The first thing that hits you about Alive 2 is how terrific it sounds. Opening with "Among the Living," Charlie Benante's drums and the sludgy, churning guitars of Scott Ian and Dan Spitz peel out of the speakers at 4,000 decibels. It's like they're trying to make up for a decade lost. And maybe they are. Alive 2 chronicles a June 3, 2005 show at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ, and features Anthrax's classic lineup reunited for its 20th anniversary. Along with Spitz, Ian, and Benante, that includes Frank Bello on bass and vocalist Joey Belladonna. After "Among the Living" the quintet rumbles through incredibly tight versions of "Caught in a Mosh" and the double-bass-heavy "A.I.R." Anthrax goes all the way back to 1984's Fistful of Metal -- pre-Belladonna -- for "Deathrider," and the dude-heavy crowd greets Persistence of Time's "In My World" with chants of "Joey! Joey! Joey!" The set closes with "Be All End All" and the Judge Dredd tribute "I Am the Law." Fans will note that despite being a solid live album from start to finish -- it a better recording than 2004's Music of Mass Destruction, and the Belladonna-era lineup seems to be getting a thrill out of playing again -- Alive 2 only includes half of a commemorative Dredd drawing. The other half's in the Alive 2 DVD, which expands the song lineup to 13 songs and includes behind-the-scenes footage.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus