Anthrax, who recently announced that Shadows Fall guitarist Jon Donais will step in for the departing Rob Caggiano is set to release Anthems, an eight-track EP that pays tribute to the classic songs by some of Anthrax's favorite bands from the 1970s on March 19. Anthems' track listing features Rush's "Anthem," Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak," "TNT" by AC/DC, Boston's "Smokin'," "Big Eyes" by Cheap Trick, Journey's "Keep on Runnin," as well as the album version and a special remix of Anthrax's "Crawl" from the band's critically-acclaimed 2011 album Worship Music.
Said the band's vocalist Joey Belladonna, "These are all bands I grew up with and have listened to forever. It's just great music. I had fun singing these songs and I was happy recording together with Anthrax, doing classic rock songs. Fun stuff!"
On Boston's "Smokin'," Anthrax brought in a special guest to play keyboards - Fred Mandel, who has played with Alice Cooper, Queen, Elton John, Cheap Trick, Supertramp and on Pink Floyd's The Wall. About the track, drummer Charlie Benante said, "If ever there were a perfect first album, it's Boston's first album. The harmony leads they did would later be heard by Iron Maiden, which of course would lead to thrash metal."
The EP will be available on CD as well as digitally via iTunes and other online retailers. In addition to Anthems' cover art (attached), Benante and artist Stephen Thompson have subtly redesigned each track's original album cover art to "Anthrax" it. The Anthems EP will first be housed in one of the "re-imagined" digipak covers, and then inserted inside the main CD cover sleeve. The main cover sleeve has been designed in such a way so fans will be able to see which one of the six "re-imagined" covers is inside.
Anthems was produced by Anthrax, Jay Ruston and Rob Caggiano, and recorded for the most part throughout 2012 literally all over the world: at Benante's home studio, in Ruston's New York studio, on the band's tour bus while on last summer's Mayhem Tour, in hotel rooms, and backstage at their Berlin show last December.
The Grammy-nominated Anthrax - Belladonna, Benate/drums, Scott Ian/guitar and Frank Bello/bass - will hit the road in support Anthems on February 16 with dates in India and Australia, and then return to North America to headline the Metal Alliance Tour that kicks off March 22. For all of these dates, Anthrax will be joined by Shadows Fall guitarist Jon Donais.