Rating:
10
Anthrax - Among The Living
22 March 1987


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


This is Anthrax's best album and easily one of the best thrash metal albums ever recorded. It's way up there along with Master Of Puppets and Reign In Blood. For this reviewer, this is actually the DEFINITIVE thrash metal record.

Unlike Metallica and Slayer, the guys from Anthrax weren't taking themselves too seriously and this resulted in an album slightly on the lighter side than those of their rivals. Naturally, I am referring to the 'feel' of the album, and not to the actual musical 'heaviness' because there is some very powerful thrashing going on over here - "Among The Living" is the fastest Anthrax album and the intensity of the songs is usually just as high as on the afore-mentioned Reign In Blood. Nonetheless, Anthrax isn't afraid to goof around a little bit, as is evident by the pop-culture tributes present on the album. "I Am The Law" is a song about Judge Dredd, and I am sure it would have made the horrible motion picture adaptation of the comic book (starring Sylvester Stallone) so much better were it used as the theme. They also have a song simply about moshing, references to Stephen King as well as a politically correct ode to the "Indians". This is not your usual thrash subject matter but it is what makes this band so unique. It also gives us an idea of the excitement connected with thrash in those early years - something which the uber-serious, tough thrash records of the time fall short of showing after all of these years...

The music on this record is simply phenomenal. Not a single song can be considered filler. Already the opening track explodes with incredible energy and this energy doesn't wear off all the way to the speedy "Imitation Of Life". The riffs are truly excellent throughout the whole album. You will find that every single one of them forces you into uncontrolled head banging mayhem and air guitar heroism. In my case; however, it was the air drum kit that got the biggest beating - Charlie Benante's performance here is simply godly. The creator of the blastbeat outdoes himself here and his trademark 'helicopter' double bass pedaling makes me wonder how he is still able to walk... As a matter of fact, the double bass beat at the end of "A.D.I./Horror Of It All" is probably the fastest I have ever heard. Nonetheless, it isn't actually the incredible performance that makes this album as memorable as it is. It is the melody and Joey Belladona's ability to carry it with his voice. It never ceased to amaze me why the band gave him the boot in the early 90ties. His voice is in my opinion the only true voice of Anthrax. Basically, unlike most thrash bands at the time, Anthrax was not afraid to compose catchy (even poppy) melodies and use them in their albums. The standard vocal style of this band at the time was Belladonna's high pitched, melodic singing, contrasted by hardcore gang-shouts in the choruses. This contrast and these melodies are what makes the album the masterpiece that it is. Just listen to "Efilnikufesin" and try to prevent yourself from singing along. Its impossible! Thats how good it is.

The truth is, if you are a fan of metal music (and especially thrash metal music), you need this album in your collection. It is quintessential and a milestone that helped make metal what it is today. It's score of 10/10 is fully justified.


Band profile: Anthrax
Album: Among The Living


 



Written on 18.04.2004 by
jupitreas
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. Privately not actually an asshole, he lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he runs his small graphic and web design business.
More reviews by jupitreas ››

Guest review by
hottercraft

Rating:
10
Among The Living can be a legend of Thrash Metal soon, because this CD is one of the best Thrash Metal releases ever. This amazing sound is completely different than the sound we had listened before, a different concept of Thrash. It sounds like "Spreading the Disease" but these songs are more catchy and furious, with some excellent guitar riffs and with excellent drums, especially in songs like "Indians" which I think is the best song of the CD and one of the best Thrash songs I've ever heard. It has some of the fastest drums I've heard, and it has a guitar riff that is repeated along all the song. Cry for the Indians...

Read more ››
published 24.09.2006 | Comments (2)



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Talvi - 07.08.2006 at 01:05  
A Skeleton in the Closet is the best song here
Dangerboner - 07.08.2006 at 02:29  
This one of my favorite thrash albums. I like the Stephen King lyrics and Joey's crazy voice. I can't stand people who like John Bush better...
Lokomotiv - 07.08.2006 at 03:08  
THE Thrash Metal album...

great review by the way, like, always jupitreas
Dangerboner - 07.08.2006 at 04:30  
yep, Jupitreas got it right- Charlie is the creator of the blast beat.
Thrash666 - 10.08.2006 at 09:22  
Fucking awesome thrash albums. Love the drumming part of it and "Skeleton in the Closet" should be played at every show.
BitterCOld - 11.10.2006 at 19:24  
was listening to this album again this morning... While Charlie's drumming talent and Scott Ian's heavy riffing get their deserved praises, somehow Bassist Frank Bello manages to fly under the radar. He is criminally underrated.

Listen to this album on a good sound system and you can hear the rumble of his four string chugging along, driving the songs.

Take, for example, my favorite track off the album, "Caught in a Mosh"- yeah, we've all heard the great bass intro, but keep listening for the bass throughout the song. Perhaps my favorite part is during the chorus. The chorus itself is catchy enough, but listen to the bass fill in between the lines "talking to you..." (fill) "... is like clapping with one hand!" It's fantastic.

