'Worship Music', the first Anthrax album in 21 years with original singer, Joey Belladonna, which is quite funny because this album is not intended to be recorded with his vocal in the first place, and not even John Bush at all, but Dan Nelson, their short-lived replacement singer. Initial reception of this release has been overwhelming and highly positive, mainly because it's the long-awaited return of Belladonna and an original material of Anthrax, but objectively, I can't agree that it's a flawless album, in fact, it's quite far from perfect.
The first half is obviously much stronger, thanks to the contribution of two monstrous tracks. 'The Devil You Know', a very melodic thrash outfit, even bordering commercial, the riffs are sensational, and the best track here; and 'Fight Em Till You Can't', again, still a very melodic tune but the riffs are furious too. 'Earth On Hell' with its occasional blast beat drumming, is pretty good opener, and 'I'm Alive' is a nice track with a neat guitar interlude.
'In The End' is more heavy metal while 'The Giant' is similar but more thrashy, in fact, I found that on the second half, Anthrax is stripping down thrash and tried to flirt with heavy metal and even hard rock. 'Judas Priest' is confused whether it's going to become a thrash or modern metal. 'Crawl' is definitely the worst track, this is like Anthrax doin' a Soundgarden tune. 'The Constant' is slightly better, but still a weak track after all, and the alternative feel is too much.
My first impression is even worst, claiming this a 60% album and very average from start to finish with probably only couple of strong tracks, but after more spins, I'm settling in around 75%, but still a disappointment judging from those rave reviews I've read. This is basic Bay Area thrash with many melodic moments, infused with modern element and traditional heavy metal flavor, and probably will stand in the middle between their early years and John Bush era.