Chile on Hell
Nuclear Blast Records/Universal Music Australia
Reviewed By Peter Zischke
An excellent live release from one of the best
There’s not a lot that can be said about Anthrax that most fans won’t already know. Recent years have seen the reintroduction of vocalist Joey Belladonna, who is the band’s front man from what is probably regarded as the band’s golden age, including the absolutely amazing Among the Living and almost as excellent Spreading the Disease albums. Scott Ian has remained the band’s rock on rhythm guitar along with Frank Bello on bass, while lead guitarists have alternated between Dan Spitz, Rob Caggiano and the recently anointed Jon Donais. Whilst being “part of the furniture”, Charlie Benante has been somewhat in and out of the live lineup of late due to personal issues and injury, although super-sub Jon Dette has filled the role excellently when required.
Probably because of the absolute passion often shown by crowds in the region for great metal acts, Anthrax has joined the trend of recording a live concert release in South America. Chile on Hell was filmed at the Teatro Caupolican in Santiago, Chile on May 10, 2013, shortly after the conclusion of their North American tour in which they performed “Among the Living” in full, including as part of the Metal Alliance tour with fellow legends Exodus.
The front end of the set is pretty much taken from Among the Living (ATL), including the first four tracks in order (“Among the Living”, “Caught in a Mosh”, I Am the Law”, and “Efilnikufesin (NFL)”), which comprises one of the absolute greatest starts to any album, ever (although the whole album is near flawless). A couple more tracks from ATL are included in the set, along with what were, during this period the standard mid-set inclusions for Anthrax, “In the End” (from Worship Music) and their AC/DC cover, “TNT”, which suits Belladonna’s voice well. It was exciting to hear “Medusa” and “Madhouse” in the mix because while it may not get much love from some, Spreading the Disease is an album that most bands could only wish to produce.
The crowd, as would be expected for a live release filmed in South America, is torrid for the majority of the show, although at one point or another it seems Joey is feeling a little for feedback from the throng. Hearing/seeing the huge crowd chanting “Wasting your life, no future bright” at the introduction to “NFL” was a goose-bump experience.
Musically, the captured sound is top-notch. There have been some really good live releases in the last year or two, and this is easily up with the best of them. Individual performances in the show are, well, as you’d expect from these veterans of the thrash metal scene. Bello shows his usual entertainer persona, Ian leaves it all on the stage and along with Benante, provides a rock-solid rhythm section, while Belladonna’s vocals hold up as well now as 30 years ago and provide that “classic” Anthrax feel.
There are a few cuts in the DVD to the obligatory behind the scenes clips and some video of the band spending some time their home-town New York, with guest appearances from other musicians. These clips are generally well placed and fun, so add to the overall experience. They don’t detract from the main event.
A great live album or footage is one of the best offerings a band can give to fans. As a huge fan of Anthrax, Chile on Hell is up there with the best live releases I’ve seen/heard.
Among the Living
Caught in a Mosh
I Am the Law
A Skeleton in the Closet
In the End
In My World
Fight ‘Em Til You Can't
I'm the Man