Charlie Benante is a busy man. When he's not serving up classic thrash with his band Anthrax, he can be found in his studio painting and creating visual art. He's also an avid fan of music, movies and television and is keenly aware of what's happening across the pop-culture landscape. "Music has always played a big part for me every year," says the drummer. "It'll set my mood for other things, it'll put me in a better mood, it'll change my mood." Below, Benante shares some of his favorite mood-altering records of 2018.
I'll start with the Dave Matthews Band record called Come Tomorrow. It's a little darker, I think, than their past records, but there are moments on it that are just completely beautiful and, coming from a musician's point of view, the musicality of the Dave Matthews Band, I would say is always top notch. There's always something inspiring in one of their songs, either from a guitarist's point of view or a drummer's point of view, and even a vocalist's point of view. I just always love where they take their songs, and when you see them live, that song takes on a different life, it's as if their legs spawned more legs, their arms spawned more arms, their heads spawned more heads. It just takes on this different feel, look, it just becomes a bit of a monster. So I love this last album.
Jack White put a record out called Boarding House Reach. I still don't know if I like it, for me it's not as good as his Lazaretto record, but I still enjoy it. I still like to hear what he's coming up with. I thought it was OK, but it wasn't one of his best.
Judas Priest put out a record called Firepower. I haven't really liked a lot of the last Judas Priest records, but this one has some good moments on it. It doesn't include K.K. Downing in it. I think Glenn Tipton is on it here and there, but it's one of the best records they've done in a long time.
Death Grips is a band that I've always listened to what they were doing. They put a record out called Year of the Snitch. It's not as aggressive as their last few records, but there are still moments on it that are really cool. Every time I hear they're doing something, I always have to hear it, see what's coming up next for them.
My daughter has been into this band for years called 21 Pilots. When we're driving around in the car, she'll put it on and I'll find myself saying, "That's a really good song!" At the end of the day, a good song is a good song. So they have a new record out called Trench, and there's this one song on the record that I really, really like that's called "Chlorine." I find myself singing it. They come up with some real catchy songs.
Dimmu Borgir came out with a great record called Eonian. I'm a huge fan of theirs. This record is good, it has its moments where it's completely Dimmu, and then there's these other moments when things are just a little bit different and maybe a bit repetitive, but for the most part, I love this band.
And this brings me to the last band, the Beatles who put out the 50th anniversary of [their self-titled record, also known as] "The White Album." I've been waiting for this for such a long time and I am not disappointed. I would sit in my bunk in Europe at the end of the night and just completely be taken away to "Beatle land" again. I found myself discovering different things because of the way this album was done. They remixed it, but from the point of view of none of the instruments are balanced already, they're all taken from the original takes, so there's nothing lost. The alternate takes, the demos are so amazing and it makes me so happy to hear "The White Album" once again as fresh as it was when I first heard it. When I was a little kid, for my birthday my mom took me to Woolworth's, this was the first record I ever bought with my own money because it came out around my birthday so I had money. The Beatles are the greatest, and without the Beatles, none of us would be doing this.