The Stage: Death Angel, Testament and Anthrax – 11.7.11

The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD


Once news of this tour got across the interwebs, I knew there was no chance of missing this classic thrash lineup. I met up with friends, and headed one to Silver Spring. The line was already down the block in front of the club, and there was still an hour before doors opened. We ventured off to Sushi Jin, 1/2 block away for some good pre-show eats. Bellies full and ready to thrash, we step outside to see the line had grown and stretched around the corner and all the way down the block. Not a big problem til we realized how slow the door security at the Fillmore is, and Death Angel had already started playing. Once I finally got inside, and Death Angel was on their second song of the night, and the place was already thrashing and going crazy.

With a mix of old and new songs in their 7-song set, the Bay Area thrashers were more intense than some headlining acts. My personal favorite was Seemingly Endless Time from 1990’s Act III. Flawless guitar, and spot-on backing vocals. Hoping these guys do a tour of their own soon.


Up next was the mighty Testament. Playing songs from every album (except Low and Demonic), Testament ripped their way through 13 songs without missing a beat.The crowd went crazy (ok, I did too) for such classics such as Over The Wall, The New Order, and The Preacher, and throwing in 2 from The Formation of Damnation and 2 from The Gathering. 

The lineup nowadays is actually 4 of the original 5 members, the one exception being drumming mastermind Gene “The Atomic Clock” Hoglan, by far one of the best drummers in metal today.Chuck Billy commanded the crowd, all the while laying air guitar with his mic stand (ya gotta love him). Definitely a fantastic set from these long-time thrash heroes.

 To finish the night was NY thrash legends Anthrax.

Recently reunited (again) with original singer Joey Belladonna (ok, I know Neil Turbin was the first singer in Anthrax, but c’mon…Joey was the original), and a critically acclaimed new album (the fantastic Worship Music), Anthrax came out full throttle, no holds barred. Opening with new songs Earth on Hell and Fight Em Til You Can’t, they tore their way through a 15 song set that never let up. The crowd responded in kind, with one of the biggest mosh pits I have seen in quite some time. During the “WAR DANCE!” breakdown of Indians, practically the entire floor of the Fillmore was one huge pit.

Scott Ian jokingly referred to the crowd as “doing the P90X workout since they hit the stage”. Playing 5 new songs in the set, no Anthrax show would be complete without playing the classics from their penultimate classic, Among The Living – Caught in a Mosh, Among the Living, N.F.L., Indians, and the ode to futuristic lawman Judge Dredd, I Am The Law (my personal Anthrax favorite). The songs from Worship Music were very well recieved, but the classic Anthrax tunes are what really got the crowd worked up. During the encore, the even went further back in the catalog, playing Metal Thrashing Mad and Madhouse. Before the night was through, Joey went up behind drummer Charlie Benante and they brought extra toms out. Scott Ian announces “this one is for Andreas” and they tear into a blistering version of Sepultura’s Refuse/Resist, much to the crowd (and this guy’s) delight. (note: Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser filled in for Scott Ian at some European festivals this year while Scott’s baby was born, thus the dedication to Andreas).Anthrax was definitely on their A game, with Joey sounding amazing, the same frenetic energy from Scott Ian and Frank Bello, killer guitar riffage from guitarist Rob Caggiano, and of course the machine gun timing of drummer Charlie Benante. After closing the show with I Am The Law, the crowd was just completely spent, and in most of the faces I saw nothing but tired smiles all around.

All 3 bands definitely proved that while their classic material has stood the test of time, their new music is far from a cheap throwback, it is a huge step forward for the future of thrash metal, which they proved tonight is definitely alive and well.



3 Responses to “The Stage: Death Angel, Testament and Anthrax – 11.7.11”

  1. […] the old metal from my high school days has been bouncing around in my head lately, after the Anthrax concert, and reconnecting with some old high school buddies. Reminded me of one of my favorite concerts […]

  2. […] Worship Music was by far my most anticipated release of 2011. Anthrax has been one of my favorite metal bands through the years, dating back to Among The Living. This was Joey Belladonna’s grand return to the Anthrax fold, and it does not disappoint. excellent writing, powerful songs, and Joey in superb form. All of that carried over to their live show, where they performed with a renewed energy that was infectuous, the crowd hailing not only the classics but the new songs as well (Read my live review here) […]

  3. […] tonight with Testament and Death Angel (see my review for the previous show at the Fillmore here). I, sadly, will not be going, having to work at the 930 Club at the George Clinton and Parliament […]

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