Among the Living is the third studio album by influential thrash metal band Anthrax. They are often considered the weakest of the ‘Big Four’ thrash metal bands, but this album is anything but weak. Among the Living is not only their defining moment, but also a defining album within the thrash metal genre. It was released during a period of a few years where the other ‘Big Four’ thrash metal bands also came out with arguably their defining albums: Metallica with Master of Puppets, Megadeth with Peace Sells… and Slayer with Reign of Blood. Drummer Charlie Benante has referred to it as their “signature album, the one record that really pushed us over the edge.”
Anthrax were probably the second hardest hitters of the genre behind Slayer, and this album shows it with its almost relentless aggression. It’s bags of fun, packed with fast riffs and powerful drumming, while also managing to maintain a decent groove throughout most of it. Some of the lyrics are great, with a mix of socially conscious songs, balanced against less serious topics. This can be seen in the two singles that the album produced: “I Am the Law” (a Judge Dredd tribute) and arguably the highlight of the album, “Indians” (about the treatment of Native American Indians, the video of which appeared frequently on MTV at the time). The iconic cover art was designed by the same artist behind Master of Puppets, illustrator and painter Don Brautigam.
Genre: Thrash/Speed Metal