Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Anthrax - Chile on Hell review

They must really go nuts for thrash metal in South America because there's no shortage of live DVDs filmed there.  Chile on Hell is Anthrax's contribution in this regard, and it captures the band in good form touring on the back of their reunion album with vocalist Joey Belladonna, 2011's very good Worship Music, and the Anthems covers EP.  

It also captures that uniquely South American tendency of singing along to the big guitar riffs - which is still cool no matter how many times you hear it.

Anthrax's current line-up is, surprisingly for a veteran thrash metal act, pretty close to their classic 80's line-up with Belladonna, guitarist Scott Ian, drummer Charlie Benante, and bassist Frank Bello joined by new guitarist Jon Donais (borrowed from Shadows Fall).

The unsurprising consequence of this is a tracklist that leans heavily on the classic 80's era Anthrax material, with a smattering of tracks from Worship Music.

That's not necessarily a bad thing - Anthrax's one genuinely great album, Among the Living, contributes 6 tracks here, and the gig boldly starts with the first five tracks, in sequence, from that record.  It's a helluva run to start a show given that represents probably 5 of the best tracks Anthrax have written - Among the Living, Caught in a Mosh, I Am The Law, NFL and A Skeleton in the Closet (the next in the sequence, Indians, pops up later on in the set).

The rest of the setlist is a slightly more mixed bag.  Take this with a grain of salt though, as I'm struggling to remember a live recording where I haven't gotten finicky about the tracklist.  There's three tracks from Worship Music - that most excellent ode to zombie slaying Fight Em Til You Can't is a big highlight, but I'd have taken the killer opening salvo of Earth on Hell and The Devil You Know over the other two tracks included (In the End and I'm Alive).  Got the Time is another surprising omission, but with both TNT and Antisocial included, maybe the band thought that would be one cover too many.

It's also no real surprise that there's nothing on offer from the John Bush era, but part of me would've loved to hear Potter's Field and Only.  

Performance-wise, it takes Belladonna a song or two to really get into it, but that's the only criticism of an otherwise very energetic and enthusiastic performance.  The band have clearly been revitalised and reinvigorated on the back of Worship Music and the Big Four shows, and that's obvious even at the tail end of a pretty extensive touring schedule.  Anthrax were always the most manic member of the Big Four, and that quality is certainly captured here (they even throw in I'm the Man, one of their sillier b-sides).  I'm certainly hoping they can continue that as they hit the studio to record their next album, due out next year.

If you've never really got into Anthrax, this actually wouldn't be a bad place to start given the (mostly) career-spanning setlist which captures most of their classics and a number of other quality tracks.  Even long-time fans should find a lot to like here given the relative dearth of quality live Anthrax releases, and a longer show than their Big Four set list.

1 comment:

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Have south America no interests in launching any DVD's? I doubt know about that. Thank you for sharing this informative article with us and letting us know a lot about South America