Best Anthrax Albums

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Marsicano, Dan. "Best Anthrax Albums." ThoughtCo, Apr. 17, 2017, thoughtco.com/best-anthrax-albums-1753084. Marsicano, Dan. (2017, April 17). Best Anthrax Albums. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/best-anthrax-albums-1753084 Marsicano, Dan. "Best Anthrax Albums." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/best-anthrax-albums-1753084 (accessed October 17, 2017).

New York thrash legends Anthrax have had quite an up-and-down career. The band hit it big in the mid-1980s with a series of successful albums. In the early 90s, vocalist Joey Belladonna would suddenly leave the band, and John Bush came in as his replacement. From there, the '90s were a rough period for the band, with lineup changes and label issues making the band fade into obscurity.

Anthrax were one of the few thrash bands to have a sense of humor, along with those trademark baggy shorts, and this top five list represents the high points in Anthrax’s catalog of material.

On Among The Living, Anthrax finally put all the pieces together, and released an album of consistent quality all the way through. There are several classic thrash tracks on here, including the title track, “Caught In A Mosh” and “Indians.”

Scott Ian is one of the best rhythm guitarists in the business, and the team of Frank Bello and Charlie Benante is top-notch. Their third album is the best in the legendary band's catalog.

Recommended Track: Caught In A Mosh

Anthrax had always been known to showcase the lighter side of thrash, but with their fifth album, and last with vocalist Joey Belladonna, Anthrax put across a darker image of themselves. Most of the humorous lyrical content is gone, replaced with hatred and sheer contempt for humanity.

While the Joe Jackson cover “Got The Time” is the most recognizable song on here, Persistence Of Time is a strong collection of mid-paced material (“Belly Of The Beast,” “Keep It In The Family”) and unrelenting chaos (“Gridlock,” “Discharge”).

Recommended Track: Belly Of The Beast

The first signs that Anthrax was a force to be reckoned with, their sophomore album Spreading The Disease was the recording debut of Belladonna and bassist Frank Bello. Belladonna was a breath of fresh air and easily fit into the role of lead vocalist.

More speed metal-oriented than later releases, the album slaughters everything in its path, with “Gung-Ho” “A.I.R,” and “Aftershock” the highlights. Spreading The Disease was also the first album that got them mainstream publicity, most notably in the music video for single “Madhouse.”

Recommended Track: A.I.R.

Looking back at Anthrax’s debut album Fistful Of Metal, there is no doubt that it comes off as cheesy and over-the-top, mostly due to vocalist Neil Turbin. However, that doesn’t take away from the material itself, as there are some future classics contained within.

“Deathrider,” “Metal Thrashing Mad,” and “Panic” are fan favorites, while “Solders Of Metal” and “Howling Furies” are quite underrated. Even at a young age, Anthrax had a lot of talent in its ranks, especially from drummer Charlie Benante, who just dominates his kit with a level of skill reserved for musicians twice his age.

Recommended Track: Metal Thrashing Mad

A lot of Anthrax fans are mixed on the John Bush-era of the band. Some say the band matured as musicians and songwriters, and others find the band’s transformation into a hard rock/grungier sound to be revolting. 1993’s Sound Of White Noise was the first step towards a more mainstream sound for Anthrax.

Unlike their other '90s releases, Sound Of White Noise succeeded in attracting new fans, while keeping the older ones satisfied. The album reached number 7 on the Billboard charts, and several successful singles were released, including “Only” and “Room For One More.”

Recommended Track: Room For One More