March 24, 2017
If there is an upside to the decline of record sales it has to be some of the bonus/deluxe editions that come out almost as quick as the original release itself. Sometimes the “deluxe” edition can underwhelm (I’m looking in your direction Ace Frehley) but some are undoubtedly awesome. Enter Anthrax’s latest foray into the realm of collectors editions, The For All Kings 7 Inch Boxset, which plunges into the awesome.
Throughout their career Anthrax has continually find ways to do something… cool. And this box of 10 7″ singles is cool. While it ain’t cheap ($79.99 retail) it sure ain’t half assed. This baby comes in a beautiful box filled with 10 7″ slabs of vinyl with picture sleeves so emaculate you’ll find yourself renting Back To The Future just to see if there if time travel is feasible with hopes of traveling back to 70’s when picture sleeve 45’s were all the rave.
Content wise there is little that merits the price point. In addition to the 11 tracks from For All Kings album you get 5 of those songs in demo form. Most of which sound pretty close to the album version sans vocals. An unreleased track called “All The Vices” which is solid. And two covers. The Kansas classic “Carry On My Wayward Son” and the White Stripes track “Black Math”. I don’t really see the point of the demo’s included. The day and age of modern recording makes demos fairly boring unless there is a significant difference that offers the diehard some insight into how the songs were fleshed out. And these don’t. Some early 80’s Thrax’ demo’s would’ve been more juicy. While I am not much of a fan of covers Anthrax is been one of the best all time bands at delivering fantastic covers. Of the two on here the White Stripes “Black Math” is the only one worth a second listen. The totally unnecessary “Carry On My Wayward Son” belongs on the regrettable Anthems EP. A paint by numbers recreation of a song so over played most people have no idea how they know it, seems a waste of the talent in this band.
Lets face it. You’re not going to drop 80 bucks for two covers, an unreleased track and some demos. I can almost guarantee those will be available at some point at a more reasonable price point. You buy this because you are a fan. You buy this because you are a collector. You buy this to bring out as a talking point at parties. Just don’t let anyone touch it. You buy this because it’s fucking cool. Longtime Anthrax fans especially. Treat yourself. Maybe give the babysitter a few weeks off and give a shelf in your man-cave or she-shed this tasteful little homage to past and present.
I may not think content alone is worth this purchase I do realize anyone willing to commit 80 bucks to a lovely piece as this probably wants to hear those songs regardless. So you may be wondering if you need a turntable to hear them. While I highly recommend that anyone willing to make this level of music purchase own an actual turntable put your weary heart to rest. This comes with a download card for all included tracks.
If you managed to read this far I’m guessing you are at least considering it. Do it. DO IT! Just kidding. It’s a shit ton of money for an album you probably already have. But it’s a cool product and it won’t be around forever. It is a must for collectors. Which I’m quite positive was the objective. And once again Anthrax delivered.