Three decades can either reinforce or break down a band. Or sometimes, as in the case of Anthrax, it can do a little of both. The Metal giants have a messy history when it comes to lineup changes. Still, Anthrax has continued to record and perform for its fans for over 30 years. The group has claimed multiple gold and platinum albums, earned a few Grammy nominations and can even name-check Metallica as personal friends.
Anthrax was formed in 1981 by friends Scott Ian (guitar) and Danny Lilker (bass). To beef up their sound, they began sifting through a rotating cast of drummers and vocalists. The lineup has continued to be unpredictable, at best. Currently, Anthrax features Ian, longtimers Frank Bello (bass) and Charlie Benante (drums), later-period guitarist Rob Caggiano (lead guitar) and Joey Belladonna, singer on the majority of what is considered the band’s classic material.
In 2011, eight years after their previous record, Anthrax released Worship Music. One song on the album drew inspiration from the loss of two good friends, Metal heroes Dimebag Darrell and Ronnie James Dio. Another song is dedicated to the group’s greatest inspiration, Judas Priest.
For many bands, an eight-year wait might cost them a lot of fans. Then there is Anthrax, for which each album is thrust out to their fans like another piece of their pulverized hearts. For Metalheads, that's the kind of music that is worth the wait.
ANTHRAX plays Bogart's Saturday, Feb. 5 with guests TESTAMENT and DEATH ANGEL. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.