Alive 2 The DVD (DVD)
Reuniting to spreading the disease once again
Possibly one of the biggest points of discussion in the metal world in 2005 was Anthrax's decision to reunite and tour with the classic Among The Living line-up of vocalist Joey Belladonna, guitarists Scott Ian and Dan Spitz, bassist Frankie Bello and drummer Charlie Benante. The band's vocalist for 13 years, John Bush (ex-Armored Saint) and long time lead guitarist Rob Caggiano made way (or were forced to make way depending on your point of view) for Belladonna and Spitz. The reunion marks the band's twentieth anniversary of the classic line-up. At this point in time, it shouldn't be a surprise that both a live DVD and CD (from their show at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville New Jersey (U.S.A.) on June 3 2005) have appeared but the real forward movement will be in a new album should that come to fruition.
With the nostalgia factor associated with the reunion, there's nothing unusual in the fact that the setlist is Persistence Of Time (from 1990) backwards. The only non-“classic line-up” track is Deathrider (from their 1984 debut album Fistful Of Metal which featured Neil Turbin on vocals and Dan Lilker on bass). Other than that, Spreading The Disease (represented by A.I.R., Madhouse and Medusa), Among The Living (with Among The Living, Caught In A Mosh, Efilnekufesin (N.F.L.), Indians and I Am The Law getting a showing), State Of Euphoria (Be All End All) and Persistence Of Time (Time, In My World) are represented to varying degrees as the 2005 version of the 1985 Anthrax line-up is caught on tape for the second time (the first being the home video release Oedivnekufesin (N.F.V.) in almost full effect (sans the Indian headdress and a couple of other bits and pieces associated with that classic era). There are plenty of cameras capturing the band's energy on stage and the visual representation of Anthrax 2005 is matched perfectly by the enveloping and well balanced Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Accompanying the band's live performance is a 50 minute documentary that contains interviews with the band members before and after they had met face to face for the first time in 13 odd years, a colourful view of the band's history which features old live footage and pictures backing the band's commentary of their past, and their eventual first reunion rehearsal. Along side that is what could be considered the documentary outtakes in State Of Euphoria, a very hit and miss and occasionally annoying interview with Fuse network's Juliya Chernetsky, a photo gallery, the completely unnecessary and out of place press conference in which the band discuss their name and take a stance against the US Government's mandatory vaccination scheme for Gulf War personnel and a bonus live track in Lone Justice from the same show. Why that wasn't just included in the main feature I'll never know.
Some of the extra features mentioned above are questionable in their quality and relevance. That aside (as they are only extras), the main concert feature and the band's history doco are both very entertaining watches. The history side of things will please any hardcore fan and even those who are casual fans will find some of the information fascinating and just down right entertaining. The concert is well shot and edited, sounds great and will definitely please both old and new fans that are on the positive side of the band's decision to pursue this course of action.
(Sanctuary Records/Riot! Distribution)