While the thrash metal scene might not have the widespread popularity it has enjoyed in previous decades, the biggest bands from its glory days still have massive followings. Among these bands is Anthrax, the hardcore group founded by Scott Ian in the early-’80s that for some time was likened to Metallica and Slayer. Over the years, Anthrax has kept its sound sharp and its live performances legendary, resulting in a refreshing level of consistency for 30+ years. But lately, loyal Anthrax followers are likely growing frustrated with the group’s seemingly casual approach to its upcoming new album.
On the one hand, a slow-and-steady approach can be appreciated at this stage in Anthrax’s lifespan. The group is known more for live performances than anything else, and most fans will always prefer these performances, and the older music, to new material. At the same time, though, once an album is announced, it’s hard to keep even skeptical fans from getting excited.
Anthrax announced the intent to release a new album some time ago, and speculation throughout 2013 was that it might be ready for release in spring 2014. The season came and went, however, and Anthrax appeared focused on just about everything but providing updates on the status of their new music. Though, to be fair, they have been up to some fun stuff of late.
For starters, the band released a live performance DVD just this September. Titled “Chile On Hell,” the show was filmed in Santiago, Chile and explores everything a fan could want from an Anthrax collection. Speaking about the release of the DVD, the band indicated that they wanted to film a live performance in order to cap off an incredible three-year tour run following the release of their popular 2011 album “Worship Music.”
The release of the DVD also kept the band busy with promotional work, with the most notable example being Scott Ian’s bizarre Vegas experience stunt. For those unaware of Ian’s side passion when he’s not rocking with Anthrax, the guitarist actually has a background as a professional poker player. He has frequently involved himself in major tournaments and events over the years.
Ian tapped into this personal passion when promoting “Chile On Hell,” basically offering fans the chance to party with him and attend this year’s World Series Of Poker in Vegas. This promotion is now over, but you can check out how to play here if you’re interested in following Ian’s path through Vegas bars, clubs, events, and (with the right amount of skill and luck) a high-stakes table. You can’t do it with Ian, but the poker and Vegas Anthrax experience can be duplicated, which gives fans one more way to enjoy the band.
At any rate, whether playing shows, filming the live concert, promoting the DVD, and even playing some poker on the side, Anthrax and its members have been preoccupied. This has all seemingly pushed the release date of the new album back to 2015, though there are some conflicting reports.
This past June, there were reports of a concrete plan, with Anthrax supposedly set to enter the studio this fall and have the album ready by early 2015. However, just weeks later, Ian gave an interview in which he was noncommittal about studio time or any expectation for a release date. He explained that nothing is finished (despite rumours of 12 finished tracks) while adding that the band won’t rush production.
All in all, fans have been somewhat spoiled by this particular group’s consistency. And really, the DVD release made for a pretty great 2014 for Anthrax fans, as it best capture the band’s never-ceasing energy. But with the promise of another album lingering, there are certainly some fans growing impatient for new material!