WARNING. ALERT. WARNING. THERE’S BEEN A SERIOUS ANTHRAX ATTACK AT THE RIFF REPEATER HEADQUARTERS.
Oh, it’s the band and not the deadly disease?
WARNING. ALERT. WARNING. ALERT AGAIN. WE’VE BEEN GIVEN AN AWESOME 4 PACK OF SONGS BY THRASH METAL BAND ANTHRAX.
Quite surprisingly, all four songs on all charts are tuned to E Standard. So you can thrash it out to your hearts content without ever worrying about messing with those tuning pegs.
Got the time? It’s bass time!
Lately some people have been complaining about how @UbsoftStudioSF aren’t really doing all that much for bassists. In my official title as “Guy who does the bass videos” I have to say if this week doesn’t even slightly arouse the deep-bassy goodness within then your hopes are set too high. Because this week was so goooood.
There’s rarely a moment in Caught In A Mosh where your fingers aren’t strumming and in a 5 minute song you may find yourself getting pretty tired. It’s a very satisfying song to play if you can tough it out though, and it has one of the best bass riffs I’ve played in the game in a while – a lot of it consists of jumping up and down the neck, alternating between fretted and open notes, and despite being rather fast paced it’s actually relatively simple when you break it down. Indians is also quite similar in this regard; a bulk of the song sticks to open and fretted notes around the 1st to 3rd frets on the E string before moving in to this really fun pre-chorus-type section. Not by any means easy, but I feel easier than Caught In A Mosh.
Despite its name, Mad House takes a more relaxed approach. Or as relaxed as a thrash metal band can do. There’s still a few bits that might take you some time to nail, like this little dance down the strings at around 30 seconds in. My absolute favourite of the pack though, by far, is Got The Time. The bulk of the song is simple alt strums made all the better by the speedy beat it has. It also has a very welcome bass solo! With flanger effect! If you care about the bass in this game, I’d say just get all 4 songs and be happy.
But you can’t talk about Anthrax without talking about guitar
I’m nowhere near a master guitarist, although I have played my fair share of Blitzkrieg Bop over and over…and over…but I must say I was surprised at how well I did on my sightreads of these songs (that is to say I bumped everything up to 100 and just let loose, as I always do) with me scoring 90%+ in all the songs. So what I think I’m trying to say is I found this pack to be very approachable compared to others of the genre, or just other fast songs in general (A7X, Judas Priest). This may be great news for a lot of you as it can be quite daunting to listen to an announced song and instantly feel deflated when you hear that first note of an oncoming speedy solo.
It’s not all Next Girl though. You’ll still need to maintain a good mixture of playing fast and playing clear. A lot of Caught In A Mosh is actually quite easy when you look at it; outside of the solo it’s a lot of power chords and muted open notes. I wouldn’t even say the solo is all that difficult either, especially compared to how it looked on Rock Band 3’s Pro mode! In my uneducated opinion, this song is probably a very good introduction to learning to play thrash metal. Although saying that, you could also argue Got The Time is too. It mainly consists of double stops (Bb5, Db5, Eb5 and Ab5, in that order, repeat ad nauseum), power chords, with a little pit stop in slidey-up-and-down territory just before the bass solo. I can’t really see many hurdles for a competent guitarist to overcome in this song, and if you are bored of warming up on Blitzkrieg Bop maybe this can be the replacement!
Indians moves back in to the fast, alternating style of Caught In A Mosh. The solo this time around was noticeably tougher. Actually I found the whole song to be a teensy bit more difficult. Maybe not so much in terms of playing it but just maintaining a decent sound while mixing between power chords to muted single open strings and then moving to fast slides. In comparison, I’d say Mad House isn’t as hard, but they’re actually played in such a different style that maybe a comparison isn’t fair to either of them. There’s a G chord in Mad House for one thing!
I’m sure you as a guitarist, no matter what skill level you’re at, know your limitations. While this pack may seem aimed at the kind of person who can already play songs of this type, the aim of the game is to get you learning to play and I do think there are plenty of techniques and riffs which in all probability would help those of you who probably wouldn’t think of picking these up. Regardless, I think it’s great to have Anthrax in the game with these four great songs.