ANTHRAX‘s new album, “For All Kings”, sold 34,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart. According to Billboard.com, ANTHRAX was last in the top 10 back in 1993 with “Sound Of White Noise”, which debuted and peaked at No. 7. “For All Kings” also gives ANTHRAX its largest sales week for an album since “Sound Of White Noise”‘s second week on sale (40,000; it debuted with 62,000).
“For All Kings” is ANTHRAX‘s first studio album since 2011’s “Worship Music” (No. 12 peak with 28,000 sold in its first week) and follows the 2013 covers set “Anthems” (No. 52; 8,000 sold in its debut frame).
“For All Kings” also topped the Hard Rock Albums chart in both the U.S. and Canada, and landed at No. 5 and No. 7, respectively, on the U.S. and Canada’s Top Current Albums charts. Additionally, “For All Kings” debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart, No. 2 on the Independent Albums chart, No. 4 Physical Albums, and No. 5 Vinyl Albums chart.
“We share this Top 10 victory with all of our fans,” said ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante. “Heavy metal is alive and well.”
Since “For All Kings” was released on February 26, it has held the No. 1 position on both the iTunes Heavy Metal Albums sales chart and Amazon‘s Best Sellers in Metal chart. In addition, the album’s first single, “Breathing Lightning”, debuted in the Top 40 on both the Mediabase Active Rock Chart and on BDS.
“Thank you so much to everyone who loves the record we made,” added ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. “The response to ‘For All Kings’ has been fantastic, seriously, thank you all so much.”
Speaking about the ANTHRAX songwriting process on “For All Kings”, Ian told Rolling Stone: “ANTHRAX songs don’t happen until it’s in the room, really, with Charlie [Benante, drums] , Frankie [Bello, bass] and me arranging material. But for Joey [Belladonna, vocals], we left a lot of room for him — even going back to ‘Worship Music’ — we felt we didn’t need to be looking over his shoulder like we used to back in the eighties and the nineties. We used to all sit there and analyze and nitpick, and obviously things didn’t work that way. So we decided to let Joey just work with Jay [Ruston, producer] and do his thing.”
He continued: “No one else in the band has everybody hanging over his shoulder when he’s doing his thing, so why should we all hang over Joey‘s? Obviously we had to become grownups to come to that decision. [laughs] So we sent template ideas of the songs to Joey — like, I’ve written lyrics that I shout down into my phone — but then we just leave it in Joey‘s hands. He’s, like, the Superman of vocals. There’s nothing he can’t do, which I realized in the last five years. I certainly used to be a control freak and I’m not that person anymore in any shape or form, and Joey has certainly proved that he doesn’t need anybody looking over his shoulder.”
Benante told Yahoo! Music: “Joey‘s incredible on this record. He was great on the last one as well. It’s amazing to have him back in the band, and there was a time I never thought that could happen. I’m happy that it did, and I’m also happy that we’ve learned from some of our past mistakes. Nowadays, I feel strongly about making quality records from front to back, and not being one of those bands who make records four songs deep and the rest is just filler to have something to go on tour with.”
ANTHRAX‘s U.S. tour with LAMB OF GOD came to a close on February 12 in Los Angeles, California.