Charlie Benante is on a tear when it comes to long-distance all-star jams in quarantine. The Anthrax drummer just recently teamed with Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick and and Suicidal Tendencies bassist Roberto “Ra” Diaz for a joint cover of Rush’s classic “YYZ,” with each of them recording their part separately at their own home. The instrumental “YYZ” — which originally appeared on the Canadian prog masters’ 1981 LP, Moving Pictures, and was a staple of the band’s live performances — was reverently played by the supergroup trio in tribute to Rush’s late, great Neil Peart.
Now, Benante has joined up with his Anthrax bandmate Scott Ian, as well as bassist Dan Lilker (Nuclear Assault, ex-Anthrax), for a reunion of sorts of their cult crossover band Stormtroopers of Death (minus lead singer Billy Milano). The trio tore through S.O.D.’s seminal instrumental cut “March of the S.O.D.,” which was the intro song to MTV’s Headbangers Ball for years. As with the drummer’s Rush cover with Skolnick and Diaz, all three players recorded their contributions individually at their respective bunkers. “A message from Sgt. D — Quaran-fuckin-tine or you’re on my list. You’re welcome, Sgt. D,” Benante wrote in the caption to the video he uploaded to his YouTube channel, referring, of course, to Stormtroopers of Death’s skull-faced mascot Sargent D, a character drawn up by Ian and in whose voice he wrote the lyrics to the group’s satirical, button-pushing songs. For those just catching up on the band, S.O.D. are widely credited as one of the first groups to fuse metal and hardcore punk into “crossover thrash” and their debut LP, Speak English or Die, is a bona fide classic.