Review Summary: Among the Living is the crowned jewel amongst the dynasties of thrash.
Anthrax's debut success "Fistful of Metal" that got them the ultimate entrance was about average, and was by no means, anything to stand out among the generation. When "Spreading the Disease" came out, it was at that point when their career would really start to take off. Even greater than could've been expected, was released "Among the Living". This album is imperator of thrash metal, along with Megadeth, and Metallica. As one of the 3 core thrash groups of the time, Anthrax has successfully, planted its feet. But how long would this success last? According to critics, and special audiences, this album, if Anthrax should one day screw up, (it's yet to happen) will remain as an artifact of a legendary performance of the 80's.
The album kicks off with an album named track "Among the Living", starting with a quiet guitar riff. The way the guitars shred right from the beginning give notice to the fact that it will be a wild ride, the whole way through. One of the greatest notices of instruments that stand out immediately is Charlie Benante's excellent use of the drums. The hardcore, fast-paced riffs of the guitar and bass, combined with an amazingly fast beat, make tracks 'Among the Living' and 'Caught in a Mosh' so spectacular. 'I Am the Law' and 'N.F.L.' are good examples of an amazing use of vocals. In the first two tracks, the vocals are more static. In pretty much the rest of the album, the vocals are filled with superb harmonies. This is most apparent in 'Indians', where nearly the whole song is quieted down in the guitars, and gives a chance for lead singer Joey Belladonna to show off his amazing voice. The awesome conclusion of this album is 'Imitation of Life'. This song, other than 'Caught in a Mosh', is my most favorite song on this album, just an excellent way to view this album, to step back from it all, and review what you've just heard. Great melodies, but definitely aspects of thrash metal are present.
This is undoubtedly Anthrax's greatest performance in their career. Scott Ian is at his best, as well as Charlie Benante. But unfortunately, Anthrax has not yet released another record quite as good as this. Just as well perhaps, that another record as good, as or maybe even better than this one, would ruin its significance.