July 18th, 2021 marked the 40th anniversary of thrash metal pioneers Anthrax. The celebration began in May of last year and culminated on July 16th-17th 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. Anthrax is proud to announce 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 15th on Blu-ray / CD / Digital (Megaforce). Anthrax XL will also have a European digital release on July 15th (Nuclear Blast), followed by a Blu-ray release later this year.

Also, 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 — BelladonnaIanBelloBenante 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:

1.  Time/Fight Em ‘Til You Can’t
2.  Madhouse
3.  Caught In A Mosh
4.  Metal Thrashing Mad
5.  Got The Time
6.  I Am The Law
7.  Keep It In The Family
8.  Lone Justice
9.  The Devil You Know
10. Be All End All
11. Now It’s Dark
12. Antisocial
13. In The End
14. Medusa
15. Evil Twin
16. Indians
17. Skeletons In The Closet
18. Blood Eagle Wings
19. Bring The Noise
20. A.I.R.
21. Among The Living

Formed by Ian and bassist Dan Lilker in Queens, New York on July 18th, 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.

The band’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 the group’s inclusion on the Big Four tour, and continuing with the 2011 release of comeback LP Worship Music.

7 Responses

  1. How could Anthrax celebrate 40 years and completely skip the John Bush era??? IMO, John Bush gave Anthrax more credibility as a band. Plus, John Bush’s vocals catapulted Anthrax’s “Sound Of White Noise” album to the highest charting album ever released by Anthrax.

    1. I agree. Call me different, but I actually like the Jon Bush era better than Belladonna (I also prefer Hagar to Roth). To not include even 1 song is a slap in the face. Yes, I LOVE these songs as well, but there are some killer stuff with Bush that is being completely ignored.

    2. MM,

      I am fine with Bush over Belladonna (not that I am an Anthrax fan, anyway), but Hagar over Roth? Sacrilege. 🙂

    3. I’m with Dana….I think the Roth era of Van Halen blows away the Hagar era.

      My favorite Anthrax album is with Neil Turbin as vocalist, “Fistful of Metal”.

    1. I know quite a few people who prefer the Paul Di’Anno era of Maiden, and many who favor Bon Scott era AC/DC over the Johnson years. However, in AC/DC’s case, they had no choice about replacing their lead singer.

    2. MM, I agree with your Maiden comment. “Killers” is easily my favorite Maiden album.

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