One of the biggest Metal happenings in 2005 definitely had to be the reunion of the classic Anthrax line up of 1985. It was 13 years since the Metal Community saw Joey Belladonna, Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, Dan Spitz and Frankie Bello on the same stage once again and this film gives us a front row seat to the action. The "Among The Living" lineup is revered and respected in the Metal world for the impact that they had on the genre overall. Recorded on June 3, 2005 at New Jersey's Starland Ballroom you are brought right into the mosh pit and will not suffer any damage as a result of it. I attended this piece of Metal history and have a comprehensive concert review elsewhere on the site and I can only tell you that as crazy as it looks you had no idea of how wild and fun this was unless you were there. Watching the video made me recall the absolutely killer time that me and my Friends all had as Anthrax belted out "hit" after "hit". The band sounded incredibly tight for such a recent reunion and given this was the first real performance it was truly incredible. I looked back to my notes on the concert to confirm that several songs were left off of the DVD. Songs like "Got The Time", "Antisocial", "Metal Thrashing Mad" and "Lone Justice" did not make the cut for some reason and this was probably my only disappointment. Perhaps licensing was an issue with the covers, but I think the others should have remained. There is a chance that they did not come out good on the film because one of them makes an appearance on CD in "Antisocial". I think it would have been smart to release the entire show which would make it the perfect memento of this historic performance. The overall production on the DVD is excellent and the sound and use of camera angle works very well. When I saw the show I only saw one boom camera and did not notice anyone else around shooting. I am glad there was more than one for that would have made this a very dry DVD to watch.
On the DVD you will see the level of energy that Anthrax still possesses and it was really great for all of us to hear Joey Belladonna singing these songs again. He still has most of his vocal range and without a slight to John Bush who replaced him in the band, this material needs to be performed by someone who has a higher register. Before this reunion, only Scott Ian and Charlie Benante had remained from this lineup and continued to tour this material. I had experienced both incarnations and while I always enjoyed myself, I would prefer to see this lineup remain together a little longer. As I hinted above there is a companion CD to this DVD, but at one disk it does not include all of the tunes you see on the video. The CD is 12 tracks and is reviewed separately on the site. As much as I liked the DVD I did have a couple of minor criticisms on it. The group released 4 things on the same day (Greatest Hits CD & DVD, and Live CD & DVD). That's a lot of product for a band to release to the public at once. I felt that these packages should have come together and this is becoming my standard line when faced with the potential of choice. Over saturation used to work in this genre but I feel it no longer is the case due to the dominance of Urban Hip-Hop and R&B. Anthrax released "Music Of Mass Destruction" this way and I felt it was very effective. It allows fans to simply add a cool package to their collection of the band and have two great things in one instead of deciding whether or not they want both. My other criticism is that a song on the CD is omitted from the DVD.
Bonus Features: Among the many bonus features there are some cool things and some ok stuff. The Documentary piece is excellent as it combines current and archived interview footage and performances to make up its content. They actually showed a part of this at the show prior to the band hitting the stage. Juliya from the Fuse interviews the band in a very informal sitting and it is good for some insight and some laughs with the band as well. Touring Tales has the band recanting some of their most memorable moments from their career when this lineup originally toured.
I do recommend this DVD as it was just like being there again and you have to love when a concert video can do that to a viewer, especially one who was there. If you are an Anthrax fan new or old you owe it to yourself to grab this DVD and at least the hits Anthology. With this world being a "Madhouse" isn't it time you got "Caught In A Mosh" once again?
- Among The Living
- Caught In A Mosh
- Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
- In My World
- I'm The Man
- Be All End All
- I Am The Law