Worship Music is the first fruit of Anthrax's much-anticipated reunion with Joey Belladonna, but if you were hoping for a return to the glory days of Among the Living, or for the band to pick up where the sound of Persistence of Time left off and continue developing from there, it will probably disappoint you - this is not an exercise in pure nostalgia, and the various groove metal and alternative metal influences that the band have dabbled in over the years continue to inform their sound here, though the album is broadly centred on thrash.
If, on the other hand, the idea of them trying out a new, updated sound with Joey onboard... well, to be honest, it's probably still not going to quite satisfy you, at least not on repeated listens. Whilst it's interesting to hear Joey back and apparently on good form, the songwriting here somehow doesn't feel like a natural fit for his voice and can be a bit directionless.
This is probably no accident, though. Thanks to the bitter recriminations and accusations that flew around the time of his departure from the band, the story of Dan Nelson's involvement with Worship Music is well known: namely, that this was originally recorded with Nelson on vocals, only for Joey to come in and replace the vocals, and Nelson still has songwriting credits on most of the tracks here.
As a result, the material here was composed and performed with Nelson's vocals in mind, which may be part of the problem. Whilst I can appreciate Anthrax not wanting to further delay an album whose recording had already been much disrupted, I kind of wish that they had taken more of an opportunity to really radically retool these songs once Joey came back into the picture, in part to exorcise the bad feelings concerning the Nelson situation and in part to capture the energy around the reunion. As it stands, the album doesn't quite paste over the marks left by Nelson's departure, and whilst Joey's performance here is good, it isn't quite enough of a band-aid to cover the wound.