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Music Review

Anthrax - We've Come For You All

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Nuclear Blast - 2003 - 53 minutes

Metal groups come and metal groups go (or rather hit the nostalgia circuit) but Anthrax are never a band to bet against. They've survived departures of lead singers, guitarists, grunge, record label traumas, the post September 11 hysteria for them to change their name and now - 10 years since their last great album and almost 15 since the height of their success - come back as defiant as ever.

Of the big four (Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth were their peers) to dominate thrash metal - and backpatches - in the 1980s, it was Anthrax who always had the greatest crossover appeal. They helped bring hardcore to longhairs, got a handle on socially conscious lyrics and their championing of rap led to seminal joke single 'I'm the Man' and a much respected collaboration and tour with Public Enemy. That the likes of Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and a shopful of others owe them a debt is an understatement, but as this album excels in showing, they're not a band to trade on dues.

That they're all close to 40 matters little, they're hitting the milestone with cred in place and the same sense of enthusiasm, melody and aggression as their bermuda shorts-wearing heyday. With an album whose title echoes the crossover appeal in every riff, they've come up with a set of songs, which sound now but not fashionable and have something for today's 16-year-old or the guy in his 30s who bought the likes of 'Among the Living' or 'State of Euphoria' at the same age way back when.

'What Doesn't Die', 'Safe Home', 'Taking the Music Back' and 'Nobody Knows Anything' can be added to a canon which already has plenty of classics and the hyperactive blast beat drumming on 'Black Dahlia' is as much a challenge to a new generation as raging proof that they can still can cut it.

Better than probably even their most loyal fans could have hoped for, 'We've Come For You All' will have you digging out and reliving old records, smiling like the first time you heard them and reckoning this story still has a real long way to run. Over to you, Metallica.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Intro - What Doesn't Die - Superhero - Refuse to Be Denied - Safe Home- Any Place But Here - Nobody Knows Anything - Strap It On - Black Dahlia - Caddilac Rock Box - Taking the Music Back - Crash - Think About An End - We've Come For You All

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