An enjoyable romp

It’s been five years since Anthrax came screaming back from the point of oblivion with Worship Music, an album that showed they could still deliver after almost two decades of patchy releases.

In many ways, For All Kings is similar to that record, but only up to a point. Like it, this is an album that is just chock full of chugging grooves and catchy hooks. Joey Belladonna’s performance is solid, if one dimensional, and Jon Donais shows why he was one of the stand-out lead guitarists in the metalcore world with some of the best soloing ever to grace an Anthrax album. The problem with For All Kings is that it’s just not very interesting. The grooves and hooks are there, and they’re pretty good, certain to get your head moving along – but they’re almost the same in every song. There are nuances – the clean guitar intro to ‘Breathing Lightning’, the ringing bass of ‘This Battle Chooses Us’ – but essentially by halfway through it just sounds like they’re repeating themselves. It’s not that there’s any song that’s particularly bad, but nothing exactly stands up to be counted either, and if someone can actually be too consistent, Belladonna is the man here. There is literally no variation in his delivery from one song to the next. For All Kings is an enjoyable romp. It’s not a bad album but it’s not really very memorable and there really isn’t a lot of passion in it. The only one who sounds like he’s trying is Donais.

1. Impaled
2. You Gotta Believe
3. Monster at the End
4. For All Kings
5. Breathing Lightning
6. Breathing Out
7. Suzerain
8. Evil Twin
9. Blood Eagle Wins
10. Defend/Avenge
11. All of Them Thieves
12. This Battle Chooses Us
13. Zero Tolerance