Anthrax (American band)

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Anthrax Rockavaria 2016 (12 von 12).jpg
Anthrax performing at Rockavaria in 2016
Background information
Origin New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active1981 (1981)–present
Associated acts

Anthrax is an American heavy metal band from New York City, formed in 1981 by rhythm guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker. The group is considered one of the leaders of the thrash metal scene from the 1980s and is one of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands with Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer; Anthrax is the only one of the four from the East Coast, and often credited as one of the early thrash metal bands to emerge from there, along with Overkill and Nuclear Assault. [1] As of April 2017, the band has released 11 studio albums, several other albums, and 26 singles, including collaborating on a single with American hip hop group Public Enemy. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Anthrax sold 2.5 million records in the United States from 1991 to 2004, with worldwide sales of 10 million.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and in the U.S. state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Scott Ian American musician

Scott Ian is an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist, backing and additional lead vocalist, and the only remaining founding member of the thrash metal band Anthrax. He also writes the lyrics on all their albums. Ian is the guitarist and a founding member of the crossover thrash band Stormtroopers of Death. He has hosted The Rock Show on VH1 and has appeared on VH1's I Love the... series, Heavy: The Story of Metal, and SuperGroup. Ian is also the rhythm guitarist for the metal band The Damned Things.


Noted for its live performances, Anthrax signed with the independent label Megaforce Records, which released the band's debut studio album in 1984. Lilker soon left the band to form Nuclear Assault, and was replaced by roadie Frank Bello. Lead vocalist Neil Turbin was replaced after two years by Matt Fallon, who was then subsequently replaced in 1984 by Joey Belladonna. With a new lineup, the band recorded Spreading the Disease (distributed by Island Records) in 1985. Anthrax's third album, Among the Living , was released in 1987 to critical praise. The band experienced another lineup change in 1992, when John Bush from Armored Saint replaced Belladonna as lead vocalist. Sound of White Noise was released the following year, peaking at number seven on the Billboard 200. Studio recordings during the 1990s saw the band, influenced by other genres, experimenting with its sound.

Megaforce Records is an American independent record label founded in 1982 by Jon Zazula and his wife Marsha Zazula to publish the first works of Metallica. It has offices in New York City and Philadelphia. The label is distributed in the United States by RED Distribution, having previously been distributed by Atlantic Records from 1982 to 1987 while Anthrax' recordings from 1988 to 1993 were marketed by Island Records.

<i>Fistful of Metal</i> 1984 studio album by Anthrax

Fistful of Metal is the debut studio album by American thrash metal band Anthrax, released in January, 1984 by Megaforce Records in the US and Music for Nations internationally. It includes a cover of Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen". This is the band's only album to feature frontman Neil Turbin and bassist Dan Lilker, who were replaced by Matt Fallon and Frank Bello, respectively.

Nuclear Assault band

Nuclear Assault is an American thrash metal band formed in New York City in 1984. Part of the mid-to-late 1980s thrash metal movement, they were one of the main bands of the genre to emerge from the East Coast along with Overkill, Whiplash, Toxik, Carnivore, and Anthrax, where Nuclear Assault bassist Dan Lilker was a member from its formation in 1981 to 1984. After releasing five full-length albums and touring relentlessly throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Nuclear Assault split up in 1995. They briefly reunited in 1997 and then reunited permanently in 2002.

Anthrax's lineup has changed several times over their career. The band has had a number of vocalists including Neil Turbin, Joey Belladonna, Dan Nelson and John Bush. Founding member Scott Ian and early arrival Charlie Benante, who joined Anthrax in 1983, are the only band members to appear on every album. Bassist Frank Bello has played on every album, except for the band's debut Fistful of Metal , which featured Dan Lilker. After briefly rejoining the band from 2005 to 2007, Belladonna returned to Anthrax once again in 2010, and the band has since recorded two more studio albums with him: Worship Music (2011) and For All Kings (2016).

Charlie Benante American musician

Charles Lee Benante is an American musician best known as the drummer for thrash metal band Anthrax, as well as crossover thrash band Stormtroopers of Death. Alongside rhythm guitarist and band leader Scott Ian he has composed the majority of the music throughout Anthrax's discography.

