ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello has told The Salt Lake Tribune that the band will convene in January to start the songwriting process for the follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings" album.
"We're gonna go heavy — heavier than ever, I think," Bello said about the musical direction of ANTHRAX's new material. "That's just the vibe. There's an inner anger, which I think is great for songwriting."
Having said that, fans can expect to hear plenty of hooks and musicality on ANTHRAX's next record. "I just wanna hear melody with my music," he said. "ANTHRAX has always been a melodic metal band."
"It's not your generic metal, let's face it," he added. "We care about our songs. It's not just that we need to put out a record, we need to put out the record. It's about living with these songs — that's why it takes us a while to write. It's about songwriting, man. It really is. It's about every little nook and cranny on that song. ANTHRAX has never phoned anything in, and I don't see us ever doing that."
Frank's latest comments echo those made by ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante, who told Metal Rules in June that the songs that the band is working on now "are a little more aggressive and angrier, only because the climate we are all living in is reflected in our music.
"When I come in with something, I have hopes and dreams that the song is going to be as great as I hear it in my mind," he added. "I think the other guys stepped up as well and want to hit a home run on each song. Everybody in the band stepped up their game."
Released in February 2016, "For All Kings" was called by some critics ANTHRAX's strongest album to date. Its arrival followed a five-year period during which the band experienced a rebirth of sorts, beginning with ANTHRAX's inclusion on the 2010 "Big Four" tour with METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH, and continuing with the 2011 release of comeback LP "Worship Music".
ANTHRAX's upcoming disc will be the band's third full-length release since the return of singer Joey Belladonna, who came back into the fold for the "Big Four" shows, in the process helping inspire a new wave of creativity.
ANTHRAX is supporting SLAYER on the second leg of the latter outfit's last-ever North American run of dates. Also appearing on the bill are LAMB OF GOD, TESTAMENT and NAPALM DEATH.