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Among The Living

4.7 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews

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Product Description

1987 album, AN ABSOLUTE CLASSIC. Produced by Eddie Kramer. 'Nuff said.

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If Metallica and Slayer invented speed metal, Anthrax brought it to the East Coast and imbued it with the attitude and excitement of New York hardcore. Among the Living is, without a doubt, their finest hour--a roaring, adrenaline-pumped collection of flailing beats, precise, razor-edged riffs and shout-along refrains. Unlike most full-throttle metal vocalists of the era, Joey Belladonna chose to sing as well as shout, giving songs like "Among the Living," "Indians" and "Efilnikcufecin" ("nice fuckin' life" spelled backwards) a decided melodic edge. Yet Scott Ian and Dan Spitz's buzzsaw guitar flurries, and Charlie Benante's insistent drumming, prevented the songs from ever degenerating into the run-of-the-mill heavy metal they so despised. --Jon Wiederhorn
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island Records
  • ASIN: B000001FTD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,991 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Among The Living(1987). Anthrax's third studio album.
Back in the mid 80s, a genre of frantic heavy metal music known as thrash metal was beginning to emerge from the shadows of the east and west coasts with big name bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Testament, and Anthrax. While the four former bands emerged in the San Francisco Bay west coast area, Anthrax originated in New York on the east coast and brought many unique aspects to the thrash metal scene. Comprised of vocalist Joey Belladonna, lead guitarist Dan Spitz, rhythm guitarist Scott Ian, drummer Charlie Benante, and bassist Frank Bello, Anthrax is a band about delivering songs full of raw energy, memorable riffs, and endless headbanging. Even though the more famous Metallica and Megadeth were influenced by the NWOBHM scene, Anthrax sports an almost punk-like quality to it, in addition to the insurmountable ammount of heavy metal power. To me, Anthrax has some of the greatest thrash musicians to ever grace heavy metal. Spitz churns out some AMAZING solos. Scott has incredible rhythm guitar talent (second only to Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer). Charlie manages to be an excellent drummer, and even Bello's bass playing stands out quite a bit. But to me, what separates Anthrax from all the other thrash metal bands is that they have the best thrash vocalist. James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine have NOTHING on Belladonna. Unlike the shouting and screaming that most thrash metal vocalists employ, Belladonna can actually sing WELL. His melodic vocals manage to dominate the songs on top of all the frantic instrumentation that's going on. With the talented playing and sheer power that erupts in each song, one can't help but be impressed by Anthrax.
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Format: Audio CD
You know, it's albums like this that really make me wish I'd grown up in the 80's. As a high school senior, I am steeped in the "Korn-Limp Bizkit generation", and I hate it. I have no interest in that kind of music, whatsoever. The 80's were a golden age, when bands like Metallica, Slayer, and Iron Maiden were putting out one great album after the other. Of course, it wasn't popular, that would be hair metal, but even that stuff was better than the numetal and rapmetal today. Anyways, in that golden era, this album was one of many to come out. "Among the Living", an album replete with crunching, head-banging rhythms, technical skill, and even some melody. Scott Ian is one the top rhythm guitarists (up there with Jon Schaffer of Iced Earth), Dan's solos are great, Frank and Charlie are both superior on the drums/bass, and Joey Belladonna is probably one of thrash's better vocalists (but I wouldn't compare him to Bruce Dickinson). All in all, a good album. So, why only four stars? Well, the reason for that is that this album is just a little too "punkish" for me. I have to give the band credit for trying something new and not sounding exactly like every other thrash band, but I just cannot stand punk, and all the shouty choruses just get on my nerves. It kinda brings the album down a bit. But oh well, it's still far better than any punk band I've ever heard. One thing that Anthrax has on other thrash bands is that you can actually hear the bass. Metallica and Megadeth had two of the greatest bass players of all time, but half the time you couldn't even hear them, and I can't think of a single moment in a single Slayer song where you can hear the bass at all. But, Anthrax always has audible basslines throughout, much like Iron Maiden.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Most speed metal fans were initiated by way of either Metallica or Megadeth. Anthrax was my introduction. Albums like this speak to the fifteen year-old in us that gets tired of turning on the radio and hearing only prefabricated crap. 13 years after first hearing this album, and owning it both as cassette and CD, I'm proud to say I still enjoy it.
What isn't to like about it? Out of The Big Four ( Anthrax, Magadeth, Metallica, and Slayer), Anthrax possibly had the best singer. Joey Belladonna, silly hairdo and all, had a tremendous voice. The guitar team of Scott Ian and Dan Spitz was bulletproof. Spitz was possibly the most underrated lead guitarist in all of heavy metal. He sounded like nobody else. Ian deserves a place in the pantheon of great rhythm guitarists. The uncle-nephew rhythm section of Charlie Benante and Frank Bello is unforgettable. Benante had to have been hiding two or three extra arms somewhere. And last but not least, Bello played without a pick like all real bassists. Plus he played FAST.
And finally, Anthrax showed the greatest imagination and diversity with their lyrics on this album. "I Am the Law" is about Judge Dredd. "Among the Living" and "A Skeleton in the Closet" are based on Stephen King's work. "N.F.L." is about a fallen comedian, either Lenny Bruce or John Belushi I think. The arms race, particularly under Reagan, was attacked in "One World". And who can forget the anti-racism classic "Indians"? The lyrics were written by juveniles on ATL. Smart juveniles.
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