Apr 2, 2013 - The Summit Music Hall
Door Time: 5:30 PM
Presented By: 106.7 KBPI, Metalix & Indepedent Records

Day: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Door Time: 5:30 PM
Location: The Summit Music Hall - 1902 Blake St., Denver, CO.
Age: All Ages
Advance Ticket Price: $29.99
Day Of Show Price: $35
Buy Tickets

The Metal Alliance Tour
The Metal Alliance Tour 2013, featuring Anthrax, Exodus, High On Fire, Municipal Waste, and Holy Grail


TV has soap operas, literature has Shakespeare, and metal – well, metal has Anthrax, that fire-breathing, thrash-spitting, multi-headed beast of a band that – 30 years since the day Scott Ian and then-bassist Danny Lilker searched a biology textbook for the disease that would become their moniker – smiles back at you with a monstrous, upturned middle finger and refuses to fucking die. But then, if you have an inkling about heavy metal, you'll have heard of their meteoric rise in the 80s alongside the likes of Slayer, Megadeth, and a little band that once crashed on Anthrax's studio floor known as Metallica. You'll know all about their game-changing, crossover hit with Public Enemy on Bring The Noise in 1991. You'll have listened to generations of bands that owe everything to their signature stomp and crushing riffs. And in more recent times, you'll have witnessed an almost irrational will to survive in defiance of monumental odds. And that, true believers, is the story of one of the most doggedly heroic bands in metaldom on the cusp of their greatest release to date. The road has not been easy.

Rewind to 2005. Hot on the heels of 2003's rapturously received We've Come For You All, a unanimously praised, end-to-end scorcher spearheaded by vocalist John Bush, Anthrax shocked the metal world with the announcement that singer Joey Belladonna would be re-joining the band for a classic, 80s-era reunion that would sweep them around the world on a wave of head-banging nostalgia, but more importantly, reconnecting the band as friends and as the brutal thrash machine that gave the world Among The Living.  

Once that tour finished, Anthrax returned to discover that John Bush had moved on, and they would need to recruit yet another singer for the recording of their follow-up to WCFYA, the album that would become Worship Music, their tenth studio album.  The band worked with one singer for a period of time, but in 2009, they were still without the right vocalist. 

“There was no way I was going to let anything derail my life's work,” says Scott Ian. “We've been through more drama than most bands experience in a lifetime. Granted, we didn't have to deal with somebody dying or some tragic situation but at the same time we really did face an uncertain future. For lack of a better way to explain it, I am a tenacious prick, and if I want something to happen I will make it so. It's always been like that. It touches on the 30th anniversary. I think back to July 18, 1981. Danny Lilker and I were friends and I always said to him, 'when White Heat [Lilker’s band at the time] break up, we're forming Anthrax,' and he was like, 'we're not breaking up.' I've always been like that, and with such an amazing record to put out, there's no way I was going to let anything screw that up.”

Refusing to accept their predicament, the remaining members rallied themselves in a spine-tingling gesture of conviction and self-belief for what would become the single greatest metal event of the 21st century, the first-ever performance of The Big 4. According to Charlie Benante, getting the band's proverbial excrement together for that gig was just the motivation that Anthrax needed to spit out the blood and get back on their feet.

“The genesis of this whole Big 4 idea – and you could say the idea of getting Joey back in the band full time - was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Benante continues. “It was me, Lars, and Scott talking at the bar, bullshitting, and Lars just blurted it out. It was such a surreal moment, we weren't sure if he was taking the piss out of us and all of a sudden it just happened. It made us really say 'we need to step this up and get this thing going.' It was because of that that we were pushed into this direction. Metallica gave us the kick in the ass that we needed.”

“Joey was the band’s vocalist from ’85 to ’92, the time period when ‘The Big Four’ started,” added Scott, “so we felt he had to be the guy to represent us on these Big Four shows, and he had to be the guy on the new record.”

Rob Caggiano picks up the story – “So Charlie called Joey, they started talking and Joey expressed an interest.  Then we all met with him in New York and while the vibe was really good, none of us really knew what to expect. Then we did the first Big 4 show with Joey, I think that’s when we all knew that this was right. The vibe was amazing, he sounds better than he’s ever sounded, including the reunion tour.”

