Anthrax – Always fighting

In December of 2007, it was announced that Dan Nelson, former vocalist of Devilsize and Inside Hollow, would be the new singer for Anthrax, after the departure of Joey Belladonna and John Bush respectively.

Nelsonthrax started writing the follow-up to We’ve Come For You All — which was ironically called a comeback album — in 2008.

Worship Music is not only the first Anthrax album since 2003, it’s an album that was written three years ago with Dan Nelson (who also wrote a bunch of the music) on vocals and was then completely re-recorded with Joey Belladonna.

Make the jump to read me ranting about one of my favorite bands, their upcoming album Worship Music and their recent online release ‘Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t.’

When Anthrax announced their new vocalist, Dan Nelson, in late 2007, I was kind of hesitant. I didn’t know what to think about ‘Thrax picking someone as their singer who I’ve never heard of before, even though it worked out with John Bush, who was previously the singer of Armored Saint (a band that wasn’t well known internationally), 15 years prior to that.

The first song with Nelson on vocals that I’ve heard was ‘Taken,’ a song attributed to Nelson’s former band Devilsize (as it turned out, it was actually a song of Nelson’s other band Inside Hollow. Read my interview with Dan Nelson for more info about that here). I absolutely loved that song (and still do) and especially Nelson’s vocals.

In November of 2008, the band went into the studio to start recording their 10th album. The band toured heavily the upcoming months and live recordings of two new songs (‘Vampyres’ and ‘Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t’) found their way to YouTube.

Anthrax - Fight Em Til You Cant (live in 2008, with Dan Nelson)

In early 2009, it was announced that there would be a new festival in my hometown, called Devil Side Festival. Among others, Soulfly, Sepultura, Sodom and, well, Anthrax were announced to be playing in July 2009. Anthrax opened the festival at around 11 am, local time, and blew everyone away. Dan Nelson proved to be a beast on stage, with an incredible voice and killer stage presence.

Just a couple of days later, on July 21, it was confirmed that Dan Nelson had left the band. Anthrax-drama had started. After a bunch of shady press releases by Anthrax about Dan Nelson being ill (he wasn’t), cancelling upcoming tour dates (he didn’t, as he later said “I was ready, willing and able to do my job”) and finally resigning from the band (he didn’t, “After issuing the press release the other band members decided, on their own accord, that I had ‘resigned’ from the band. I never resigned from the band”).

All that aside, Anthrax then went on tour with former singer John Bush. The band had a finished album, still with Nelson on vocals, ready to be released. ‘Thrax apparently wanted Bush to record vocals for the finished album, replacing Nelson’s vocals.

Anthrax - Safe Home (live in 2009, with John Bush)

After the tour, John Bush decided not to record vocals for Worship Music, an album that was written without his input and then left the band.

In early 2010, Joey Belladonna returned to Anthrax (after the reunion stint from 2005 – 2007). The band then went on to play the highly anticipated Big Four concerts, including the Sonisphere Festival in Bulgaria which was released as a DVD/Blu-Ray set in October of 2010.

Anthrax - Medusa (live in 2010, with Joey Belladonna)

In December of 2010, Scott Ian announced that Worship Music would be re-recorded with Joey Belladonna on vocals. Last month, on June 2, Worship Music got a release date (September 2011) and I tried not to get too excited, because it already had a release date back in 2009.

Anthrax proved my doubting wrong though and finally released the first single of the album, ironically one of the two songs we’ve already heard with Dan Nelson on vocals, ‘Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t’ online for free. All of that happened yesterday and you can get the song here.

I admit that I’m a fan of Dan Nelson and always hoped that Anthrax would release Worship Music, as it was originally intended with Nelson’s vocals, but Belladonna sounds great on the song and ‘Fight ‘Em…’ definitely got me pumped up for Belladonnathrax’s Worship Music.

How about you?

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