Go to content | Go to navigation | Go to search

Class 6(66)

Anthrax: Among the living

18/03/05  ||  Lord K Philipson

Released: 1987

Introduction

I remember exactly when I got this album thanx to one reason… Me and one of my cousins were out walking when I lived in the north of Sweden. While we were strolling by the side of the road I spotted something in the grass. It was a 500 Swedish crowns that someone had dropped. I was 14 years old at the time and 500 SEK was a shitload of money to any kid that age. We had this small record store (I think it was called “PR”, but I’m not perfectly sure) in that small town where my mom bought me all my records, if I didn’t buy them myself, which was a seldom-seen action. We went to that record store faster than I would cum if Jenna Jameson sucked my cock, and I put some 60 SEK of those 500 on this album, the rest we spent on playing arcade-games for a few weeks. This was one of the first records I bought myself.

Songwriting

9. Fucken Anthrax had their shit together at the time. It’s all hit material. Not one bad song thruout the whole damn album. Favorite track is probably “Among the living” itself. That classic beginning of it still puts a smile on my face and when the thrashing starts you know Anthrax just did the best piece of music in the history of the band. They would never come to this level of songwriting again.

Production

9. Being recorded so early, this album still stands proud among (the living – ZING!) today’s recordings. It has a good crunch and everything though the overall volume is low, as with all records recorded at this point in time. But everything is audible and mixed perfectly as in terms of hearing all the instruments. Whoever did this piece can be proud of himself.

Guitars

9. Scott “NOT” Ian was my personal hero at the time, and I even wore various “NOT” gear I made myself. Caps, shorts and whatnot. The guitars are tight as a nun’s cunt and the sound of them is all good. That other guitarist, the dwarf guy, was prolly ace with playing solos but I can’t say I ever cared about the solos in Anthrax. I just wanted some sheer fucken heaviness. And when it comes to guitars, Anthrax sure delivered that heaviness on all accounts, especially on “Among the living”, but “Spreading the disease” held it’s fair share of excellence as well.

Vocals

7. Joey Belladonna actually stink, but for some reason his vocals worked with Anthrax. I want him back in the band. And I want them to write a record like this again. Until then I’ll just spin “Among the living” and be fine with that. Joey’s somewhat high-pitched screams is either a love or hate story. I love them. It might mean I have ridiculously bad taste in vocals but then again – we all know I don’t.

Bass

9,5. With Anthrax, you could actually hear the bass, and the bass-sound is excellent. He might not pull off anything super-flashy, but it’s not needed. The bass is dominating in the picture and adds that fine metallic touch to the material. It’s good to see that some bands understood the importance of having loud bass in their metal even back in 1987. Not many albums displays such a prominent bass and that’s just another point to the masterpiece that is “Among the living”.

Drums

8. Good’ol Charlie Benante never did anything ├╝ber-technical, but he sure knew how to be steady as a rock. Charlie was never a fave drummer of mine or anything, but he sure got his shit down and is basically the only drummer I can imagine being in Anthrax. The sound is fine too so there’s nothing to complain about here. But to get a higher grade he would have needed to throw in some more impressive shit into his playing.

Lyrics

3. I don’t know, there’s alot of comedy in the lyrics and comedy has nothing to do with metal. But no one can help but sing along to “Efilnikufesin”, among others. It wasn’t Shakespeare who wrote the lyrics for Anthrax, that’s for sure.

Cover art

5. Ugly as all fuck really, but a simple and pretty good-looking cover anyways. It has a small mysterious feel to it and with the title in mind it actually makes sense. It will not go down in history as the Eiffel Tower of album covers, but it sure brings back some nice memories of my youth.

Logo

7. It’s clean and nicely drawn. But a yellow logo? Should be death penalty for doing yellow logos. It is a classic though, yellow or not.

Booklet

7. I wonder how many times we say this for this category, but I never saw the fucken CD of this one as I only own the LP version. That one looks fine though. Damn those LP’s, they are way more fun to look at than CD’s. And nowadays we are supposed to look at 200×200 pics on the screen? Shameful.

Overall and ending rant

9. This album meant alot to me back in the days, and I still love listening to it. The beginning of “Imitation of life” will always give me shivers down my ass. “Among the living” is the best album Anthrax ever did and I think it’s safe to say they will never top it either. A thrash fest de luxe with some fantastic song writing and riffs to die for.