Anthrax – We’ve Come For You All
So today we visit Anthrax’s 2003 record ‘We’ve Come for You All’ the first record to feature lead guitarist Rob Caggiano and last record with vocalist Jon Bush. Though he’ll appear on a few more titles in this series, this will be his last studio album I cover in this series.
Though it would be a couple of years after this record’s release before I heard and owned, I was aware of this record’s existence when it came out. Mainly because I worked as a stagehand at Metropol for this tour. It was that show that would be responsible for rekindling my love for this band. Though I have plenty to say about that show, I will be covering a live record from that tour in a few days so I will save those stories for that post.
So anyway, I quick look on Wikipedia reveals that this would is Anthrax’s lowest charting record in their entire career, topping at 122 on the Billboard chart in the US. It only sold 10,000 units its first week and has since only sold 62,000 copies worldwide in the last 13 years since its release. I dug a little but couldn’t find similar figures for any of their previous albums, but I would be willing to bet that they probably sold more copies of ‘Persistence of Time’ and ‘Sound of White Noise’ in their first month than this record has in its entire history.
Of course, those earlier records were released before the whole downloading thing wiped out record sales for pretty much everyone except the biggest of the biggest names in the music industry. But it also speaks toward the low stature the band had during this period. The whole classic rock revival for the “Big Four” thrash bands was still a few years away. They’d been struggling to find a solid record company to get behind them. The label this record was released on, Sanctuary Records, was sort of known for buying up bands with established histories and just trying to milk them for what they were worth without investing too much in any given artist. (None of the Anthrax records released on Sanctuary Records are available on Spotify) Also, you need to factor in that most of the metal that was popular at the time was Nu metal bands like Linkin Park, Korn, and Slipknot and Anthrax’s thrash metal/rock hybrid just wasn’t in flavor at the time. And as Scott Ian put it at the time, they hadn’t done much in nearly 6 years, so it’s no surprise this record didn’t do as well as one would hope it would have.
But here is the thing, the relative obscurity of the record and poor sales is no indication of the quality of the record. In fact, it’s the exact opposite, in my opinion ‘We’ve Come for You All’ is by far and above the best record of the Jon Bush era and is the artistic realization of the sound they’d been searching for since ‘Persistence of Time’. It was with this record that they perfected the rock/metal hybrid sound started on ‘Sound of White Noise’. With Rob Caggiano production skills, all the electronic elements they’d experimented with in the past finally found their proper space. And most importantly gone were all the oddball forays into genre’s that simply didn’t fit this band. Simply put ‘We’ve Come for You All’ is everything the three previous records tried to be. It is the perfect representation on of what this band was about in 2003 with this lineup. That’s why it’s such a shame this record didn’t get nearly as much respect as I feel it should have gotten.
Usually, in reviews like this, where it’s an album I love so much, yet no one else seems to know or care about, it’s tempting to list off several songs as highlights to try and convince you of the merits of the record. But for real, I love every song on this record, and can’t pick just one or two. But I’m going to try and make that list anyway. If you want something closer to the old-school thrash metal sound, ‘What Doesn’t Die’, ‘Nobody Knows Anything’, ‘Strap It On’, and ‘Black Dahlia’ will provide you with that. Maybe you want a little bit more of straight forward rock or metal groove, ‘Refuse to Be Denied’, ‘Cadillac Rock Box’, and ‘Taking the Music Back’ has got you covered. Maybe you’re basic and want a radio friendly tune or two, well you have ‘Safe Home’ and ‘Anyplace but Here’ to satisfy that taste. If you’re metal and rock fan, this record really has just about anything you need except for a power ballad, the last couple of record proved that isn’t Anthrax’s bag. Aside from that this record has it all and I can’t recommend it enough.