Among the Living is a great Anthrax record. Anthrax have never really been a band that make epics and put lots of depth in their music but I can tell you right now that this is a very fun record to listen to. They could also be considered one of the lightest thrash bands with only the ďchugga-chugga" element and the double bass to give them that real thrash sound. Their sound if based on guitar master Scott Ianís mind. A guitar genius, he incorporates a lot of techniques with his guitar while still keeping it at head-banging level. Anthraxís turn-off could be the light whimpered vocals of Joey Belladonna. While other thrash bands would have a low-voiced tough man for a front man. Anthrax stuck with Joey who has a power metal voice. Itís quite high-pitched and he can scream like a banshee.
All this may put you off but Anthrax are great at what they do combining basic thrash songs with their own twist. Itís safe to say no other thrash band was like them. Some points are very dark and mysterious while others are just great to rock out to and have some fun. Anthrax were never a serious band until maybe John Bush took over. The lyrics are usually silly and funny or sometimes just fun (Caught in a Mosh is a great example of this). Anthrax are great musicians, Scott Ian obviously being the highlight, he combines fast thrash riffs, fast solos and some great guitar parts. I feel the bass really shines on this record as the bass is loud. While it may follow the guitars, it does a damn good job of it. The drums contain fast double bass, fills and some simple beats to carry the song. Great performance and he simply does what the drummerís role is.
I canít really find anything wrong with the record apart from two things. One flaw is pretty minor but still gets on my nerves. The backing vocals flat-out annoy me, they are shouted with extreme force and it gets a bit annoying after hearing the light vocals of Joey. Another thing is that there is no classics on the album, they are great songs throughout the album but none that you could label classic. Speaking of good songs, I must agree that this album has a great track list. Caught in a Mosh, I Am The Law, Efilnekufesin (N.F.L), Skeleton in the Closet and Indians are all great songs. Perfect but they arenít something Iíd listen to again and again. That something the other thrash bands had that Anthrax didnít, Anthrax keeps to a similar formula every song, they never change.
Skeleton in the Closet and Indians are my favourite Anthrax songs. Skeleton in the Closet starts with this weird build-up until it goes into that famous riff. The song doesnít pick until about the chorus when Joey and his band of musicians sing, ďTell me a story! Booyah, booyah!
A real good story!" In the second verse Scott puts a lot of little lead parts into it until after that he puts a fast amazing solo into it. Itís a nice song and one of my favourites on the album but it doesnít compare to the inferior Indians. It starts off with a *gasp* harmonic intro! Scott pulls it off nicely and itís the main melody for the song. The chorus can get annoying but none the less pulled off great again. To crop it all off, this is essential for thrash fans. Itís like an unwritten law. For fans outside the genre then youíd better stay away cause youíd get bored pretty quick. Donít expect a masterpiece or five star material here but what youíll get a fun album not to be taken too seriously and some fun songs to rock out to. It isnít perfect but not really flawed, it just lacks consistency. Good album, worth checking out.