Review Summary: Why this is such a favoured album I will never know! It is solid in areas, but in others it is quite a poor and uninteresting listen.
This is one for all the people that love and enjoy metal, and more importantly, thrash. I find Anthrax a hit or miss band throughout the majority of their career. For every ‘Spreading There Disease,’ there's a ‘Stomp 442.’ They nearly have about as many great albums as they do awful ones yet Among the Living sits itself around about the middle. This record is where Anthrax really begun to flex their knuckles and begin the road to fame.
This album is often referred to as a classic, yet how this strange state of mind occurs escapes my grasp. Yet if you can put that aside, ‘Among the Living,’ actually pretty good. I sometimes found myself wishing Dave Mustaine let go of the Megadeth reigns, but it’s artists like this that’s poor vocals really do my head in.
Some of the songs on here are really annoying and seem to have no real place in this thrash metal album. The succeeding half of the album is pretty good, it really sucks at the start, making it a difficult quest to make it to the latter songs. It is things like that is really quite displeasing and disappointing. I claimed this album, expecting to be awed with brilliance and technicality, instead I found myself planning this negative review. Where ‘Fistful of Metal,’ portrayed a band that sucked and couldn’t do anything, ‘Spreading Their Disease,’ showed a band that used their talent to start playing good, and ‘Among the Living,’ is a band that is finally understanding the music industry and what to do to please the fans. This is obviously shown with the second track ‘Caught in a Mosh.’ This song was the first I ever heard by this band I absolutely adored it, and it works its magic in this album just as well as it did on youtube. The guitar-work and drumming is in an entire skilful world of its own.
The real problem comes in with song ‘Indians’. It's too repetitive and the solos, despite common belief, are really quite toneless. This turns out to be a common theme with the album, the songs are all really boring and the solos are quite technical yet powerless. The songs are still pretty good,but everything about them gets too repetitive. I believe if lars and the crew decided to cut down on this album maybe it would uphold it’s title as a classic, but for now I will have to make do with my ‘3.5’ rating. Overall this album is quite a boring album filled with mediocre drumming, mediocre guitar-work, and grating vocals that are hard to listen to. Yet there are some really good songs that make it a worthwhile listen, if you are a patient man, and seeing as I am not, I will not continue to listen to this record. Yet if you see it as a classic, then that is fine by me, this album certainly has potential, yet it doesn’t realise it.