Sunday, May 17, 2009

Anthrax - Among The Living

If you like your rock loud, hard, fast, and heavy, then Anthrax’s Among The Living is a disc for you. Released in 1987 at the height of their career with the classic lineup in tact, Among The Living is a hard rocking trip through a heavy metal massacre. Is Among The Living worth seeking out on ITunes? Let’s spin the disc and find out!

Among The Living opens with the title track which starts with a slow build before the pounding drums, played by none other than Charlie Benante, come crashing into the song and set the tempo for the rest of the album. The lyrics were inspired by Stephen King’s The Stand a post apocalyptic novel of dark times and the remaining humans of the world that fought to overcome them.

Efilnikufesin(N.F.L.) is a powerful song and a great play on words. The heavy backbeat of the drums, the rip of the massive guitar work, and the blistering pace at which this song is performed will have you banging your head in no time.

A lot of Stephen King must have been read when recording this album, because the lyrics to A Skeleton In The Closet were inspired by the novella, Apt Pupil, which can be found in King’s amazing book of 4 novellas, Different Seasons. The song speaks about all of the evils that people can have hidden in their past and the drastic measures they take to keep these hidden. It also describes what could happen if these evil pasts are unleashed in the present.

Indians is hands down the best song on the disc and quite possibly the best Anthrax song ever recorded. The powerful fast rhythm and cascading drums give the song a life that most songs just don’t have. The chorus is infectious and if you’re not crying for the Indians by the second time you listen to this song, you may not have a rock soul.

The rhythm section of Scott Ian, Frank Bello, and Charlie pull the music together with great timing. Powerful bass chords, deafening drums, and heavy rhythm guitar played faster than a speeding bullet keep the time moving at warp speed. Joe Belladonna’s vocals are a perfect fit for this brand of speed rock. Not quite singing, not quite screaming, Joey’s voice blends well with the superfast music and pulls everything together flawlessly.

The chord changes and musical progression on Among The Living is a drastic tempo shift that works. There are no ballads on this disc and no radio friendly tunes. Every song is a trip through blistering speed punk metal played at a volume that is loud and a tempo that is lightning quick.

With songs that rock heavier than most, Among The Living is pure, classic Anthrax. If you like your music hard and rough, than this is a disc for you, and Anthrax is definitely a band worth spending time with.

Ryo’s Rating: 8 (out of 10)

Track Listing
Among The Living
Caught In A Mosh
I Am The Law
Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
A Skeleton In The Closet
One World
A.D.I./Horror Of It All
Imitation Of Life

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