Thrash legends ANTHRAX are set to release their new album For All Kings this Friday, Feb 26th. In anticipation of the release, the band reveal what it was like working and recording with their latest addition, lead guitarist Jon Donais
The lyric video for the first new track from the record, Evil Twin shows a barrage of places, victims, actions and some of the infamous zealots who have perpetrated violent extremism on innocents around the world, aptly exemplifying the song’s powerful message.
Musically ‘Evil Twin’ is a full-on thrash-metal tune that blasts off with a raging guitar riff, accelerates expeditiously and is completely uncontrollable.
“Yeah, that opening riff is really evil”, states the band’s Charlie Benante. “We had done a lot of touring with DEATH ANGEL and EXODUS, so I was in a really thrashy state of mind when I starting writing the riffs for that song. I think along with Scott’s lyrics and Frank’s melodies, we came up with a really great, old school thrash metal feel.”
…And as bassist Frank Bello puts it, “it’s a song that begs to be played live”.
Lyrically the track unapologetically denounces the self-righteous religious extremists who spread their bloody terror under the guise of a holy war.
You represent your discontent
Slaughtering the innocent
You’re no martyrs
“I was very affected by the Charlie Hebdo massacre as I have been with all of the shootings that have taken place at schools and movie theatres”, said ANTHRAX’s lyricist Scott Ian. “I can’t figure out what would cause someone to think that was the right thing to do. ‘I’ll show the world, I’ll make my God happy.’ It’s just such bullshit. I’m not bagging on religion, that’s not my intent, but people who go to that extreme, who feel they have become judge, jury and executioner over their fellow man because you or I don’t believe the same thing they do, I think that’s the ‘Evil Twin’ of humanity. Writing words about that is my only catharsis.”
Beginning in the autumn of 2014, ANTHRAX took their time in the studio recording the follow up to their Grammy-nominated, critically-acclaimed 2011 album, Worship Music. The band recorded around 20 original songs, almost twice as many as they had ever brought into the studio in the past. In terms of how the new music sounds, Bello states, “The thing about ANTHRAX…we have this heavy, thrashy music and Joey’s powerful and melodic vocals. I love heavy music but I also love melody, so the challenge is to blend them together so they sound like ANTHRAX. I think we’ve done a really good job of that on the new album.”
Watch all five members discuss the writing process for the new album ‘For All Kings’ and how it all came together
Scott Ian, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante, Joey Belladonna and Jonathan Donais talk about Jay Ruston’s invaluable contribution to the making of For All Kings
“He’s become an integral part of our process, that’s for sure”, comments Scott Ian. “It’s cliche, but he really has become a sixth member.”