<i>For All Kings</i> 2016 studio album by Anthrax

For All Kings is the eleventh studio album by American thrash metal band Anthrax, released on February 26, 2016. It is the band's first studio album to feature Jon Donais on lead guitar, replacing Rob Caggiano. The album artwork was designed by Alex Ross.


Formation (1981–1982)

Anthrax logo used from Sound of White Noise until We've Come for You All 0701 Anthrax Logo LR.jpeg
Anthrax logo used from Sound of White Noise until We've Come for You All

Anthrax was formed in Queens, New York City, on July 18, 1981 [2] by guitarists Scott Ian and Dan Lilker. The band was named after the disease of the same name which Ian saw in a biology textbook, chosen because it sounded "sufficiently evil". [3] Anthrax's initial line-up was completed by singer John Connelly, drummer Dave Weiss and bassist Paul Kahn. Kahn was briefly replaced by bassist Kenny Kushner before Lilker took over on bass and Greg Walls joined as lead guitarist. Weiss was then replaced early on by Greg D'Angelo, who was recommended to the band by Greg Walls. Scott Ian's younger brother Jason Rosenfeld was a temporary vocalist until Ian's former schoolmate Neil Turbin joined the band in late August 1982. The band recorded its first demo tape during this time.

Queens Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is the largest borough geographically and is adjacent to the borough of Brooklyn at the southwestern end of Long Island. To its east is Nassau County. Queens also shares water borders with the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. Coterminous with Queens County since 1899, the borough of Queens is the second largest in population, with an estimated 2,358,582 residents in 2017, approximately 48% of them foreign-born. Queens County also is the second most populous county in the U.S. state of New York, behind Brooklyn, which is coterminous with Kings County. Queens is the fourth most densely populated county among New York City's boroughs, as well as in the United States. If each of New York City's boroughs were an independent city, Queens would be the nation's fourth most populous, after Los Angeles, Chicago, and Brooklyn. Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.

Dan Lilker American musician

Daniel A. Lilker is an American retired musician best known as a bass player, but also guitarist, pianist, drummer and vocalist. He is the bassist for the thrash metal band Nuclear Assault and was a founding member of Anthrax with Scott Ian, and recorded bass guitar and co-wrote on their first album, Fistful of Metal. He also founded crossover band Stormtroopers of Death with Scott Ian and Charlie Benante, and Billy Milano. He also plays bass with Brutal Truth, Exit-13, Malformed Earthborn, The Ravenous, Overlord Exterminator, Venomous Concept, Crucifist, Nokturnal Hellstorm and Extra Hot Sauce.

Anthrax Infection caused by Bacillus anthracis bacteria

Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It can occur in four forms: skin, lungs, intestinal, and injection. Symptoms begin between one day and two months after the infection is contracted. The skin form presents with a small blister with surrounding swelling that often turns into a painless ulcer with a black center. The inhalation form presents with fever, chest pain, and shortness of breath. The intestinal form presents with diarrhea which may contain blood, abdominal pains, and nausea and vomiting. The injection form presents with fever and an abscess at the site of drug injection.

Neil Turbin era and debut album (1982–1984)

The band's first performance with Neil Turbin was at Great Gildersleeves, a New York club, in September 1982. This line-up played regularly in the New York-New Jersey area over the next several months. Anthrax were also on the same bill as the up-and-coming Metallica for several shows in the spring of 1983. Guitarist Greg Walls left Anthrax that summer and was replaced by Bob Berry, who was recommended to Turbin by Rhett Forrester of Riot. Berry was in turn soon replaced by Dan Spitz, who was previously a member of the New Jersey thrash band Overkill. A second demo was recorded soon after.

New Jersey State of the United States of America

New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It is located on a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, particularly along the extent of the length of New York City on its western edge; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, and the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states; its biggest city is Newark. New Jersey lies completely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income as of 2017.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

Rhett Forrester American musician

Rhett Forrester was an American musician best known as the lead singer for New York-based band Riot from 1981 until 1984.

