Post-COVID lockdown touring has provided its fair share of challenges for acts attempting to return to the road, but Anthrax now apparently now have an "understudy" should illness, injury or an unexpected absence strike. And for many Anthrax fans, that face is a familiar one - guitarist Paul Crook.

Crook was previously with the group between 1995 and 2001, contributing guitar work to the Stomp 442 album and the follow-up Vol. 8: The Threat Is Real. He's also previously worked with Meat Loaf, Sebastian Bach and Glenn Hughes.

In a recent posting, Crook revealed his renewed association with the band stating, "I feel ok talking about this now… Back in early June, @anthrax asked me if I’d be willing to understudy @scottianthrax , @thefrankbello & @jonathanmdonais in the event one of them were unable to perform on their summer tour."

The musician continued, "A lot of tours/ shows are getting canceled due to the obvious, I feel the understudy thing is going to become commonplace. The guys had a health issue that began in Texas… I joined the tour in Atlanta shortly after."

With the tour hitting its home stretch, Crook's stand-by assistance appears no longer needed at this point, with the musician revealing, "That said, ANTHRAX is firing on all cylinders. The show is incredible. I’m heading home."

Crook is not the only name player to fill an understudy role of late. The most notable has been former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel, who has been the Lamb of God's "bullpen" guitarist since 2021 and has been pressed into action a few times so far. Demmel is once again sitting in for Willie Adler on Lamb of God's August dates in Europe.

As for Anthrax, with all cylinders firing as Crook alluded to, the band is currently making their way across the country with Black Label Society and Hatebreed. The current tour leg continues through Aug. 28. Get your tickets for the run here.

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