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Exclusive: Anthrax Brings New Music to Guitar World HQ

Monday, June 6, drummer Charlie Benante from Anthrax stopped by Guitar World HQ to play us some new songs from the band's long-awaited new album, Worship Music. A few lucky staffers got to hear two fully mixed songs and a couple of rough mixes.

Here are some first impressions:

1) Charlie started with two of the "fast songs," which were chocked full of heavy riffing, quick changes and Joey Belladonna screaming his head off about fire and zombies and the like. Any fears about his voice holding up over the years will be silenced quickly. As Charlie said, "He basically had a 15-year break!"

2) There was an almost seven-minute-long track that was written in memory of Dimebag and Dio; it was as heavy and catchy as it was touching (tears successfully held back). Charlie informed us that he even played some leads on that song. Speaking of leads, Rob Caggiano killed it on all the tracks we heard.

3) Charlie played the song "Judas Priest," an homage to the band which samples lyrics and ideas from the entirety of the Priest catalog. Awesome.

4) The album art, which looked like an apocalyptic continuation of the cover art from 2003's We've Come For You All, looked phenomenal. Even just seeing a small version on Charlie's iPhone let me know I'd be getting it on vinyl (if it comes out on vinyl; no word on that yet), just for the artwork.

We were promised more new 'Thrax in the coming weeks, so when we hear it, you'll be the first to know. Worship Music is out Sept. 13 on Megaforce Records.

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Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.