Drummer Charlie Benante replaced D'Angelo (later of White Lion) in September 1983 after a several-month courtship by Ian. By this time, Ian and Lilker had befriended New Jersey record store owner Jon Zazula, to whom they had given their demo tapes to critique. Zazula's new record label Megaforce Records had recently released Metallica's debut album Kill 'Em All to great success. In late 1983, Zazula agreed to sign Anthrax and the band recorded the "Soldiers of Metal" single, which was produced by Ross the Boss of Manowar. The B-side was the song "Howling Furies" which was taken from a previous demo with Greg D'Angelo on drums (his only Anthrax recording).

White Lion Danish/American, hard rock/heavy metal band

White Lion was a Danish/American rock band that was formed in New York City in 1983 by Danish vocalist/rhythm guitarist Mike Tramp and American lead guitarist Vito Bratta. Mainly active in the 1980s and early 1990s, releasing their debut album Fight to Survive in 1985. The band achieved success with their No. 8 hit "Wait" and No. 3 hit "When the Children Cry" from their second album, the double platinum selling Pride. The band continued their success with their third album, Big Game which achieved Gold status and their fourth album Mane Attraction which included a supporting tour. White Lion disbanded in 1992 and not long after their first compilation album, The Best of White Lion was released.

Jon Zazula, also known as Jonny Z, is the owner of New Jersey's Rock'n Roll Heaven record store and founder of record label Megaforce Records. Zazula's record store in East Brunswick, New Jersey made him a central figure of the East Coast metal scene, regularly playing demo tapes sent to him through his underground tape-trading network which included the likes of Brian Slagel of Metalblade Records, Ron Quintana, and producer Mark Whitaker. He was also somewhat of a mentor to Eddie Trunk.

<i>Kill Em All</i> 1983 studio album by Metallica

Kill 'Em All is the debut studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica, released on July 25, 1983, by the independent record label Megaforce Records. Kill 'Em All is regarded as a groundbreaking album for thrash metal because of its precise musicianship, which fuses new wave of British heavy metal riffs with hardcore punk tempos. The album's musical approach and lyrics were markedly different from rock's mainstream of the early 1980s and inspired a number of bands who followed in similar manner. The album did not enter the Billboard 200 until 1986, when it peaked at number 155, following Metallica's commercial success with its third studio album Master of Puppets; the 1988 Elektra reissue peaked at number 120. Kill 'Em All was critically praised at the time of its release and in retrospect, and was placed on a few publications' best album lists. It was certified 3× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1999 for shipping three million copies in the United States. The album generated two singles, "Whiplash" and "Jump in the Fire".

Anthrax released their debut album Fistful of Metal in January 1984. However, tensions were building between Lilker and the rest of the band for various reasons, eventually leading to the band firing Lilker. He would soon form the band Nuclear Assault with former Anthrax roadie John Connelly. [4] Lilker was replaced by Benante's nephew and roadie Frank Bello. The band then went on a successful US tour opening for Raven and others to support Fistful of Metal .

In August 1984, Neil Turbin and Anthrax went their separate ways after long standing personal issues. In his book Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, music journalist Eddie Trunk admits pressuring Jon Zazula, Scott Ian and Anthrax into firing Turbin because of his personal taste in vocals. [5] Singer Matt Fallon was briefly hired in late 1984, but he and the band soon parted ways. The remaining members decided to play live shows as a four-piece billed as "The Diseased" with Scott Ian on vocals, performing hardcore punk covers until a permanent singer could be found.

Initial Joey Belladonna era (1984–1992)

Joey Belladonna contributed vocals to four studio albums during his first period with Anthrax. Anthrax, Joey Belladonna at Wacken Open Air 2013.jpg
Joey Belladonna contributed vocals to four studio albums during his first period with Anthrax.

In 1985, Joey Belladonna was chosen as the new vocalist. The Armed and Dangerous EP marked Belladonna's recording debut even though it featured two live tracks from 1984 and the two songs from the "Soldiers of Metal" single that all had Neil Turbin performing on them.

Anthrax's second album Spreading the Disease was released in October 1985. With left over studio time from the sessions for the album Ian, Benante and former bandmate Dan Lilker collaborated with vocalist Billy Milano and formed the side project Stormtroopers of Death and recorded the album Speak English or Die in three days, which was released in December 1985.

