ANTHRAX's new album, "Worship Music", will be released in Europe on October 23 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD, which was mixed at a New Orleans studio by Dave Fortman (a former member of UGLY KID JOE who has also worked with artists such as MUDVAYNE, EVANESCENCE), is the band's first studio effort in six years and marks the recording debut of new lead vocalist Dan Nelson.
About ANTHRAX's new CD, drummer Charlie Benante states, "This album has been in the making for two and half, maybe three years. After the reunion tour ended, we all went our separate ways. I started to write songs again, but I had no voice for them in mind, I didn't know who would be the singer. So Scott [Ian, guitar], Frankie [Bello, bass]and I got together and just started putting some songs together. This was pretty much the way 'Spreading the Disease' was done, too — we wrote those songs without a definite singer in mind. Then, in October of 2007, I was talking to Rob Caggiano [guitar] who said he found this guy in Long Island who he thought would be really good — Dan Nelson. So I did some research, called him up, and flew him out to Chicago."
According to Bello, it didn't take much time to realize that they had found their man. "Dan brought in the obligatory 'breath of fresh air,' but it really WAS. He has a killer voice and he's a good guy, and really fits ANTHRAX. The guy sings like nobody I've heard — I'm really proud of what he's done. This is the new ANTHRAX — yes, it does sound different, but it's in the same heavy/melodic vein. I don't compare it, I just see it as, 'I love the challenge of having a new ANTHRAX.'"
"While making this album," added Nelson, "I found that if I just tried to approach my vocals from the heart, to not overthink anything, I could bring a fresh, heavier yet still melodic approach to an already brutal style of music. Being the singer of ANTHRAX has already proven to be a great opportunity to play with great musicians."
Shortly after the lineup was solidified, Nelson was welcomed into the ANTHRAX fold via a true baptism by fire — opening up a pair of sold out shows for the mighty IRON MAIDEN in California. "The second night, we're backstage," recalls Ian, "[IRON MAIDEN singer] Bruce Dickinson came over to our dressing room to say hi, and he says to me, 'Your new singer, Dan, is amazing. I was watching you guys from the side of the stage last night — he totally fits you guys, he's perfect. His voice is incredible and strong. I loved it!' And I was like, 'Would you come inside and tell Dan? He'd love to hear it from you.' We walk in the dressing room and I'm like, 'Where's Dan?' And I hear from the bathroom, 'I'm in here, taking a crap!' It was so great — not that we're looking for validation, but when Bruce Dickinson comes up and is congratulating you on your new singer, it's a pretty cool moment."
With just a little more than three months before "Worship Music"'s scheduled release, Benante already has a few favorite songs that he can't wait for the band's fans to sink their teeth into. "This one song called 'Down Goes the Sun', is probably, for me, the most epic song that I've come up with, it has a lot of life in it. There's a song called 'Earth on Hell', which is a play on the words 'hell on earth.' That could have been on our 'Among the Living' record. There's another song called 'Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't', which is about zombies — who doesn't love a good zombie song?" Other standout tracks include "Vampyres" (Bello: "It's a dark, heavy groove with some serious, amazing vocals and a great, big chorus"), "Crawl" (Bello: "Another dark song, it's going to throw people for a loop"), "The Devil You Know" (Ian: "It's an almost AC/DC groove filtered through an ANTHRAX lens"), and "The Giant" (Ian: "It's so brutally in-your-face").
Video footage of ANTHRAX's June 30, 2009 performance at Het Paard in Den Haag, The Netherlands can be viewed below (courtesy of "letthemetalflow").
"Fight 'em 'Til You Can't" (new song):