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Anthrax – Among The Living (1987)

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Anthrax – Among The Living (1987)

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01 - Among The Living
02 - Caught In A Mosh
03 - I Am The Law play
04 - Efilnikufesin (NFL)
05 - A Skeleton In The Closet
06 - Indians play
07 - One World
08 - ADI-Horror Of It All
09 - Imitation Of Life

Personnel
* Joey Belladonna – Lead vocals
* Dan Spitz –Lead guitar, Acoustic guitar on A.D.I
* Scott Ian – Rhythm guitar, Backing vocals
* Frank Bello – Bass guitar, Backing vocals
* Charlie Benante – Drums

 

"Disease! Disease! Spreading the disease!" The opening lines of Anthrax' third studio full length record aren't only a reference to the vivid predecessor, they also indicate the addicting strength of this thrash metal milestone. On its third output, the band has finally found its very own style. The East Coast quintet has moved away from its original New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound, several classic rock influences and even most of their hardcore punk touch inspirations. "Among the Living" is the band's rawest, fastest and angriest release and it defines the thrash metal genre better than any other album ever done.

 

Over the next fifty minutes, Anthrax is offering nine pitiless tracks filled with fast riffs and unchained guitar solos, angrily pumping bass guitar licks, ferocious yet versatile high-speed drumming and breathless yet powerful vocals that are emotionally over the top but manage to remain catchy and melodic as they are constantly supported by energizing and angry gang shouts. The lyrics vary between angry yet intelligent social criticism and unchained fun anthems inspired by popular culture. The more serious lyrics are related to contemporary issues back in the days such as the outrageous fate of Native Americans, an ongoing Cold War despite a desire for peace and unity from younger generations and a warning that the horrors of war shouldn't be downplayed, forgotten or neglected. The more carefree texts feature ironic statements about complicated interpersonal relationships, unbound lust for life or are simply inspired by fictitious characters from different art media such as Judge Dredd, Randall Flagg or Reverend Henry Kane. Lyrically, this release is an incredibly authentic time document from the mid-eighties but I can still relate to most of the texts three decades later due to their timeless and youthful spirit.

 

This mixture of mature and juvenile lyrics would become a trademark for the band that was also a guiding line for the next three studio albums. Even though the band found its own musical style on this release, the quintet opted for less urgent variations of that style on the next three records. Anthrax have never been that poignant again as on "Among the Living". Some of their other albums might be more courageous, diversified or intellectual but this release is probably their best due to its emotions, energy and honesty. In my opinion, this is the best thrash metal album of all times.

 

Apart of one or two less intense minutes in "A.D.I. / Horror of It All" that sounds alien to this release due to its calmer and sluggish approach and an almost epic length of nearly eight minutes, every track on here is an instant hit and still relevant almost thirty years later. Just like a disease, this album makes you sing along, raise your fists in the air and get crazy in a mosh pit. If you want to see what this kind of music can do to an adrenalized crowd, go watch the first thirty minutes of the incredible live release "Chile on Hell" where the band plays the five opening tracks of this milestone in a row more than twenty-six years later. From the first epic and melodic seconds of the atmospheric, pace-shifting and pitiless opener "Among the Living" to the angry message against media creation of plastic people in the album closer "Imitation of Life" that ends this milestone with heavy and low bass play, brutal mid-tempo riffs and some dystopian distortion, the intensity of this album is indeed spreading like a disease. If you like metal music, no matter what genre might be your favourite, this is an absolutely essential record to add to your collection or to quote singer Joey Belladonna: "Among the living - follow me or die!" ---kluseba, metal-archives.com

 

 

 

Każdy zespół ma album, który powszechnie uznawany jest za najlepszy w dyskografii. W przypadku Anthrax jest nim "Among the Living". W porównaniu z "Spreading the Disease" o wiele lepsze, bardziej czytelne, jest brzmienie. Za to pod względem muzycznym jest jeszcze więcej thrashowej agresji. Zachwyty na tym albumem są jednak dla mnie niezrozumiałe - brzmi on bardzo monotonnie. Praktycznie wszystkie utwory oparte na ciężkich riffach i utrzymane w szybkim tempie. Pod względem wokalnym też jest praktycznie cały czas tak samo: melodyjny śpiew Belladonny uzupełniają wściekłe partie skandowane na punkową modłę przez Scotta Iana i Franka Bello. Jedynym urozmaiceniem są wstępy niektórych utworów ("Among the Living", "Indians").

Oczywiście, mimo monotonności całości, można wyróżnić kilka interesujących utworów. Przede wszystkim oparty na genialnym riffie "I Am the Law", zresztą kolejny przebój zespołu. Riffy zachwycają także w nieco bardziej przystępnym "Horror of It All", zaś poprzedzający go "A.D.I." to ciekawa akustyczna miniaturka. Z kolei "Imitation of Life" to miażdżące zakończenie longplaya, agresją przebijający wszystko, co grupa wcześniej nagrała. Świetną solówką popisał się Dan Spitz, zaś partia wokalna zdaje się zapowiadać nadchodzące eksperymenty grupy z rapem. Także wspomniany już "Indians" zasługuje na uwagę, chociażby tylko za ten wstęp: z początku gra sama perkusja, dopiero po chwili wchodzi świetna solówka. Szkoda, że całego utworu nie utrzymali w tym klimacie. --- Paweł Pałasz, pablosreviews.blogspot.com

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Last Updated (Saturday, 07 October 2017 19:49)

 

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