New album due out in 2011

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  Review and Photos by:Birgit Haugen




 Recently, on a beautiful October day in Colorado the air was crisp and clean, the Aspens already changing into their spectacular fall colors, and yours truly driving down the interstate blasting "Caught in a Mosh"as loud as humanly possible.


  ANTHRAX was in town! The last time they scheduled a Colorado show was 2006!  The tour bus was literally already on Highway 36 toward Boulder when they had to turn around, because Charlie's (Benante) wife was in labor.


  OK, I did let them slide on that one, and they kind of made up for it by playing with Rob Zombie later that year in Casper, WY. For real? Wyoming? I live in southern Colorado Springs! Someone google map that distance, gee. But, to make a long story short, I ended up going because it was the "Among the Living" reunion line up, 'enuff said.


 Fast forward to 2010 and ANTHRAX once again is fronted by vocalist Joey Belladonna. For those of you who have not kept up with the singer switcheroo ordeal in the band, please utilize your favorite internet search engine. My editor will thank me for not writing a novel here.



 Anyhoo, Joey is back, and ANTHRAX just returned from Europe, playing the Sonisphere Festivals alongside Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica among others. Yap, the Big 4 sharing a stage, and there will be a DVD. So, keep your eyes open. I also have to mention that the possibility of a Big 4 tour with ANTHRAX, MEGADETH, SLAYER, and METALLICA is nearing the point of finally being reality. Back in the US, they were part of the second leg of the "American Carnage" tour. Since Part 1, this spectacle (with Testament) had already hit town a couple of months ago. I was bummed not seeing ANTHRAX, and then super stoked when I found out that they scheduled an off-date in Denver.



 Back on track, their gig was at the Summit Music Hall, smack in the middle of downtown Denver, one block from Coors Field; the home of the Colorado Rockies. It's a decent size venue (capacity of about 1000) that opened this summer and has already hosted some impressive concerts like Summer Slaughter, Thrash and Burn, and DevilDriver, just to name a few. Off-street meter parking can be tricky, but there are plenty of lots around in every price range.


 The evening of awesomeness finally started when the first of two local bands hit the stage. And no, I cannot call them local openers, because they were none other than Denver based retro thrashers Havok, and the grind, death-metal band Cephalic Carnage.


 Havok got everybody into the right mood with their thrashing set. Unfortunately, the room was somewhat empty when they first started, because the line to get into the venue was literally around the block. Holy crap, it was great to see that many metal- heads come out on a Monday night. Havok played a great set and closed with Slayer cover's "Postmortem" and "Raining Blood".


 Next up was fan favorite Cephalic Carnage. Not necessary a good fit for a thrash show, but, nevertheless, the guys around vocalist Leonard never disappoint and really got the whole crowd going. Since I already saw them several times this year, I took this opportunity to hang back at the bar for some rather tasty brews. The Summit Music Hall has no bad spots in the house, so I was still able to witness the crushing force of the band.





 Then, it was time for the mighty ANTHRAX to hit the stage. Like I mentioned before, the last time I saw Scott Ian and the boys was in 2006. And, this time around was almost the same, except Rob Caggiano was back on lead guitar duty because Dan Spitz left after the "Among the Living" reunion tour. No big deal, Rob had been in the band before Dan rejoined. Are you keeping track? In the band and out, and back in, and not…to be continued. HaHaHa. But all jokes aside, the current ANTHRAX line up will hopefully stick for the next couple of albums, because it looked like they had the time of their lives on stage.



 And so it began. While patiently waiting in the photo pit, I scanned the crowd. There were around 700 plus metal heads awaiting the arrival of the headliner. I saw tons of old Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, even Metallica swag. Kudos to the guy who wore a Nuclear Assault shirt, one dude from Wyoming even sported a S.O.D. (Stormtroopers of Death) hoodie, but I was the lone sole with an "I Am the Law" Judge Dredd Shirt.

Ha, take that, grasshoppers!


 The stage went dark, and since I cheated and looked up the set list for their other off- date gig, I knew what was coming. And, holy shit was I wrong! The opening notes of "Among the Living" came out of the speakers! And, from that point forward, I knew this show would kill. While Charlie was already behind his kit, Rob and Scott leisurely started walking onto the stage. Frankie jumped happily behind them, and, as soon as the house lights came on, Joey greeted the crowd with a huge smile and half way playing air guitar with his mic stand. They blasted through the opening song like it was still the 80’s. Next up was the song I was anticipating from the get go, "Caught in a Mosh". An energetic as ever, Frank Bello was all over the stage with his bass guitar; goddamn that man had fun. Rob whipped out the guitar solos like there was no tomorrow, and Scott Ian was smiles all around while supplying the riffs.



 Audience participation was the name of the game that night. "I ain't gonna live my life this way", even I paused from taking pictures with the metal horns up high. And, everybody knew what time it was for the next classic, without a doubt one of the best cover songs ever, Joe Jackson's "Got the Time" had the entire crowd head-banging and screaming the chorus line along with Joey.


 Lot's of people had not seen Mr. Belladonna live since he left the band in 1992, but he made sure that everybody knew he is the man behind the microphone. His performance that night was beyond even my expectations. Just like Frankie, he was all over that stage, jumping, hopping around and seemingly enjoying himself.


 Then the whole place turned into a "Madhouse", literally. The mosh pit was going strong, and fists were high in the air. It was also a delight to witness a normal mosh pit and not this karate chopping, hardcore bullshit that is going on at some shows.


 Exit stage left out of the photo pit to "Be All, End All", and just in time for another crowd pleaser, I went to the bar to be oh so not "Antisocial". Again, another cover song originally by a '70's French rock band named Trust. And, at this point, a quick hell yeah to the in-house light engineers, before I forget. They did an amazing job throughout the entire gig.



 Making my way back towards the stage, which was not an easy task by the way, I noticed an "Indians" ceremonial headpiece and knew immediately what we were in for. The crowd went nuts. By now standing on the side of the stage, enjoying every minute of me being here, sweating like hell and my hair looking like "Medusa", I had the chance to witness Charlie's drumming up close. Let me tell you this, he still got it and then some. He was twirling those sticks and hitting the bass drums to the tunes of "Fight 'em, Till You Can't". This was actually a brand new song, recorded with then singer Dan Nelson, but Joey made it his own with ease. I would say a different style than what we are used to from ANTHRAX, but, hey, I dig the new stuff. At this point, everybody was "Metal Thrashing Mad", totally exhausted from the constant moshing and head banging, and the shouts for "A.I.R." were not over heard by the band. Holy crap, could it get any better then that? Well, apparently the band noticed everyone’s enjoyment and rewarded our "Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)" with another classic from their third album.


It was obvious to anyone in attendance that ANTHRAX is still, after all these years, a band to be reckoned with. Their musicianship was tight and everyone clearly had fun on stage. This Denver off-date on their tour clearly meant a lot to the band. So, before they declared that "I Am the Law", they made sure to promise to come back to Colorado; sooner, rather than later.


Your "Metal Thrashing Mad" chick, from the fatherland of thrash-metal, had the time of her life at the show. I was also blessed with being able to see some of the biggest names of the genre this year, from Overkill to Exodus, Slayer to Megadeth, and Testament to Anthrax. And, not catching Metallica live was offset by attending three Kreator gigs earlier this year.





























































































































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