Anthrax – Among The Living

     Out of the “Big 4” bands, Anthrax seems the least popular. I mean, they haven’t sold the amount of albums that Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer have, they don’t sell out massive arenas around the world… But they are one of the most influential ThrashMetal bands, bar none.

     Among The Living was released in 1987 and Anthrax spawned a movement with it. Their mix of serious, socially conscious, and humerous lyrics with a form of ThrashMetal that was heavily dosed with the same attitude, sarcasm, and cynicism of many other New York bands and leaden with excessive amount of rhythm, bass, and louder than all get out drumming; Anthrax pulled no punches, told it like they saw it, and dominated even the stage of veteran rock band KISS whom Anthrax supported in an opening slot while touring in support of their E.P., I’m The Man.

     Just how influential was Anthrax? Ever been to a show and went into the MoshPit? Yeah, that’s Anthrax‘s influence there and it came about with this album, Among The Living. A classic release and must have for any who think they are true fans of Metal in all its forms.
     HeadBanging is a staple at live Metal shows and at ThrashMetal shows the crowd could and can get so unruly and pressed up against the stage that movement is immpossible but for pushing and swaying. Couple this movement with HeadBanging, crowd surfing, stage diving, and SlamDancing and it, from the stage, looks like a huge mess of bodies and flailing limbs. A huge mess of people Caught In A Mosh; although the song refers to anything that dissolves into complete and utter chaos, like when the best thought out plans go awry – it’s not pretty. Fellow ThrashMetal band, Exodus, refered to it as the ToxicWaltz, but the moniker did not roll off the tongue like MOSH does. Since the release of Among The Living, the crowd centered directly in front of the stage are Moshing and the area itself is known as the MoshPit.
     The other “Big 4” bands might have influenced other musicians but Anthrax‘s influence affected millions of Metal fans worldwide and that affect is still going strong three generations later.

     What makes Anthrax and their music different from the other “Big 4” is they are the only one not from the WestCoast. Centered on the EastCoast, their sound was influenced by early PunkRock and the music was very bass and rhythm guitar oriented, their productions were clear; you could here every instrument in the mix. Oh, they also had a vocalist who actually sang rather than screamed the lyrics.

      As of late, Anthrax has welcomed vocalist Joey Belladonna back into the fold after a very successful reunion tour with him and guitarist Dan Spitz (though Dan chose not to rejoin the band for a new album). I for one am anticipating the new release, titled Worship Music.

Track Listing for Among The Living:
01: Among The Living*
02: Caught In A Mosh
03: I Am The Law**
04: Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)***
05: A Skeleton In The Closet****
06: Indians
07: One World
08: A.D.I./Horror Of It All*****
09: Imitation Of Life

* Based on the Stephen King character Randall Flagg from his book The Stand.
** Based on the comic character Judge Dredd.
*** Based on deceased comedian John Belushi.
**** Based on Stephen King short story Summer Of Corruption: Apt Pupil from his book Different Seasons.
***** A.D.I. stands for Arabian Douchebag Intro. Dan Spitz is of Arabic heratige and it is his lead guitar playing that begins the song.

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