The US tour to support Spreading the Disease opening for Black Sabbath was cancelled after four dates due to Sabbath singer Glenn Hughes' voice problems. In April 1986 Anthrax attempted its first tour of Europe beginning in Bochum, Germany supported by Overkill and Agent Steel. The tour included a show near Chernobyl, Ukraine immediately after the Chernobyl disaster. [6] Later that year, Anthrax toured Europe with Metallica. The tour began on September 10 at St David's Hall and ended on September 26 in Solnahallen, Sweden. The Swedish show was Anthrax's last performance before the bus accident the following day which killed Metallica bassist Cliff Burton.

The band's third studio album Among the Living was released in March 1987. It showcased the band's humorous, experimental side and began a lyrical trend focusing on movies, comic books and Stephen King novels. The album was dedicated to Cliff Burton's memory. "I Am the Law" was issued as a single backed with "I'm the Man", a rap-metal hybrid. [7] Anthrax further indulged its appreciation for rap by appearing on the title track of U.T.F.O.'s album, Lethal. The band toured Europe with Metallica and Metal Church, and the United States and Europe with Testament to promote Among the Living.

Anthrax returned in 1988 with their fourth album State of Euphoria . The single "Antisocial", originally by French heavy-metal band Trust, became an MTV staple as part of the rotation on Headbangers Ball . The band expanded its horizons by touring the US with the funk metal band Living Colour and embarking on the Headbangers Ball Tour with Exodus and Helloween. In 1989, MTV sponsored a contest in which the winner had her home trashed by the band. This would later inspire Anthrax's 1992 appearance on the television series Married... with Children , in which the Bundys win a similar TV contest. [6]

In 1990 Anthrax released the more serious Persistence of Time , which surpassed State of Euphoria's success. The album was darker, more technical and more progressive than the band's previous work, striking a chord with metal fans wary of Anthrax's "silly" side. The most successful single from the album was a cover of Joe Jackson's "Got the Time", which Jackson said he enjoyed. In 1991, Anthrax collaborated with Public Enemy on a version of "Bring the Noise". This was a hit, and a successful tour with Public Enemy followed. "Bring the Noise" has been a live staple for Anthrax since they first played it in concert in 1989. [8] The compilation Attack of the Killer B's was released in 1991, and featured three tracks from their 1989 EP Penikufesin , a new version of "I'm the Man" and a cover of "Bring the Noise" on which Ian did some vocals. In late 1992, singer Joey Belladonna was fired from Anthrax over creative and stylistic differences.

Initial John Bush era (1992–2005)

Scott Ian has played rhythm guitar on all of the band's recordings, and is the sole remaining founding member in the band. Anthrax, Scott Ian at Wacken Open Air 2013.jpg
Scott Ian has played rhythm guitar on all of the band's recordings, and is the sole remaining founding member in the band.

After firing Belladonna, the remaining members of Anthrax auditioned several vocalists including Mark Osegueda of Death Angel and Spike Xavier of Mind Over Four. [9] However, Armored Saint vocalist John Bush was the standout favorite and had in fact been floated as a potential replacement for Belladonna a few years earlier due to questions about his reliability stemming from drug and alcohol abuse. [10] The band left Island Records to sign with Elektra, releasing Sound of White Noise in 1993. A change from Anthrax's earlier work, with a dark sound influenced by alternative rock, Sound of White Noise received mostly-positive reviews. Critic Dave Connolley of would write that Bush "has a lower-register voice than Belladonna, and the result is menacing, premeditated, and sinister." [11] The song "Only" was released as the album's first single. In the liner notes for Return of the Killer A's , Ian said that James Hetfield told him it was a "perfect song". In keeping with the band's eye for unlikely collaborations, classical composer Angelo Badalamenti provided music for "Black Lodge" (a nod to Twin Peaks ). This album demonstrated that Anthrax had fully shed its cartoonish persona in favor of mature, thoughtful songwriting, which began with Persistence of Time.

After Sound of White Noise longtime guitarist Dan Spitz left the band to become a watchmaker, leaving Anthrax a quartet for two years. [12] In 1995 Anthrax released their seventh studio album Stomp 442 , on which Charlie Benante played most of the lead-guitar parts. Benante was assisted by Paul Crook, who later became the band's touring lead guitarist for several years, and Dimebag Darrell of Pantera. Because Elektra did not promote the album it was less commercially successful than its predecessor, and Anthrax severed its ties with the label.

