The band and Eddie Kramer produced the album. The album includes the singles, “I Am the Law” and “Indians”. The cover of Among the Living depicts the Rev. Henry Kane, antagonist from the Poltergeist series of films, as he was the one thing that scared the band most. This was the last album to feature songwriting by original bassist Danny Lilker, who, despite having left the band after 1984 Fistful of Metal, was continuously credited as the co-writer of certain songs for the next two albums. On Among the Living, he is credited as the co-writer of the songs “I Am the Law” and “Imitation of Life.” The album was dedicated to the memory of Metallica bassist Cliff Burton who died six months prior to the album release. This is the only Anthrax album that has a title track.
Three of the Big Four delivered defining albums in 1986: Metallica with Master Of Puppets, Slayer with Reign In Bloodand Megadeth with Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?. In 1987, Anthrax weighed in with what drummer Charlie Benante called their “signature album”. Among The Living was their breakthrough, hitting the UK Top 20, and it stands tall as a thrash classic. The album thrums with a fierce energy, a combination of breakneck speed and heavy grind proving brutally effective in the title track, Caught In A Mosh and the Judge Dredd-inspired I Am The Law. And in Indians, Anthrax had their Run To The Hills.
Island Records – 90584-1, Megaforce Worldwide – 90584-1,
Vinyl, LP, Album
16 Mar 1987
Thrash, Heavy Metal
1. “”Among the Living”” Anthrax 5:16
2. “”Caught in a Mosh”” Anthrax 4:59
3. “”I Am the Law”” Anthrax, Danny Lilker 5:57
4. “”Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)”” Anthrax 4:54
5. “”A Skeleton in the Closet”” Anthrax 5:32
1. “”Indians”” Anthrax 5:40
2. “”One World”” Anthrax 5:56
3. “”A.D.I./Horror of It All”” Anthrax 7:49
4. “”Imitation of Life”” Anthrax, Lilker 4:22
Joey Belladonna Lead vocals, Backing vocals
Dan Spitz Lead guitar, Acoustic guitar on A.D.I
Scott Ian Rhythm guitar, Backing vocals
Frank Bello Bass guitar, Backing vocals
Charlie Benante Drums
- Barcode: 0 7567-90584-1 6
- Matrix / Runout (Label side A): ST-IL-876319-SP
- Matrix / Runout (Label side B): ST-IL-876320-SP
- Matrix / Runout (Etched runout side A): ST-IL-876319-B-Dmm SPI-2 Sterling
- Matrix / Runout (Etched runout side B): STIL-876320-A-Dmm-1 SPI-2 Sterling
- Rights Society: ASCAP
“”Among the Living”” is based on the Stephen King novel The Stand. “”The Walkin Dude”” is Randall Flagg, the main villain in the book, and the beginning verse: “”Disease! Disease! Spreading the disease!With some help from Captain TripsHe’ll bring the world down to its knees”” refers to the virus that destroys most of the population in the novel.
“”Caught in a Mosh”” is ranked number 29 in VH1 “”40 Greatest Metal Songs.”” A cover version of the song is included in the game Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s.
“”I Am the Law”” is about the comic book character Judge Dredd.
“”Efilnikufesin (N.F.L)”” is about the life of John Belushi. Efilnikufesin is “”Nise Fukin Life”” (“”nice fucking life””, phonetically) backward.
“”A Skeleton in the Closet”” is based on the Stephen King novella “”Apt Pupil”” in the novel Different Seasons. It has since been made into a movie.
As one of the so-called big four of thrash metal Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer being the other three Anthrax blazed an innovative trail throughout the 1980s. The big four, and innumerable others with angry-sounding names such as Destruction, Overkill and Nuclear Assault, heralded a new level of aggression within the scene. The hydra-headed beast that is metal today therefore owes much to Anthrax and their ilk, and their influence is difficult to overstate.
Released in 1987, Among the Living was Anthrax’s third album and arguably their big breakthrough. 1985âs Spreading the Disease had seen them tour in support of Metallica, but in the wake of Among the Living they became a headline act in their own right. Often cited by fans as their favourite Anthrax album, it features some of their most memorable moments and is impressively consistent.
The production standards of the era favoured instruments and vocals drenched in reverb and processed effects. By contrast, Among the Living is bone-dry, and all the more brutal for it. Taking a leaf out of Metallica’s book, the band opt for an epic opening, the title track is portentous power chords shifting first to a chug before launching themselves into all-out thrash. Concert favourites Caught in a Mosh and Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.) continue to induce grins and furious head-banging in equal measure, while I Am the Law and Indians both successful single have lost none of their insistent urgency. Overall, Among the Living strikes a deft balance between marauding speed and judicious use of melody, a juggling feat they’d fumble on later albums.”