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2017-02-19 - Anthrax, The Raven Age - TivoliVredenburg Ronda, Utrecht, Netherlands


This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Anthrax’s breakthrough and signature album ‘Among the Living’. Many Anthrax fans often cite ‘Among the Living’ as their favourite album so it is only logical for Anthrax to go on tour and celebrate the 30th anniversary of ‘Among the Living’ by playing this album in its entirety during the 2017 Among the Kings Tour.

The young melodic metal band The Raven Age, hailing from London, UK opened the evening with a dynamic set of powerful and riff-driven metal. I have to admit that it’s kind of funny to see a bunch of youngsters on stage, banging their collective heads off but missing the necessary long hair which is (in my humble opinion) more or less “essential” while performing the "fine art of headbanging” but all jokes aside, this insignificant little fact did not distract from their enthusiastic and professional performance that kept me and most of the audience captivated for most of their set. As a matter of fact The Raven Age made a much better impression on me when I saw them as the support act for Iron Maiden (guitarist George Harris is the son of Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris) at the Gelredome in Arnhem, last year. The Raven Age did an excellent job of warming the Anthrax crowd and I’m sure that we will hear more of these guys in the near future.

Anthrax opened their first set with 'A.I.R.' and 'Madhouse' from the Spreading the Disease album and it was clear from the get-go that the band meant serious business for this evening's entertainment. The first set comprised of a handful of songs from their recent album For All Kings ('Evil Twin', 'Blood Eagle Wings' and my personal favorite 'Breathing Lightning') and 'Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't' from Worship Music but it was the older tunes such as 'Be All, End All' (from 1988’s State Of Euphoria with an obligatory "crowd-sing-along-participation-part") and 'Medusa' (another gem from the Spreading the Disease album) that gained the biggest response from the audience during this first set.

The second set started with the famous Blues Brothers intro-tape and we all knew what that meant; the entire rendition of the Among the Living album! I've been to many Anthrax shows over the last three decades and my fondest memories of Anthrax go way back to 1987 when Anthrax just released their then-new album Among the Living and headlined the IJsselhallen in Zwolle (along with Paul Di'anno's Battlezone & Testament) so it goes without saying that I was more than excited to hear and experience the Among the Living-set and I'm relieved to inform that Anthrax totally lived up to my high expectations. No wear and tear during Anthrax’s show! “Newcomer” (since 2013 that is) Jonathan Donais (of Shadows Fall’s fame) fits perfectly well within this line-up and he delivered his guitar solos with deadly precision without losing the overall touch and feel of the original recorded solo. I thought it was kind of odd that Anthrax didn’t play the regular and familiar song sequence from the studio album but I’m sure that they have own reasons for doing so and it had little to no effect on the crowd reaction whatsoever. The only downside (besides the absence of Joey Belladonna’s “injun” war bonnet during the song 'Indians' and some pick pockets scum within the crowd) of this predominantly perfect evening was that the band didn't play any encores. The band headed straight into the Trust cover 'Antisocial' after 'Imitation of Life' but I assume that Anthrax was on a strict curfew for this particular evening. I have to admit that I really hoped for maybe one or two B-sides from the ‘Among the Living’-era such 'I’m the Man or Black Sabbath’s 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' but to no avail. Other than that, this was for me one of Anthrax’s best performances since years!

Denis Schoen
(This review has also been published on Headbanger's Lifestyle and can still be read at this location)



Anthrax at TivoliVredenburg Ronda, Utrecht, Netherlands 2017, Among the Kings

Anthrax at TivoliVredenburg Ronda, Utrecht, Netherlands 2017, Among the Kings

The Raven Age

The Raven Age at TivoliVredenburg Ronda, Utrecht, Netherlands 2017

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