Saturday, August 31, 2013

397 of 1001 Albums: Anthrax's Among the Living

Of the metal I've listened to so far I think Anthrax might be the strongest. I'm still not a huge metal fan at all, but the song lyrics seemed to try to be more creative and the instrumentals did show case a lot of talent.  The album does have a lot of banging at the beginning, but by the end the sound sort of smooths out into something better. Overall, it makes a more appealing argument for metal and seems to have more thought processed geared toward the lyrics.

History: For Anthrax, their third studio album Among the Living, would be known as their breakthrough album and one of their more popular ones with fans and critics. What I personally find interesting since I am a fan of Stephen King's is how a couple of the songs are based on his stories. Among the Living is based on the character Randall Flagg from The Stand, and A Skeleton in the Closest gets inspiration from the novella, "Apt Pupil."

Vocals: Joey Belladonna was lead vocals for this album and he really has a set of pipes. He sort of takes some inspiration from what sounds more like lighter rock and mixes it up with metal, because he doesn't go for the gritty, scary, growling sound that many other metal bands resorted to. It just sounds much better. He has a range that is just crazy. Plus, it just expresses more emotion when you can pull off your vocals that way. I was just so glad he never tried to scream or growl.

Instrumentals: While there are moments I definitely don't enjoy how the music sounds like at the beginning of "Among the Living" I think there are moments where it does have better moments. The guitar has a great riff at moments, and it is great for listening to. There are times when the instruments work together and nothing sounds like the other is trying to out do the other with a sound that has no cohesiveness. I also was able to finally place Scott Ian's instrumentals skills after seeing him on almost every metal show there is.

Recording: There is a very heavily based 80's vibe in the 1987 album.  I think it works though, and they do still have the underlining timeless metal rhythm to it. I thought at times this just sounded like thrash metal, which seems to be just as popular now. Or at least it was when I was in high school. The production though is quite well done, and it isn't so overly produced that it doesn't sound real. It was at a time when the instruments still could be heard.

If you're a metal fan then you might like Anthrax already or their at the top to check out. Among the Living would be the place to start. I wasn't converted into a metal fan or anything by this one though. There are things to definitely appreciate, but overall the instrumentals don't really pull me into the tunes and keep me interested.

Rating 4 of 10.

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