the eleven tracks on this collection and absorb what the band has been up to.  After an opening interlude, the band jumps in with both feet and delivers “You Gotta Believe.”  From open to close, this is killer rock that gets the head banging and foot tapping.  The drums and bass anchor the track while the guitars and vocals drive the tone of the song.  The time changes at the choruses and bridge demonstrate the strength of these guys as players and writers.  “Monster At The End” is less of a thrash song that these guys are known for.  This straight-ahead rocker gives frontman Joey Belladonna room to flex his vocal muscles and show off his abilities with a microphone.  “Breathing Lightning” starts off with great guitars that really show how well Scott Ian and Jonathan Donais are matched as guitar players.  This track really leans back to heavy metal as a foundation, with great solos, wall of sound vocals, and a heavy bottom end.  “Evil Twin” is another great thrash-style track that benefits from the rhythm section duo of Frank Bello on bass and Charlie Benante on drums.  The vocals are rich and accentuate the aggressive mood of the song and lyrics.  “Defend Avenge” is one of the heavier tracks on the disc, from the punishing bass lines to the pounding drums and the chugging riffs to the darker vocals.  The songs vibe ebbs and flows with the guitar work on this metal track, especially on the solo at the bridge.  “The Battle Chose Us” swirls a bit of thrash with solid heavy metal, creating a great rocker that highlights the different attributes of the band – great vocals, solid guitar work with furious solos, and a rhythm section that locks in together and leads the charge.

Title track “For All Kings” unfolds slowly and gently, but soon the drums and guitars kick in accelerating the pace.  When Bello’s bass joins the fray, the intensity of the track gets dialed up a bit and soon we are listening to a great track that should become a standard in the bands live set for years to come.  “Suzerain” brings thrash back into the fold with breakneck guitars, heavy bass and Benante’s pounding drums.  The vocals from Belladonna are perfect for the musical accompaniment that chugs along in the background.  “Blood Eagle Wings” clocks in at just under eight minutes and features a lot of different tones and textures from the band, including some great guitar work from Donais and Ian.  The layered vocals add depth at the chorus and breathe life into this ethereally charged track.  “All Of Them Thieves” is a song that was built to be played live.  The droning and aggressive nature of the rhythm section that contrasts the soaring vocals and chugging riffs, pings and squeals.  “Zero Tolerance” is a different track, as compared to others on the disc, but it fits within the constraints of the disc and the bands overall sound.  The guitar work stands out on this song, cool shifts in sound and tempo, as well as intensity.

​Tracklisting: You Gotta Believe – Monster At The End – For All Kings – Breathing Lightning – Suzerain – Evil Twin – Blood Eagle Wings – Defend Avenge – All Of Them Thieves – The Battle Chose Us – Zero Tolerance






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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