July 18, 2021 marked the 40th anniversary of thrash metal pioneers ANTHRAX. The celebration began in May of last year and culminated on July 16-17 with a global livestream event shot at the Los Angeles soundstage/studio The Den. For two-plus hours, ANTHRAX performed an extensive set of hits and deep cuts pulled from their vast catalog. Today, ANTHRAX announces that the entire performance, plus never-before-seen rehearsal footage and guitarist Scott Ian‘s New York City “walking tour,” pointing out the spots that played a role in ANTHRAX‘s formation and history, will be released in North America on July 15 on Blu-ray / CD / Digital (Megaforce). “Anthrax XL” will also have a European digital release on July 15 (Nuclear Blast),followed by a Blu-ray release later this year.
Also today, ANTHRAX serves up a taste of the “Anthrax XL: celebration livestream with “Aftershock”, the Blu-ray and CD’s first single/video, that can be viewed below.
“Forty years doesn’t feel like 40 years,” said drummer Charlie Benante. “Sometimes, I have to remind myself about how long this strange trip has been. I enjoy playing these songs, they’re such a huge part of my life, and I know for a lot of our fans, they play a big part in theirs as well.”
From the night of the livestream, bassist Frank Bello recalled, “For me, each song was like reading through a scrapbook of my life and the band’s career. Specifically, ‘Madhouse’, one of my first recordings with the band, and then to where we are now with ‘Blood Eagle Wings’. What a great ride it’s been. I’m very grateful.”
“Even though we were performing in a studio with just the crew there, we played that set like we were in front of 50,000 screaming fans,” said vocalist Joey Belladonna. “I felt like we made a full-on connection with everyone watching from their homes or wherever, and that they connected with us. It was quite an intense experience.”
Currently, ANTHRAX is about six months into its 41st year, and the band — Belladonna, Ian, Bello, Benante and guitarist Jon Donais — doesn’t quite have their 40th-anniversary in the rear-view mirror. Said Ian, “We had planned to do a big 40th-anniversary world tour last year, but because of COVID, we couldn’t. So we’re doing our 40th anniversary this year, our 41st. We’re starting in America in July, going out with BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and HATEBREED, and then we headline a U.K. and European tour this fall. We’re all really looking forward to being out on the road, playing shows and some deep cuts to celebrate our 40th with our fans.”
The track listing for the “Anthrax XL” Blu-ray / CD / digital is as follows:
01. Time/Fight Em ‘Til You Can’t
03. Caught In A Mosh
04. Metal Thrashing Mad
05. Got The Time
06. I Am The Law
07. Keep It In The Family
08. Lone Justice
09. The Devil You Know
10. Be All End All
11. Now It’s Dark
13. In The End
15. Evil Twin
17. Skeletons In The Closet
18. Blood Eagle Wings
19. Bring The Noise
21. Among The Living
Formed by Ian and bassist Dan Lilker in Queens, New York on July 18, 1981, ANTHRAX was one of the first thrash metal bands to emerge from the East Coast and quickly became regarded as a leader in the genre alongside METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH.
Active over the past five decades, ANTHRAX has released 11 studio albums, been awarded multiple gold and platinum certifications, received six Grammy nominations, toured the world since 1984 playing thousands of shows, including headlining Madison Square Garden and playing Yankee Stadium with the “Big Four”.
ANTHRAX‘s latest album, 2016’s “For All Kings”, was called by some critics ANTHRAX‘s strongest effort to date. Its arrival followed a five-year period during which the group experienced a rebirth of sorts, beginning with ANTHRAX‘s inclusion on the “Big Four” tour, and continuing with the 2011 release of comeback LP “Worship Music”.