1. Among The Living (1987)
1. Among The Living 2. Caught In A Mosh 3. I Am The Law 4. Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.) 5. A Skeleton In The Closet 6. Indians 7. One World 8. A.D.I. / Horror Of It All 9. Imitation Of Life
Recommended Track: “Caught In A Mosh”; a true Thrash Metal anthem and one of the greatest Thrash tracks ever written.
This is the real deal and one of the greatest Thrash records of all time. On “Among the Living”, all the ingredients that make Anthrax great came together to form the perfect whole. Joey Belladonna had bedded in and his melodic yet powerful vocals are exceptional throughout. Scott Ian and Dan Spitz combine thrillingly and cement their reputation as one of the most skilled guitar partnerships in Metal and Charlie Benante’s stunning, highly influential bass drum work propels the band forward at breakneck speed throughout the entire album.
Lyrically and thematically Among the Living combines the comic book/horror movie aesthetic which can be found on Spreading the Disease and State of Euphoria with the social commentary found on Persistence Of Time, resulting in a near-perfect Thrash album which holds it’s own against the greatest albums the genre has to offer.
Heavy on comic book, pop culture and horror movie imagery, (the cover artwork depicts the diabolical Rev. Henry Kane character from Poltergeist II & III), the most iconic reference is “I Am the Law”, their tribute to comic book enforcer Judge Dredd. This head-crushing stomp through nearly 6 minutes of coruscating riffs, courtesy of rhythm master Scott Ian, remains a fan favourite an incredible 27 years after it was written.
Another highlight is “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)” (“nice f*ckin’ life” spelled backwards) which tackles tragic comedian John Belushi’s drug and alcohol addiction and early demise and its shred-heavy riffs and hardcore backing vocals are as effective as ever.
The pick of a very good bunch though are stonewall classics “Indians” (a politically charged indictment of the treatment of the Native American and a nod to singer Joey Belladonna’s ancestry) and the mosh pit anthem “Caught in a Mosh”. These songs stand toe-toe with the best tracks Thrash Metal has to offer and are as thrilling today as they were way back in 1987.
Anthrax have come very close over the years to bettering this album, 1990′s Persistence Of Time really does run it a very close second, but Among the Living is the real deal and a stone-cold classic.
Stop reading and go listen to it now!
If we’ve committed a cardinal sin and omitted your favourite Anthrax album, stake your claim for Fistful Of Metal, State Of Euphoria, We’ve Come For You All etc in the comments section below.