Reuniting with Joey Belladonna for a whirlwind, globe-stomping tour that would see Anthrax playing shoulder to shoulder with Slayer, Megadeth and old pals Metallica, the explosive success of The Big 4 would suddenly beg the question of what would happen next, and more to the point: who would sing on Worship Music, and how would Anthrax approach the follow-up to We’ve Come For You All?  It wasn’t easy, but – from the ferocious attack of “Earth on Hell” to the red-blooded might of “Fight’em ‘Til You Can’t,” the results have been nothing less than horn-conjuring.

“The majority of this record was about 55% done before we even had a singer in mind,” explains Charlie. “It was me, Scott and Frankie in our rehearsal room, the same way we wrote Spreading the Disease - with no singer in mind. But I'll never forget the day I first heard Joey singing, I got goosebumps, I got excited - all I could think of in my mind was 'how will he sing this song' and it was just amazing to me. Every time I heard the next song I would be like, 'this rules.'”

“The process leading up to it was painful but I think being in Anthrax is painful,” says bassist Frank Bello with a laugh. “I think everything happens for a reason and to listen to this record now, this is the reason it had to happen that way, and I am loving Joey's voice. I'm listening and I'm thinking 'you know I can't tell you when he sang better.' I'm not gonna kiss his ass that much but I really think the guy just doesn't age. He weirds me out because he just goes out there and sings like a bird, amazingly, with power. He came into a hard situation. He really rose to it. When Joey came in it was like the icing on the cake for me. ”

Joey agrees: “It's not easy to throw someone in there and try to wash away what you've done and how you've done it,” says Joey. “I feel honored, but I also feel like I've done a lot to be there, I wasn't just saying 'oh I've got a chance again.' I just thought I'd be who I was without being like 'can I be like someone else?' I just went in and sang with the best intentions. I just did whatever came from my heart to the best of my abilities, and it worked.”

And that is an understatement. Co-produced by Rob Caggiano and Jay Ruston (both Grammy-nominated producers), the album takes its name from one of Charlie's late-night bouts of insomnia where, while flipping through TV channels he stumbled upon a religious-themed infomercial entitled “Worship Music.” A fitting sentiment for an undeniable masterwork of skewering melodies powered by herculean riffage and a tunefulness that bespeaks Anthrax's utter supremacy as songwriters. From the haunting, ethereal tones of “Worship” – an atmospheric piece composed by Charlie himself – to the punch-in-the-face assault of opening track “Earth On Hell,” the results are positively badass. But that isn't to say Worship Music is without its deeper subtexts.

“The song “In the End” has a melancholy feel to it,” says Charlie. “It has nothing to do with the band, but two people who had a lot to do with our band, Dimebag and Ronnie James Dio.  They were both heroes and huge influences on us.  Darrell played on the last three Anthrax records, a sixth member if you will, and Ronnie was always a champion for us, taking us on tour, just being so amazing to us always.  It had to be made, and it was very cathartic.”

“It's just an epic piece of music,” adds Scott. “Of course in the back of my mind I was thinking, 'if somehow I could get this in the lyrics without it being completely cornball, that song would just lend itself to expressing the feelings and emotions about how we felt about what those guys meant to us -- Did we ever tell you how much we loved you tearing my head off tearing my face off ripping my heart out.”  I meant that in a good way. The first time I ever heard Ronnie James Dio, my world was fucked forever.”

Of course, Worship Music also features a far more obvious musical tribute about Anthrax's greatest inspiration, Judas Priest, mysteriously entitled... “Judas Priest.”

“We wrote it right at the time the announcement came that they were retiring,” says Scott. “I just got so bummed out about it, almost the same way I felt with Ronnie dying or Darrell getting killed, it was a similar emotion, like: 'is this what it's like now, I'm just going to see my heroes go?' It kind of depressed me. The thought of a world without Judas Priest is just weird, so I remember talking to Charlie and we agreed we should just write a song called ‘Judas Priest.’ It was such an overtly, metal song, and that in of itself is the tribute.”


Alongside the colossal crescendo of “Crawl” and the irresistible catchiness of “The Devil You Know,” Worship Music is a record of mass destruction to be released upon the world, and to the delight of fans everywhere it already began when, in July, the Anthrax.com was updated with new artwork by universally acclaimed comic artist Alex Ross and an offering of “Fight’em ‘Til You Can't” as a free download that swept across the internet like a thrash metal hurricane.

