Year : 2011
Genre : Groove Metal Hard Rock
Label : Megaforce (US) Nuclear Blast (EU)
Origin : United States
Rating : 6.5 / 10
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Anthrax's latest affair is in great haste to reveal its primer aspiration, that which is to bring you an almost tender level of hard-rockish accessibility, resonated through a mildly rabid set of instruments. These guitar-dogs are kind enough to pretend that they have the skills and the eager propensity to shred you to pieces, but don't be afraid, there are no true risks involved on Anthrax's latest : when music is supposed to engage the real deal slaughter mode of avid inventiveness, - like Deceased does without end on their latest LP to date - this band instead throws in your everyday average catchy chorus, casually informing you that there is no proper meal served right now, please be so kind and eat the bloody - semi-spoiled - dessert, thank you, come again. As for the dogs themselves : they sit on command, and this is what they mostly do herein. But look : they grin!!
In other words, despite the band's known notoriety to administer profound audible punishment, this latest release clearly shows a sharply defined shift towards instant accessibility, and not necessarily for the truly strong kind of that. It might be a staggering development to reckon, but here is the thing : a good amount of this LP communicates along the metal core vibe, - without the fake-screaming, luckily - combined with the aforementioned hard rock overtone, which always hurries up to you with its crystal clear, and frankly, terribly cumbersome agenda to pour a sense of engineered instant epicness into the builds ASAP. These supposed-to-be-epic choruses tend to register as a blend of acceptable power metal and acceptable hard rock, but note that none of these ingredients will rip your mind out nice and clean via their raw charm of musical appeal and convince power. As noted, they are engineered choruses, without all that much unalloyed emotional motivations noticeable in them. Read on to find out more about Anthrax's latest spin to date, but know that what you will get is a largely risk free ride in a convertible that does not have more than 4 gears installed. What? The side thrusters? Oh, those are mainly for decoration. They will engage a couple of times, but that is that.
It would be unfair to state that the album lacks especially strong sequences in CHARACTER, but even those portions are burdened by the record's unbalanced presentation traits. The strong tracks on the release, like In the End, or Giant, - and there are others, too, see later - are practically begging for some ornaments to be embedded into them to flatter the single rhythm guitar/bass/drum structure, but these tracks remain no doubt solid as they are. The more massive regions of this album though are consisting of declarations that sound more to be shameless fillers than the truly legit stuff you signed on for. The track called Judas Priest, for example. What the hell is this? This sounds like Motley Crue's Dr. Feelgood to me, from 19fucking89. Oh God! Zoo Metal! Glam Metal ineptitude being taken to the next level that you so hoped it did not even exist. But it does, and you will be subjected to it. On multiple occasions. Mercilessly. But it also must be told that Anthrax assuages the fright with another strong track, called Crawl, to kill the pain administered by its instant predecessor mentioned above.
The release, surprisingly enough, shows notable shi(f)ts - MIND the f!! - in presentation values. The guitars sometime sound like they have been castrated out and been beaten half to death as extra courtesy, while, at other times the album packs a truly proper bite, despite the relatively conservative, simplistic arrangements it largely relies on. Of course, there is nothing wrong at all with the simplistic - nevertheless great - structure of drum/bass/rhythm guitar, but hell, you need to deliver a real deal theme to remember to flatter the legitimacy of this classic formation.
If the albums' primer focus would be centered around to unleash the muscular musical grinding it emerges most impressively at, this would be a doubtlessly fine, slick release. But that propensity to engage in serious and legit fashion, also is the one you will have the least of, and, saved for some - and not more - delicious mid-tempo themes here and there, Anthrax's Worship Music ultimately registers as an inconsistent spin filled with portions prone to trade their charms in for much less efficient variation. The track called Constant is a good example of this, in my opinion. This song has some absolutely great elements, and also it is afflicted, unfortunately, by the Glam Metal/Zoo Metal nonsense. Boosh!
Fortunately, the vocal contribution of the album is totally solid, the singer dude has a proper set of lungs, and he exhibits his melodic Philip Anselmo influence in intact fashion. He does a good job, without doing anything out of his comfort zone. Note : doing anything out of the comfort zone, of course, is not a necessity to deliver a good performance. The point simply is that the vocalist manages to render a solid and likable vocal presence, even when he needs to ride a horse made of materials of questionable origins.
This is not a bad album at all, it just has this persistent tendency of taking you for an accomplished idiot on strong sedatives. Well, you can fool some of the people some of the time, and that should be sufficient. Anthrax does way too much fooling around this time though, and that is a 6.5 - only because I'm kind as a fairy on an Ecstasy pill.
Rating : 6.5 / 10
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