I always thought that some of the most noteworthy covers in metal came from Anthrax. Antisocial was a blast. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath even better. Kiss's Parasite got a fine treatment and Dethroned Emperor was very cool, to name but a few. My favourite is probably the fab thrashing five's Joe Jackson cover Got the Time from 'Persistence of Time'.
With 'Anthems' Anthrax do the full monty: A collection of six covers and two versions of one of their own tunes from the mighty 'Worship Music' album. In for a treatment are Rush, AC/DC, Boston, Journey, Cheap Trick and Thin Lizzy, i.e. a bunch of those bands who paved the way for metaldom. I suppose Anthrax have managed to make the songs their own, although they for the most part are loyal to the originals - and, mind you, I say this without having much knowledge of or feelings for neither Boston, Journey nor Cheap Trick.
For me, Anthem, Jailbreak and TNT are immortal tunes, whereas the three other songs simply are fine rock songs, but come nowhere near the legendary status of the others.
The most interesting conclusion for me when listening to 'Anthems' I'm confirmed in my realization when I listened to 'Worship Music' for the first time; I underestimated Joey Belladonna (as I'm sure many others have done like me). A huge part of the success of Anthrax is thanks to Belladonna, methinks. His effort on 'Worship Music' is
excellent, and the same can be said for 'Anthems'. I'm surprised how well he treats these tunes. Loads of respect from this hack!
Why exactly Crawl has been included on this release, I don't know (nothing against the song, it's a high-standard tune just like the rest of the 'Worship Music' material) - and the remix makes even less sense (never was a big fan of the remixes), but, hey, it's probably a business decision of some sort.
This is a must for Anthrax fans like my self, but if it'll win over new fans, I not sure. Anyhoo, I enjoy it!