ANTHRAX: ALIVE 2 (2005)
1) Among The Living; 2) Caught In A Mosh; 3) A.I.R.; 4) Antisocial; 5) Lone Justice; 6) Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.); 7) Deathrider; 8) Medusa; 9) In My World; 10) Indians; 11) Time; 12) Be All, End All; 13) I Am The Law.
Here is touchable proof that Anthrax did give a flying fuck about school. Nobody saw this reunion coming, yet it still came out of nowhere: the original lineup, with both Belladonna and Dan Spitz reembracing with Scott Ian for a full-scale concert tour. And John Bush? Quietly given the sack as if he were nothing but a sack himself.
The resulting album and DVD is, in all honesty, Alive 3, if we count The Island Years — and we should — but it ties in perfectly with forgetting all about the John Bush era. Apparently, it was all right for Bush to sing old Belladonna material, but there was no way Belladonna would be singing «new school» stuff. No 'Room For One More' for this guy: the setlist freezes strictly at 1990. They still sing the pre-Belladonna material ('Deathrider'), though.
The performance is rock solid, to be sure: Belladonna's voice got a little bit deeper with age, but essentially unspoilt through the rock'n'roll lifestyle, and, in comparison to The Island Years, the band generally spends less time dicking around and is more concerned about getting the sound right ('Caught In A Mosh', in comparison with the old version, is pulled off brilliantly). Stage banter is reduced to an absolute minimum, although audience participation in the singing of 'Antisocial', 'Indians', and other tracks is still a must.
As for the setlist, on the tour they would frequently perform Among The Living in its entirety (this is reflected in the accompanying DVD), with Spreading The Disease taking honourable second place; anyway, no complaints can be voiced, and purists may rejoice in seeing that 'Bring The Noise' has been omitted from the CD tracklist, so that everything is pure, stark, blistering thrash from top to bottom.
Anthrax's career after the reunion has been somewhat of a crude mess, though. The Belladonna reunion was short-lived, and produced no new studio material. Then it was followed by two years with Dan Nelson as the band's new vocalist — no new studio material, again, even though the band did hold studio sessions, laying the basis for a new record. Then they fired Nelson and, for another year, reunited with John Bush — no new studio material. Then they fired John Bush again and reaccepted Belladonna (!!) — so far, no new studio material. All that is left for us to do is restock our popcorn and wait for the next episode. When is the reunion with Neil Turbin?