“Basically, we made our fans wait so long so it was like 'why make our fans pay for it?” says Charlie. “They've waited so long, so here's a gift.'”

“’Fight’em ‘Til You Can't’ is about humans fighting the Cylons,” adds Scott, referring to the title’s relationship to a famous line in the recently re-imagined space epic “Battlestar Galactica.” “My take is more Zombie-oriented than Cylon oriented, but I think you could absolutely read it as Anthrax fighting until we can't. I'm sure that was in the back of my mind. As much as I like the idea of it just being a fun-filled Zombie killing romp, that emotional thread pretty much runs through everything I'm doing lyrically, you can't keep me down, I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do.”

Given that this year Anthrax celebrates its 30th anniversary of fighting the good fight, Scott's sentiment is a poignant one. So how does it feel to be releasing a new record over three decades since you began?

“It freaks me out actually, that that much time has gone by,” says Charlie. “In my mind I still feel like the same person from back then, but if we were to do this ten years ago, I would be more concerned about staying relevant and this time I could care less about staying relevant. It's about doing what I think our fans enjoy.

“I truly can't put it into any kind of context because we're just so busy, you know? We're sitting here with this setup of a record in the middle of playing shows with so much going on, so I guess I could say nothing is changed, things are exactly the same as when we're working toward the next thing and that's maybe somehow some way we've always been able to move forward, always looking forward and never stopping - it's never been that way with Anthrax, even just this constant struggle to find band members who would commit to rehearsing for four nights a week and having to fire them, it was constantly moving forward until we recorded Fistful of Metal, well we've gotta go on tour and sell t-shirts, and we've gotta get rid of Neil Turbin, and then we found Joey... In 2011 my day is still filled with what's happening with Anthrax, and I love this new record and how it represents our whole career in Anthrax. I can't wait for people to hear it.”


Exodus“I’m not happy unless I see someone out there in the pit, bleeding and smiling.” – Gary Holt

For the troops in the trenches, it began in 1982 with a low generation copy of a local band’s three-song demo. For some, it began with their first listen to Combat Records’ version of Bonded By Blood in 1986. Still others will say what really mattered began on August 11th, 2001. Regardless of the year, these dates all have one thing in common: the tenacity of Gary Holt.

One cannot discuss the power and influence of EXODUS without going into the genealogy of metal music itself. Long hailed as the band that spawned the burgeoning Bay Area Thrash scene in the early ‘80s, the band’s most admirable quality is that the word “surrender” has never existed in lead guitarist/songwriter/General-In-Chief Gary Holt’s vocabulary. Surviving decampment (original guitarist Kirk Hammett left to join Metallica in 1983), death (original vocalist Paul Baloff died in early 2002), untimely disaster (long-time second vocalist Steve Souza abandoned the band in 2004 on the eve of a South American tour), dejection (original drummer Tom Hunting was incapacitated by panic attacks in May 2005), and drug abuse (guitar comrade-in-arms Rick Hunolt’s resignation in June 2005 was due in part to addiction issues), it would have been easier for many to interpret these events as a signal to retire, but then again, not everyone is Gary Holt.

At the beginning of their career, EXODUS gained huge notoriety in the international underground scene as a result of the tape trading community. Their dynamic guitar riffing, adrenaline-inducing drum work, and bloodied live shows made all the difference in the band’s mission to take Bay Area Thrash to a worldwide audience. By 1983, the band line-up included guitarist Rick Hunolt and bassist Rob McKillop and had inspired the likes of Metallica, Testament, Death Angel, and Vio-lence. EXODUS’ debut, the immortal, must-have, undisputed thrash classic Bonded By Blood was released in 1985 via Torrid Records (then re-released in 1986 on Combat Records), and a vast tour with Slayer and Venom propelled the band into a household name.

Shortly before recording Pleasures Of The Flesh (their 1987 album for Combat Records), lead vocalist Paul Baloff left the band due to personal and musical differences and was replaced by ex-Legacy vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza. That line-up’s creativity led to Combat’s Fabulous Disaster in 1989, and ultimately awarded the band with a major label contract with Capitol Records. 1990’s Impact Is Imminent and 1992’s Force Of Habit had EXODUS steadily touring with Pantera, Suicidal Tendencies, Anthrax Motörhead, Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Megadeth; however, the changing musical climate brought on by the commercial infiltration of grunge dawned the death of the careers for the majority of the scene’s metal bands, including EXODUS. A brief reunion with original vocalist Baloff occurred in 1997 long enough for the band to recruit bassist Jack Gibson (Vile), tour through Europe and North America, and record their second live album, Another Lesson In Violence.

