Anthrax – “Among the Living”


The making of Anthrax’s “Among the Living”

released: 1987

label: Island


1987 was a big year for coke-metal and bad hair: Def Leppard’s Hysteria, Mötley Crüe’s Girls, Girls, Girls, Whitesnake’s Whitesnake, and Guns n’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction were all bum-rushing the charts like a pack of wild junkies tearing through Steven Tyler’s medicine cabinet at 4AM—which most of them were, anyway.

Anthrax’s third album, Among the Living, on the other hand, was all about speed (the tempo), Indians, and Stephen King. (Okay, so maybe Anthrax had shitty hair, too, but most of it’s gone now.) The second of four Anthrax full-lengths to feature the lineup of Scott Ian (guitar), Charlie Benante (drums), Frank Bello (bass), Dan Spitz (guitar), and Joey Belladonna (vocals), Among the Living secured Anthrax’s immortal standing amongst the “Four Horsemen of the Thrash Apocalypse” with Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer. But while the other three bands were scowling and writing about death, destruction, and Satan (although the latter was mostly Slayer’s bag), Anthrax were recording songs about Judge Dredd (“I Am The Law”), John Belushi (“Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)”) and “bumicide” (“Skeletons In The Closet”) under the (ultimately) unwelcome guidance of Zeppelin/Hendrix producer Eddie Kramer in glossy locales like Miami and Nassau. With the Among the Living lineup freshly reunited, Decibel made some Hall of Fame phone calls.

—J. Bennett

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