Anthrax’s second live album for Nuclear Blast, and their sixth in total (seventh if you count the band’s participation in the Big 4 Live From Sofia extravaganza), sees the band caught live in action at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom on their For All Kings Tour. A faithful reproduction of the show, it features the band playing their seminal Among The Living album in it’s entirety alongside many of the songs that have become live staples over the years for the band.
It’s a good album, featuring strong performances from all involved, especially newest member Jonathan Donais, who contributes fresh, memorable lead guitar to every track. Even Joey Belladonna, who’s vocals are sometimes a bit of a trial for the listener on live recordings, sounds strong and in command.
The run through of Among the Living is the centrepiece of the album, and the performances of One World, Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.) and A Skeleton in the Closet are especially compelling; however the first half of the programme contains many highlights too, notably crunchy takes on Madhouse, Blood Eagle Wings and Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t, as well as a closing, elongated version of the Trust classic that the band made their own in the eighties, Anti-Social.
There are no surprises here, and no real reason to recommend the album to people unfamiliar with the Anthrax brand and looking to investigate. It’s solid, entertaining stuff but most people will take the option of the live DVD presentation that this release forms the soundtrack to in preference to this, I’m sure. For those that don’t own a television, however, this is certainly the most complete Anthrax live document on the market, and fans of the band will welcome it’s arrival in the band’s canon.
Kings Among Scotland is out now.