Great album, my favorite of theirs, great review, just wanted to chime in my two cents on an unsung member of the band.
Dangerboner - 12.10.2006 at 02:07  
I know exactly what you mean about the bass. I listen to it on my sub and even on regular headphones and noticed the same thing. Shit, even on most of the other albums the bass lines are great.
Doc Godin - 29.04.2007 at 23:34  
Hmm....theres a few tracks I really really like off this album, but for some reason alot of them dont really grab me all that much. Another overrated album IMO.
Demonmayonnaise - 19.06.2008 at 20:07  
I love this album. It stands with Ride the Lightning and Peace Sells.
Paradox0 - 17.07.2008 at 21:26  
I found it kind of bland. It starts off with the bland "Among the Living" but actually gets a HUGE boost in momentum from "Caught in a Mosh" (should have started the album weith this song). Things kind of eventually grind into blandess with each passing song and by the last song I could take no more. However, I must say those are maybe some of the craziest basslines I've ever heard (well Jaco Pastorios is fast but he's a legend anyways)
JohnWayneGacy666 - 02.04.2010 at 12:27  
This is a great album good review Among the living is the best thrash album i've heard along with Justice for All, Kill em all by Metallica and Rust in peace by megadeth
Uirapuru - 26.05.2010 at 15:26  
Man, this album is really full of references.. Stephen King, Poltergeist, even NFL, in a rare moment of sports mention in metal (from top of my head I can only remember Bathory's ''Sudden Death'' about hockey... XD ).

And I heard is a dedication to Cliff Burton, but not sure
Nyoink - 29.06.2010 at 19:23  
Awesome album, I recommend it to every Thrash metal fan. This is the reason why I started hearing thrash metal. This album was worth my money for sure. All tracks are godly
Valentin B - 29.06.2010 at 20:13  
I love how this album, and Anthrax generally, have (for the most part) socially "heavy" or serious lyrics and stuff like that, but they still have an incredibly upbeat and fun sound, with obvious roots in the Punk genre.

when considering live shows, i'd say they are definitely the most enjoyable act of the big 4.
MetalFist - 02.07.2010 at 06:46  
I agree with the review mostly except, that it should be 9.5 but nontheless, DAMN AWESOME ALBUM. their best.
BreadGod - 02.07.2010 at 07:33  
I simply adore the song 'Indians'.
vezzy - 05.07.2010 at 16:17  
"Caught in a Mosh" is Anthrax's signature song, and one of their best.
prime12357 - 09.12.2010 at 05:40  
I've never really found this album, or Anthrax on the whole to be that interesting. None of the songs really grab my attention, and the overall feeling is that of a rather bland album. Like the rest of the big four, it's overrated.
JD - 11.01.2011 at 14:24  
I love the Bass sound in this album!
Angelic Storm - 11.01.2011 at 15:24  
I actually prefer both "Persistance Of Time" and "Spreading The Disease" over this album, but it is still very worthy of the classic status it's attained over the years. xD

@JD: Frank Bello is a beast! Very underrated bass player, just as Charlie Benante is a very underrated drummer. Both are among my fave bassists and drummers.
JD - 12.01.2011 at 10:49  
Written by Angelic Storm on 11.01.2011 at 15:24

I actually prefer both "Persistance Of Time" and "Spreading The Disease" over this album, but it is still very worthy of the classic status it's attained over the years. xD

I can't stand "Spreading The Disease", but "Persistance Of Time" is kinda good album.
Angelic Storm - 12.01.2011 at 13:09  
Written by JD on 12.01.2011 at 10:49
I can't stand "Spreading The Disease", but "Persistance Of Time" is kinda good album.


You can't stand "Spreading The Disease"? Why. what about it don't you like?
JD - 12.01.2011 at 16:21  
Written by Angelic Storm on 12.01.2011 at 13:09

You can't stand "Spreading The Disease"? Why. what about it don't you like?

The vocals voice isn't strong some parts he sound like singing pop IMO the only song i can stand is "Madhouse"
Marcel Hubregtse - 12.01.2011 at 16:46  
I actually find Persistence Of Time to be immensely overrated and Among The Living slightly overrated. True stand out album for me will always be Spreading The Disease.

And how is his singing on that one pop to you, JD? Nothing pop like to his singing on Gung Ho. Imo Madhouse is the weakest link of that album. It's not without reason that one was released as single at the time
LeChron James - 18.10.2013 at 12:42  
Leeway til DEFF.
Angelic Storm - 18.10.2013 at 13:49  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.01.2011 at 16:46
And how is his singing on that one pop to you, JD? Nothing pop like to his singing on Gung Ho. Imo Madhouse is the weakest link of that album. It's not without reason that one was released as single at the time


Although I actually like "Madhouse", I find it strange that he'd class Joey's singing on STD as "pop", and then single that song out as the only decent one on the album, when "Madhouse" is the most mainstream sounding song on the album (aside from maybe "Medusa")...

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