Alive 2


Island Records, 2005

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


This is the soundtrack for the new Anthrax DVD Alive 2. The DVD, of course, visually captures the band with their long hair flailing in the air. Another difference between the DVD and the CD is that track four of the DVD is "Antisocial" and track four of the DVD is "Madhouse." Otherwise, the songs are identical. While you can argue that you don't need both a visual and audio presentation of the band, especially when the visual includes audio, I found listening to the CD was enhanced by having seen the DVD. When Joey Belladonna says, "Cry for the -- !" and the crowd responds, "Indians!" and you see everyone's fists in the air, it is more gratifying.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

With that in mind, the CD version kicks off with "Among The Living" and then launches into the opening riff of "Caught In A Mosh." This has to be the best way the band could have started a reunion concert. Both songs capture the magical intensity of the "classic" lineup. "Mosh" features Charlie Benante's frantic drumming and Belladonna's delivery of the lyrics "Shut up! Shut up! I don't want to hear about it!" that send this track over the edge. By the time the band gets to "Madhouse," the crowd is into the gig and ready to take it to the next level. "N.F.L." continues the momentum into "Deathrider" and "Medusa." When Belladonna introduces "Indians" and the guitars hit the three notes as the crowd shouts, "Indians," there is magic. It's a subtle magic that comes through on this release.

While the future of the band has been captured on the Anthrology: No Hit Wonders (1985-1991) CD and DVD releases, the future of the band is uncertain. Will the band continue to tour the world with the reformed lineup? Will they record a new CD with new songs?

New songs. Hmm. That's one thing this release is missing. It would have been awesome if the band would have gone in and recorded at least one new track in the studio. It would have been awesome to record a song from their era with vocalist John Bush, just to get Belladonna's approach to the material. Like if they would have recorded a version of "Safe Home" or even "Only." Something of a teaser for the future. Instead, we have only the reformed band playing their material from 1985-1991 with precision and dedication to their fans. It's not everything you could ask for… but it's enough.

Rating: A

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