The Heavy Metal Review

Archive for March 2013

Album Review: Anthrax’s ‘Anthems’ EP is enjoyable, but not the record fans need right now

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It’s always intriguing when a famous band decides to release an album of covers. Especially when that band is Anthrax, who released a strong comeback in the form of 2012’s Worship Music with frontman Joey Belladonna returning on vocals and even more recently lost lead guitarist Rob Caggiano, whose last recorded work with the band is featured on the Anthems EP.

The best cover albums come from musicians who put their own signature sound into the tracks they choose to record, such as on Metallica’s Garage Inc. full-length, otherwise a covers album is a passing pleasure that doesn’t do much to enhance a group’s catalog.

Anthrax’s Anthems EP generally plays it safe in the delicate balancing act between staying faithful to the originals and putting the band’s own thrash-fueled spin on things, which results in a mostly pleasant, but not entirely necessary listen, unless you are already a diehard fan.

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Written by Eric

March 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Album Review: Soilwork’s ‘The Living Infinite’ is a career-defining double album

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In Flames and Soilwork are two of the biggest Swedish melodic death metal bands still consistently putting out albums. While In Flames changed its formula drastically over the years (and isolated many fans in the process), Soilwork gradually modified its sound to the slightly more commercial output of today while still retaining elements set in place on the now classic releases A Predator’s Portrait and Natural Born Chaos.

Fans and critics have applauded more recent efforts by Soilwork including The Panic Broadcast and Sworn to a Great Divide, but these albums were missing something that made the previously mentioned classics (and even to some extent Figure Number Five) so highly regarded. Given the departure of longtime guitarist and founding member Peter Wichers for a second time, followed by other longtime guitarist Ola Frenning leaving, things were beginning to look shaky for frontman Björn “Speed” Strid and the future of Soilwork. It was even more worrisome when Strid announced the follow-up to Sworn to a Great Divide would be a double album released as a full 20-track package (a risky move for any band).

After giving The Living Infinite several listens, it is safe to say the double album is Soilwork’s best release in years and holds its own against the group’s other career-defining classics.

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