The band signed with independent label Ignition Records, releasing Volume 8: The Threat Is Real in 1998. As on Stomp 442, Benante performed lead guitar parts along with Crook and Darrell. The album also features Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo making a guest vocal appearance. After the album's release the label went bankrupt, disrupting its distribution. Anthrax then signed with Beyond Records, who released the greatest-hits album Return of the Killer A's (1999), after which Beyond went out of business as well. During this period a two-vocalist tour with Belladonna and Bush was planned, but Belladonna decided not to participate at the last minute. [13]

Despite hardships and legal entanglements over album rights, Anthrax continued. In 2001 Rob Caggiano joined the band on lead guitar. During the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States the band changed its website, providing information about the disease after people began searching "" on internet search engines. Amid a potential PR nightmare, Anthrax issued a press release on October 10, 2001 joking that the band's name would be changed to "something more friendly, like 'Basket Full of Puppies'." [14] Anthrax dispelled any name-change rumors derived from the press release at the November 2001 New York Steel 9/11 benefit concert, when they took the stage in boiler suits with a different word on each one which ultimately read "We're not changing our name". Bello has stated they did so after receiving support from members of the NYPD and NYFD, who believed that changing the name of the band would send the wrong message. A picture of the band in the suits is on the inner tray card of We've Come for You All. [6]

In 2003, the band signed to Sanctuary Records and released their ninth studio album We've Come for You All , praised by metal journalists as a return to form.

In early 2004 Anthrax released The Greater of Two Evils , a "live in the studio" re-recording of the earlier work with the band's then current lineup. Bassist Frank Bello announced shortly afterwards that he was leaving the band to join Helmet, and was replaced by Fates Warning and Armored Saint member Joey Vera.

Reunions with Belladonna and Bush (2005–2010)

Anthrax at Hellfest 2009 Anthrax f9c b.jpg
Anthrax at Hellfest 2009

In April 2005, Anthrax announced that the "classic" lineup of Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, Dan Spitz, Joey Belladonna and Frank Bello would reform. At some shows on the following tour, they played Among the Living in its entirety. [15] Although the lineup was expected to record a new album after the tour, in January 2007 Ian said that Belladonna had not agreed to a reunion. [16] After that announcement it was uncertain if John Bush would return, since Bush said he was unready to re-commit to Anthrax. [17]

In May 2007 Ian said the decision of who would be singing for Anthrax would be made at the end of June, but the announcement was delayed until December. In June, Bush was asked by Rock Hard if he was bitter about the Anthrax reunion. He replied that he was asked to return to the band, but declined. Asked if he wanted to rejoin the band when Belladonna left, Bush said that he "just didn't feel right to do that." [18]

In December 2007 it was announced that the band's new vocalist would be Dan Nelson, formerly of Devilsize, [19] and Rob Caggiano would return as lead guitarist. In May 2008, Anthrax played its first show in 19 months at Double Door in Chicago. Appearing before a sold-out audience with Nelson, the band played new material which was well received (despite equipment problems). [20]

Anthrax at the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth, 2009 Anthrax-sonisphere-2009006.jpg
Anthrax at the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth, 2009

In his monthly Food Coma column posted on December 22, 2008, Scott Ian wrote that he had "been in the studio working on the new Anthrax album since November 4"; drums, bass and rhythm had been recorded on 19 tracks, and the addition of vocals had begun. "We should be mixing at the end of January and soon after that giving birth to a really pissed off, loud, fast and heavy child." [21] In a May 2009 Food Coma column Ian wrote that the album was being mixed by Dave Fortman, who had worked with Evanescence and Slipknot. [22] In a post on the Anthrax website, Charlie Benante said that Worship Music would probably be out in May. [23]

In early 2009, Anthrax began a brief tour opening for Iron Maiden in South America. In July, band manager Izvor Zivkovic confirmed the departure of Dan Nelson due to illness. Nelson denied this, saying that he was fired. [24] All subsequent performances were canceled except the August UK Sonisphere Festival, which featured John Bush on vocals. Due to fan response after his performance, a "Bring Back Bush" campaign began and was endorsed by Ian. [25]

