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Album Review: Still Alive after 20 years of deadly metal

Peter W | Interrobang | Lifestyles | November 21st, 2005

I can't believe Anthrax has been around for over 20 years now. Boy, do I ever feel old! And if you told me that to celebrate their 20th anniversary, one of the original line-ups would reform and do a tour, I would have laughed and said that it would never happen.  The boys in Anthrax got rid of their second vocalist Joey Belladonna in 1990 (or around then) and guitarist Danny Spitz left about two years after that.  Anthrax got John Bush from Armored Saint to take over and produced some wicked material in the 90s and into the new decade.

The band tried to do a split tour before with Bush doing one set and Belladonna doing the classic set. After a few tours, Belladonna left because supposedly he didn't like the amount of money he was getting. The boys continued on with Bush and everything seemed well up until late last year when long time bass player, Frank Bello, left to go tour with Helmet.
It was a quite time for Anthrax after that and then out of the blue, BAM! reunion rumours of the “classic” line-up.  A few months later the band made it official that they were putting all differences aside to give the fans something they wanted: the Among the Living line-up.  If you're a metal fan you were probably both pleased and shocked over this.  Internet boards had people calling Anthrax sellouts and demanding Bush back into the fold. Others were stating their love for the old school line-up.  If you want to read the many pro and con responses, all you have to do is go over to and check out all the postings.

I love both line-ups of Anthrax and I really enjoyed the new CD/DVD, Alive 2 that features this classic line-up revisiting many old favourites. I knew that Scott Ian (guitars), Charlie Benante (drums) and Frank Bello (bass) would have no problem getting back into things, but I hadn't heard Belladonna perform in years and Spitz hadn't touched his guitars since he originally left the band.  Time heals all wounds in some cases, and it also allows musicians to get better. Alive 2 is a testament to that.

The band plays through the 14 songs they've picked flawlessly and Belladonna sounds completely amazing (I mean, if you dig his vocal style).  The DVD is a really fun thing to watch because the guys are so full of energy throughout the whole set and the fans are also eating it up.

The DVD also has a one-hour documentary chronicling the band from the time they all stepped into the same room for the first time in years all the way to the show that you get to watch.  It gives some real insight into the band as a whole and the member's individual personalities.

Old school metal fans will find this to be an immediate buy but for all the EMO, hardcore and lazy metal fans out there, I think it will be a hard sell.  This longtime fan gives this one a 10 out of 10, easy.

Which Anthrax line-up do you think was best? Email Peter at
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