According to Johann Stepien of LoudTV.net, ANTHRAX has set "For All Kings" as the title of its long-awaited new album, due in March 2016 via Megaforce in North America and Nuclear Blast in Europe. The information was revealed during a private listening session for the CD on October 26 in Paris, France. An interview with ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello conducted by LoudTV.net that same day can be seen below.
Speaking about the new ANTHRAX album, Bello told LoudTV.net: "I'm very excited because it's been a while since [2011's] 'Worship Music'. Now, you have to understand, from our perspective, we came out with 'Worship Music', and thankfully — and thank you, God — people have really taken to it and said… For people to say… A lot of people said it was our best work to date. After thirty years, it means a lot to us. So we felt like, as fans, we want to put out the best product, the best music, and that's what we think we've finally… After nitpicking these songs… I mean, we really took them apart and really took our time with them. I think, as fans that we are, I think this is the time to let this record go, to let it out [so] people ]can] hear it. I can't wait to play these songs; I honestly can't wait to play these songs live, because you just feel as a fan how people are gonna react to 'em. It's a lot of energy — a lot of energy."
Bello also talked about ANTHRAX's continued collaboration with producer Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER, among others. He said: "Jay Ruston, he's the 'fifth Beatle.' We call him the 'fifth Beatle' because Jay was with us from the beginning of the writing. It was very important to have him there, because, I think, Jay has a great ear for ANTHRAX. He has a great ear as a producer anyway. But he knows how to talk to us, and he's really honest. 'Nah…' [Laughs] 'That works better.' And it's easier that way, 'cause sometimes you're not sure. 'What do you think? Which one's better?' Even in my bass stuff. He's a bass player. So I'll ask him, 'Does this work? 'Hmm… Try the other one. It's better.' And he's honest. So Jay is definitely an ANTHRAX member at this point."
Beginning in the fall of 2014, ANTHRAX — Charlie Benante (drums), Scott Ian (rhythm guitar), Frank Bello (bass), Joey Belladonna (vocals), and lead guitarist Jon Donais — took their time in the studio recording the follow up to their Grammy-nominated, critically acclaimed 2011 album, "Worship Music". The band recorded some 20 original songs, almost twice as many as they had ever brought into the studio in the past. In terms of how the new music sounds, Bello said, "The thing about ANTHRAX...we have this heavy, thrashy music and Joey's powerful and melodic vocals. I love heavy music, but I also love melody, so the challenge is to blend them together so they sound like ANTHRAX. I think we've done a really good job of that on the new album."
The official lyric video for the song "Evil Twin", taken from ANTHRAX's new CD, can be seen below. The clip is a compelling barrage of places, victims, actions, and some of the infamous zealots and others who have perpetrated violent extremism on innocents around the world, aptly exemplifying the song's powerful message.
"Evil Twin" is now available digitally, and can be purchased via Apple Music, iTunes and Amazon.
Musically, "Evil Twin" is a full-on thrash-metal tune that blasts off with a raging guitar riff, accelerates expeditiously and is completely uncontrollable.
"Yeah, that opening riff is really evil," laughed Benante. "We had done a lot of touring with DEATH ANGEL and EXODUS, so I was in a really thrashy state of mind when I starting writing the riffs for that song. I think along with Scott's lyrics and Frank's melodies, we came up with a really great, old-school thrash metal feel."
As Bello put it, "it's a song that begs to be played live."
Lyrically, the track unapologetically denounces the self-righteous religious extremists who spread their bloody terror under the guise of a Holy War.
You represent your discontent
Slaughtering the innocent
You're no martyrs
"I was very affected by the Charlie Hebdo massacre as I have been with all of the shootings that have taken place at schools and movie theatres," said ANTHRAX's lyricist Scott Ian. "I can't figure out what would cause someone to think that was the right thing to do. 'I'll show the world, I'll make my God happy.' It's just such bullshit. I'm not bagging on religion, that's not my intent, but people who go to that extreme, who feel they have become judge, jury and executioner over their fellow man because you or I don't believe the same thing they do, I think that's the 'Evil Twin' of humanity. Writing words about that is my only catharsis."
ANTHRAX has just joined "Big Four" comrades SLAYER on a seven-week European tour that kicked off on October 25.
Photo credit: Stephanie Cabral