In September 2009, it was announced that Bush would again sing with Anthrax at the October Loud Park '09 Festival in Japan. [26] Soon afterwards, Benante said that Bush had rejoined the band. In February 2010, Anthrax performed five shows as part of Soundwave in Australia. After the Australian shows, Bush said the band intended to re-record the vocals of several tracks from the upcoming album. [27]

Worship Music and For All Kings (2010–2017)

In late 2009, Anthrax confirmed their participation in several "Big Four" concerts with Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer as part of the 2010 Sonisphere Festival dates in Europe. John Bush decided that he did not want to commit to the band full-time, and left Anthrax for the second time. Joey Belladonna returned to the band in early 2010 for the Sonisphere dates as well as committing to record a new studio album with the band. [28] In June 2010 Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer performed on the same bill for the first time ever at seven Sonisphere shows. [29] The Sofia, Bulgaria show was broadcast in cinemas and later released on DVD and Blu-ray. [30]

In April 2011, Anthrax headlined in the Philippines for the first time at the annual Pulp Summer Slam with Death Angel and Hellyeah. The band also headlined the Jägermeister side stage at the Mayhem Festival of 2012, co-headlined by Slayer and Slipknot, [31] and toured with Testament and Death Angel. [32] [33] [34] In June Anthrax released the single "Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't" from the then-upcoming new album on their website as a free download to thank fans for their patience in waiting several years for new material. Worship Music was released on September 12, 2011 and debuted at #12 on the Billboard Top 200 album charts, their highest chart position since Sound of White Noise in 1993. [35]

In January 2013, Anthrax announced that lead guitarist Rob Caggiano had left the band to join Volbeat. [36] It was announced shortly afterwards that Jonathan Donais of Shadows Fall had been hired as the band's touring lead guitarist. Donais was confirmed as an official member in August of that year. [37] In March, Anthrax released the Anthems EP featuring cover versions of 1970s rock songs as well as two new versions of the song "Crawl" from Worship Music. [38] According to Ian, the band began working on its next studio album in late 2013. [39] [40] They released a live DVD, Chile on Hell in 2014 which featured the band's 2013 performance at the Teatro Caupolican in Santiago, Chile. [41] In early 2015 the band confirmed that they had recorded new material and embarked on a tour with Volbeat. [42]

Since Joey's return to Anthrax the band has been nominated for three Grammys, in 2012, 2013, and 2014. [43]

The band began 2016 with a short US tour with Lamb of God and released their eleventh studio album For All Kings on February 26, 2016. [44] The album debuted on the Billboard 200 charts at number 9, surpassing the number 12 debut of Worship Music. In March, they opened for Iron Maiden on the Latin American leg of their The Book of Souls World Tour. Anthrax spent the summer playing festivals in Europe before embarking on a fall US and Canadian tour with Slayer and Death Angel. The band continued to tour within the next two years, embarking on The Killthrax Tour with Killswitch Engage twice (in 2017 and 2018), [45] [46] and along with Lamb of God, Behemoth, Testament, Napalm Death and Obituary, they supported Slayer on their final world tour from May to December 2018. [47] [48] [49]

On February 1, 2017, the band embarked on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise. [50] They played two sets and became the first of the "Big Four" to attend the open seas festival. During the theater set, they played a cover of Stormtroopers of Death's "March of the S.O.D." [51] and debuted the song "Blood Eagle Wings". [52]

Upcoming twelfth studio album (2017–present)

On February 16, 2017, the band announced a live album from the Among the Kings tour which was filmed at a show in Glasgow, Scotland the night before. To create the DVD seventeen cameras, including five Go-Pros and a full-size camera crane were used to capture more than two hours of Anthrax footage of the show. [53] This show was released as the Kings Among Scotland live DVD on April 27, 2018. [54]

In a March 2017 interview, drummer Charlie Benante hinted that Anthrax would begin working on their twelfth studio album that summer. He also revealed that there are a few unreleased tracks from the For All Kings sessions that could serve as a genesis for the follow-up album, stating, "I think there are two or three that we could dust off and use as a starting point." [55] When asked in May 2018 if they were working on the album, guitarist Scott Ian stated, "Very, very, very preliminary stages. There's a couple of really great riffs. Charlie's sent around some really great ideas. But we haven't actually started working on anything. We've just been too busy touring." [56] Bassist Frank Bello also revealed that Anthrax was supposed to be in the studio by mid-2018, but because they accepted the offer to open for Slayer on their farewell tour, they were not expected to start writing their new album until at least 2019. [57] [58]