Four years later, EXODUS’ future convened in an unexpected way on August 11th, 2001. Holt, Hunting, Baloff, Hunolt and Gibson were invited to participate – alongside the Souza-led Legacy, Heathen, Forbidden Evil, Anthrax, Death Angel, and Vio-lence – in the spectacularly billed Thrash Of The Titans benefit show for Testament singer Chuck Billy, who was suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. Originally intended as a one-off show by many of the enlisted performers, Thrash Of The Titans single-handedly paved the way for the reunion of many Bay Area thrash bands that had literally vanished from the scene. Following the benefit, EXODUS began writing music again, but Baloff’s untimely death from a stroke on February 2nd, 2002 placed the reformation attempt on hold. Launching a search for a new vocalist, it was Souza who ultimately returned to the microphone to help record EXODUS’ 2004 visceral comeback album, Tempo Of The Damned. Produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Andy Sneap (Megadeth/Arch Enemy/ Kreator) and featuring artwork by Jowita Kaminska, the universal euphoria generated by TOTD (which landed on innumerable “Best Of 2004” lists in magazines around the world) suggested an invigorating new start for EXODUS, but the subsequent exit of Souza, Hunolt, and Hunting within a year depleted the band of three classic members… and the future looked grim.

Yet, in less time than most people have EVER seen a band emerge from member loss-induced hibernation, Holt recruited two long-standing musicians who lived and breathed the same Bay Area vitality that flowed in EXODUS’ blood. On the drum throne, he appointed one of the most highly credentialed metal drummers in the world: ex-Slayer/ex-Forbidden/ex-Testament/ex-Systematic Paul Bostaph. To pick up where Hunolt left off, Holt selected godly Heathen guitarist Lee Altus who admittedly waited 20 years for the invitation to join the band. To replace Souza, a daring choice was made in enlisting a virtually unknown singer: guitar-tech-turned-lead-vocalist Rob Dukes, who had enough hate and vitriolic venom within him to convincingly spit out Holt’s murderous lyrics. The internal restructuring skyrocketed EXODUS’ talent meter, making this a dream line-up for legions of thrash metal fans all over the world.

Produced by Gary Holt, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap, and armed with the necessary maniacal passion, pain, and conviction to battle adversity, 2005’s Shovel Headed Kill Machine, EXODUS’ seventh studio album, upheld the musical veracity of thrash metal’s very foundation and pillaged straight ahead like a lead-filled battering ram into the “Top 5 Albums” year-end poll by Decibel Magazine. “When it comes to writing and performing the thrash metal they helped invent more than two decades ago,” cited Outburn Magazine, “EXODUS can hold their heads high as the reigning kings.” Two years later, their musical direction has not faltered.

Imported from England in the summer of 2007 to re-join EXODUS at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California and record what will surely become a career- and genre-defining album was producer Andy Sneap. Featuring artwork by Seth Siron Anton (Vader, Decapitated, Belphegor) and upping the ante for all other thrash metal albums to be released this upcoming year, The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A is the Master Of Puppets for this modern era’s thrash scene, a visceral auditory realization of collective consciousness that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end with intimate recognition of its omnipotence. For those curious about the total number of heart-racing, eyebrow-raising, raise-your-fist-in-the-air guitar riffs, rip-tide bass lines, and double-bass flurries included on the album, only one word can convey it: Fuggeddaboutit.

Affirming original drummer Tom Hunting’s exultant return into the band’s ranks is the opening drum march/battle cry “Call To Arms” that quickly bleeds into the mayhem-inducing “Riot Act”; quick to haunt you are the philosophical ponderations of war in “Children Of A Worthless God” and “As It Was, As It Soon Shall Be”; sure to impress are the guitar tonalities, the righteously complex shredding, and the overall sophisticated finesse of “The Atrocity Exhibition,” “Iconoclasm,” and “Funeral Hymn.” Crowning off The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A’s sonic coup d-état is the cacophonous pacing of “Bedlam 1-2-3” which will not only ensure a dramatic rise in the National Blood Loss Index of countless mosh pits around the world, but will transform them all into Eternal Gardens of Bleeding.

