During an appearance on this past Wednesday's (November 16) episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings" album. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "The great thing about this is we're not in a rush. We wanna make sure it's the right record. We can't just throw out something that's not ready. So we're gonna really make sure it's the right record and live with it for a little bit. We have some brutal stuff and some cool stuff coming up — very heavy — we've been working on. Everybody can say that when they're working on a record. But the proof is in the pudding. I'm pretty proud of what we've come up with so far."
This past August, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian praised the production quality on some of the band's recent albums, including 2011's "Worship Music" and "For All Kings". He said: [On] 'Worship [Music]' and 'For All Kings', for me, we've really kind of found our sound. We've got this base level where we're at right now with [producer] Jay Ruston where we know it's gonna be great, and then we could push it even further. Especially with the songwriting that we have right now, going into what will eventually be a new ANTHRAX album, it just lends itself to even a more aggressive production which I think we will have no problem accomplishing."
In April, Scott confirmed to Metal Injection that ANTHRAX had a few songs already written for the upcoming LP. "All I can say is we will get in the studio when we're ready, which I hope is this year," he said. "I would love that. I think we're getting there. I think we have great songs. I think people will be very happy.
"Not to make a weird comparison, but it's our third record back together with [singer] Joey [Belladonna]. Actually, it's an odd comparison. I should just say it's our third album since our kind of our reboot in 2010 and our third album back in the day was 'Among The Living'. I'm not saying that this is [like that album], because it's not 'Among The Living II' in any sense, but I just think we have some great songs and there's like a fucking mountain of great riffs. I think people are going to be very happy."
Ian previously discussed ANTHRAX's upcoming LP during a July 2021 appearance on Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. At the time, he said: "We've been at it for a little while now. We actually started writing in '19 — pre-COVID — and kind of stepped away from things when COVID happened. We were all separate and apart and we would kind of revisit some of the demos, but we weren't actively working on it.
"Yeah, it's the same as it's always been," he said. "I would have to think by the time we get to the other side of the writing process and we decide we're ready to go record it, I would have to assume it's certainly going to represent this time in our lives. And the world having gone through a pandemic, I would imagine certainly that's in some way, shape or form going to come out through this next record. I can't tell you how yet, but I would have to think it's going to."
ANTHRAX celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2021 with a number of special activities and events. Formed by Ian and bassist Dan Lilker in Queens, New York on July 18, 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".
"For All Kings" was called by some critics ANTHRAX's strongest album to date. Its arrival followed a five-year period during which the group experienced a rebirth of sorts, beginning with ANTHRAX's inclusion on the "Big Four" tour, and continuing with the release of comeback LP "Worship Music".