On October 9, 2018, Anthrax – alongside Testament, Corrosion of Conformity, Armored Saint, DevilDriver, John 5, Doro and Metal Church – was announced among the first batch of acts to participate in Megadeth's first-ever cruise called Megacruise, which will take place in October 2019. [59]

In March 2019, it was reported that Anthrax will join Slayer on the final date of the latter's farewell tour at The L.A. Forum on New Year's Eve, along with Testament, Exodus, Sacred Reich and Iron Reagan. [60]

Style and influences

Anthrax is one of the bands responsible for the emergence of speed metal and thrash metal. It exhibited a typical thrash-metal sound on its early albums and was known for humor and comic-book references in the lyrics, distinguishing the band from its contemporaries. [61] According to Rolling Stone , Anthrax was one of the few heavy-metal bands to receive critical praise and redefine the genre during the 1980s. [62] Original guitarists Scott Ian and Dan Spitz' styles were described as "aggressive and head pounding", with power chords and "chugging" pedal points providing the sonic drive. [63] Author Thomas Harrison wrote that Anthrax played metal at a faster tempo because of its punk influences. [64] The band's sixth album, 1993's Sound of White Noise (its first with singer John Bush), incorporated grunge and alternative metal influences in a darker vein. Critics consider the band's studio releases from the Bush era as having a more alternative metal and groove metal sound. [65] The album Worship Music marked a return to thrash metal and the return of singer Joey Belladonna. Although the songs are credited to the whole band, since Spreading the Disease the music has been written almost entirely by Charlie Benante and the lyrics by Scott Ian, [66] although John Bush made some lyrical contributions during his tenure in the band.

Anthrax was influenced by classic rock artists on its Anthems EP, which includes covers of 1970s bands Rush, Cheap Trick, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Boston and Journey. [38] The band has also been influenced by punk bands such as D.R.I., [67] [68] Suicidal Tendencies, [69] Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols and Discharge and traditional heavy metal bands Black Sabbath, Kiss, Judas Priest, Anvil, Iron Maiden, Motörhead and UFO. [61] [70] [71] [72] Anthrax is a member of the "big four" of thrash metal with Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer, [73] and often credited as one of the first bands of the genre to emerge from the East Coast, along with Overkill and Nuclear Assault. [1] The band has been credited for laying the groundwork for rap metal and nu metal. [7] According to Nielsen SoundScan, Anthrax sold 2.5 million records in the United States from 1991 to 2004, [74] and 10 million worldwide. [75]

Anthrax has influenced multiple bands such as Cannibal Corpse, [76] Pantera, [77] Sepultura, [78] Testament, Death Angel, Korn, Limp Bizkit, 311, Papa Roach, Killswitch Engage, Sevendust, Terror and Insane Clown Posse. [79] [80]

The band, for a period of time, used a caricature of a bald man's face as a mascot; he was colloquially christened the "Not Man". [81] The face itself comes from a rubber kids toy called "Magic Monster". [82]

Band members


Awards and accolades

California Music Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2004 We've Come For You All Outstanding Hard Rock Album [83] Nominated

Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2012AnthraxMetal Guru [84] Won

Grammy Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1991 Persistence of Time Best Metal Performance Nominated
1992Attack of the Killer B'sNominated
1995"Bring the Noise"Nominated
2013"I'm Alive" Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Nominated
2014"T.N.T."Best Metal PerformanceNominated
2015"Neon Knights"Nominated

Kerrang! Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2004AnthraxSpirit of Rock Award [85] Won

Loudwire Music Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2017AnthraxBest Live Band [86] Nominated
Charlie BenanteBest Drummer [87] Nominated
Frank BelloBest Bassist [88] Nominated

Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2005AnthraxBest Metal Band [89] Won
2012Metal As Fuck [90] Won
2016Inspiration Award [91] Won

Metal Storm Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2016For All KingsBest Heavy/Melodic Metal Album [92] Won

Revolver Music Awards (formerly known as Revolver Golden Gods Awards)

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2016AnthraxRevolver Innovator Award [93] Won

See Also

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