Can you picture Gary Holt smiling as he sees the blood splatter before him?


High On Fire
High On FireIt was the late, great novelist and caffeine enthusiast Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) who said, “Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true.” And yet High On Fire have managed to do all three. Since the Oakland power trio’s inception in 1998 they’ve released six earth-splitting albums, each seemingly more unstoppable than the last. Forever haunting the halls of the Iommic Temple—the band’s own philosophical monument to Black Sabbath riff master Tony Iommi—High On Fire have become legends in their own time. As bong-huffing genre music rises and falls around them like so much windborne detritus, guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike, drummer Des Kensel and bassist Jeff Matz comprise the all-seeing eye of a perpetual riff-storm, always looking toward a future in which The End is always near.

After unleashing one of the most momentous debuts in the history of heavy music with 2000’s The Art Of Self-Defense, High On Fire doubled down in 2002 with the absolutely punishing Surrounded By Thieves, an album that even notoriously finicky music website Pitchfork rated an 8.8 out of 10. “Surrounded By Thieves pushes drones to its limits, with a crushing wall of bass tones guaranteed to alter heart rhythms and weaken building infrastructures,” they gushed, before adding the obvious disclaimer: “If you’ve never experienced street drugs, it’s a safe bet you probably won't enjoy this album.”

And the hits just kept on coming: High On Fire’s 2005 album, Blessed Black Wings, was named one of the top 50 albums of the 21st century by prominent UK music weekly Kerrang!  In 2007, the band’s Death Is This Communion ranked # 3 on Revolver magazine’s year-end list, while landing the # 4 spot in Total Guitar. That same year, Matt Pike was named one of rock’s “New Guitar Gods” by Rolling Stone.

Fast forward to 2012 and High On Fire’s new album, De Vermis Mysteriis. Produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou at God City Studios in Salem, MA, the record marks the next devastating chapter in High On Fire’s gloriously unhinged metal saga. “It’s a fuckin’ awesome album,” Pike enthuses. “I think it’s kind of a cross between the experimentation of Death Is This Communion and the driving darkness of Blessed Black Wings. There’s plenty of thrashy stuff, but there’s also a lot of Sabbathy doom-type stuff.”

“We didn’t try to plan it all out this time,” he adds. “We kind of waited ’til we were on the spot and had to do something. We had the basic skeletons of the songs—we were prepared—but there was a lot of improvisation. There’s a lot of soul on this one, and it’s got a rollercoaster kind of feel.”

The album’s title (translation: “The Mysteries of the Worm,”) is a nod to a fictional grimoire conceived by the late, great Psycho author Robert Bloch in 1935 and later incorporated into horror master H.P. Lovecraft’s renowned Cthulu Mythos. “It’s a concept record, a little bit,” Pike offers. “I got this idea about Jesus Christ and the Immaculate Conception: What if Jesus had a twin who died at birth to give Jesus his life? And then what if the twin became a time traveler right then? He lives his life only going forward until he finds this scroll from an ancient Chinese alchemist who derived a serum out of the black lotus—which is actually in Robert E. Howard’s ‘Conan’ stories—and then he starts traveling back in time. He can see the past through his ancestors’ eyes, but his enemies can kill him if they kill the ancestor that he’s seeing through at the time. Basically, he keeps waking up in other people’s bodies at bad times. It’s kinda like that old TV show Quantum Leap. Kurt actually pointed that out to me after I told him the idea. But whatever—time travel is a killer concept.”

“Most people won’t even get it, so I’m explaining it now—once,” he concludes. “After this, I’m done telling the story to people. So please make sure this gets printed.”


Municipal Waste
Municipal Waste

Municipal Waste is a thrash metal/crossover thrash band from Richmond, Virginia. They performed at the UK's Download Festival on June 15, 2008, on the tuborg stage. They also joined At the Gates on their "Suicidal Final Tour" along with Darkest Hour, Toxic Holocaust and Repulsion. The group's fourth album (and third for the Earache label), Massive Aggressive was released in August 2009.

In 2010, the band was confirmed as being part of the soundtrack for Namco Bandai Games' 2010 remake of Splatterhouse.

Holy Grail
Holy GrailA Thousand Scales for A Thousand Days