First things first: Here's the new Anthrax! They didn't change their name! Fuck you, terrorists! Folks, it simply needed to be said.
That out of the way, I absolutely love albums like this from bands that have been around for a while. No pandering to current trends, no "hope you enjoy our new direction", no sounding humbled by not playing the enormo-domes of decades past, none of that noise. In its place: quality music, written and performed in the style and spirit of the group's salad days. This may just end up being one of the easiest reviews of the year: if hearing a new album from Anthrax sounds like something you'd enjoy doing in 2011, proceed without caution: Worship Music delivers the goods. The band are tight, the songs and arrangements honed to perfection, and I think I like returning vocalist Joey Belladonna's voice better now than I did way back when; age has taken the shrill quality from the top end of his range, and his control has improved immeasurably since the Persistence of Time days. The band's ability to swing between silly and serious lyrical matter without sounding forced on either end of the spectrum remains intact as well: both the emotionally heavy "In the End" and the utterly ridiculous, zombie-killing nonsense of "Fight 'Em Til You Can't" rank among the high points of a very consistent album.
And that's it. Really, there's no point in my going into any further detail: if you still harbor a sweet tooth for '80s metal, non-glam division, Worship Music will give you good reason to rejoice. If not, it's an album that wastes no time trying to sucker you in with any sort of gimmicks. That's the beauty of the thing, actually.