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With Abdullah, Amps II Eleven, Fast Chester, and Hatecore Inc. Saturday, September 24, at the Agora Theatre.

When Anthrax released 2003's We've Come for You All, its first new studio album in five years, metalheads were justifiably pleased. It was the band's strongest disc since its first with vocalist John Bush, 1993's Sound of White Noise. Since then, though, Anthrax has morphed into a weird, time-warped version of itself, issuing two live CDs, a best-of (the band's third), and The Greater of Two Evils, an album on which Bush karaoked songs originally recorded with earlier vocalists Neal Turbin and Joey Belladonna. Then, in what seemed like the final blow, Belladonna returned, along with guitarist Dan Spitz and briefly departed bassist Frank Bello, and the "classic" Anthrax lineup headed out on a reunion tour.

Rhythm guitarist and de facto frontman Scott Ian insists the band isn't becoming a full-time nostalgia act, though. "We're on a reunion tour, we're out doing a greatest-hits show, and when this touring cycle is over, we'll be able to switch into a songwriting mode and see what happens," he says.

But will the next studio album be with Bush or Belladonna?

"I really have no idea who is singing on the next record," Ian says. "Is it gonna be John? Is it gonna be Joey? Is it gonna be Mike Patton? I can't answer that question right now. We really won't know until we start writing songs. We're all open to the idea of making a record with this lineup; it's just a case of can we make a record with this lineup? We've been on a different path since John joined the band for Sound of White Noise -- and that's not to say that Joey couldn't sing anything we'd come up with; it's just that we haven't tried it yet. We're just gonna keep touring and write some songs, and see where it goes."

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