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Anthrax is an American thrash metal band from New York City that was formed by guitarist Scott Ian in 1981. Anthrax is one of the four great Thrash bands along with Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer although their style changed over the years into hardcore and crossover.

The Early Years: 1981-1985

The man who formed Anthrax is also the only remaining founding member: Scott Ian. Scott formed the band with classmate Danny Lilker to cover his favourite Judas Priest and KISS songs. The band played their first self-organized gigs in a church basement, playing covers and own songs. The band underwent a lot of lineup changes in the first years until they were able to record their first demotape with the help of Ex-Manowar Guitarist Ross-The-Boss in 1983. This demo got them a record deal with Megaforce records and Anthrax recorded their debut CD A Fistfull Of Metal and released it in 1984. The band toured the united states and once again the lineup was changed and Joey Belladonna became Anthrax new singer. The Ep Armed & Dangerous from 1985 with Belladonna was a hughe success and the fans accepted him in an instant.

The Joey Belladonna Years: 1985-1992

The success of the Armed and Dangerous Ep granted Anthrax a record deal with Island Records(U2) and recorded thier second CD Spreading the Disease. Together with the hitsingle madhouse the record sales went up and Anthrax went on tour with Metallica. 1986's record Among The Living became Anthrax' biggest success and debuted in the top ten of the billboard charts. The worldtour for Among the living lasted into the year 1988, meanwhile the bad recorded the first Rap/Metal crossover Ep ever: I'm the Man. The Ep's success granted the band a slot at the Castle Donnington Monsters Of Rock festival. The record State of Euphoria was written, recorded and released druing the 1987 tour and sold over 8 million times, keeping the and on the road for yet another year. The reason that 1990's Persistence Of Time sounds a bit darker than the other records might because Anthrax' Studio burnt down a year before together with all the equipment and memories. The 42 minute long Ep Attack of the killer B's from 1992 showed two things: That Anthrax are still the kings of crossover (Bring The Noise With Public Enemy) and that Joey Belladonna isn't getting along with his bandmates anymore(most of the vocals are sung by Scott Ian). Image:Oldanthrax.jpg

Most Important Record of the Belladonna Years: Among The Living

In 1987, Anthrax released their third album, Among the Living. This album began a lyrical trend that focused on movies, comic books and Stephen King novels. All these elements would for years become typical lyrical themes Anthrax fans would come to expect. "I Am the Law" is a tribute to comic book hero Judge Dredd. Indians and Caught In A mosh are Anthrax Classics. The record is pure Thrash metal with hardcore influences but for the first time Joey screams less and sings more on this record. But the insane drumming and the razorsharp riffs kept this record from getting to normal and made it a Thrash metal classic.


1. Among The Living
2. Caught In A Mosh
3. I Am The Law
4. Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
5. A Skeleton In The Closet
6. Indians
7. One World
8. A.D.I. / Horror Of It All
9. Imitation Of Life

The John Bush Years: 1992-2004

Joey Belladonna seperated from the band after an argument with Scott Ian and he was replaced with ex-Armored Saint vocalist John Bush. The band changed to Elektra records with a multi million dollar deal and recorded Sound Of White Noise in 1993. The band had now a more mature image and the music became more serious. The deep and rough voice of John Bush fited perfectly to the band's new attitude. Despite it's great quality the record sold only 500,000 times and was way behind the million selling expectations of Elektra records. 1995's record Stomp 442 was not promoted by the record company aswell as 1998's Volume 8 – The Threat Is Real. The record sales went further down and the tours were not sold out anymore. Anthrax lost the record deal when the record company went bankrupt. After the terrorist attacks of 2001 the band was attacked for their name because people were offended by a name of a Disease that was used by terrorists. The band did almost everything to comfort those people but they did not change their name. The next record We′ve Come For You All was released in 2003, the band joined Nucleas Blast records in 2004 and rerecorded the classic albums.


Most Important Record of the Bush Years: Sound Of White Noise

The first record with John Bush has the best production of all Anthrax records and features a thight and heavy sound. John Bush was considered to be one of the best Metal singers ever and when he came to Anthrax he brought the sound of his old band Armored Saint into their music resulting in a more grooving and melodic sound instead of the Thrash Metal of the old days. The hitsingle Only has the catchiest refrain of all times and the power ballad Black Lodge gives the reord a mysterious touch. Why the music was getting less heavier the much deeper voice of John Bush gave the band a completely new style.


1. Potters Field
2. Only
3. Room For One More
4. Packaged Rebellion
5. Hy Pro Glo
6. Invisible
7. 1000 Points Of Hate
8. Black Lodge
9. C11 H17 N2 02 S Na
10. Burst
11. This Is Not An Exit

The Recent Years: 2005-2008

In 2005 the Classic lineup of Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, Dan Spitz, Joey Belladonna, and Frank Bello reunited for a world tour playing festivals and solo dates, where also the entire Among The living Record was performed. The tour was highly successfull but it set John Bush at a waiting position. John left Anthrax for the duration of the tour to reform with his old band Armored Saint. When Joey Belladonna refused to do another tour in 2007 he was thrown out of the band but sadly John Bush did not want to come back to the band. For his replacement there were rumors about Corey Taylor of Slipknot joining the band but the singer became the inknown Dan Nelson. Anthrax have recorded a new record with nelson which is to be released in 2008, and it's going to be a METAL record like the old ones.

Musical Style

Anthrax play Thrash Metal with punk influences in the early years. The music turned into crossover between metal and hiphop and eventually became influenced by grunge in the John Bush Era. Anthrax have always been known for the furious riffs of Scott Ian and his hyperactive stage acting. The riffs are typical for thrash metal with fast staccato rythms and breakdowns. Anthrax bass playing is the second best fingerstyle bass in thrash metal after Metallica's Cliff Burton: it is surprisingly groovy but yet thight and fast enough for thrash metal. Joey Belladonna's voice is pretty high pitched which fitted perfectly to the Thrash metal days of Anthrax while most vocals during the crossover times are sung (or even rapped) by Scott Ian himself. The low and rough voice of John Bush fitted the late Anthrax perfectly and made the old thrash tracks sound almost like hardcore songs.



Scott Ian's second band is the NY hardcore legend S.O.D (Stormtroopers Of Death) which is considered to be the first Hardcore Punk band ever. Scott said he only combined Punk with Thrash Metal and hardcore was born. The bandname Anthrax, which is the name of a dangerous virus was taken from a Biological School book because it sounded Evil to Scott. Anthrax is famous for the unconventional and colorfull outfits they used to where. Instead of Jeans and leather like Metallica or Slayer, Anthrax wore bermouda shorts and chucks. The song Caught In A Mosh is the reason why violent Pogopits with pushing and jumping are called Moshpits. Pantera's Dimebag Darrel and Phil Anselmo are featured on an Anthrax record.



   * 1984: Fistful of Metal
   * 1985: Spreading the Disease
   * 1987: Among the Living
   * 1988: State of Euphoria
   * 1990: Persistence of Time
   * 1991: Attack of the Killer B‘s
   * 1993: Sound of White Noise
   * 1995: Stomp 442
   * 1998: Volume 8: The Threat Is Real
   * 2003: We‘ve Come for You All
   * 2004: The Greater of Two Evils


   * 1985: Madhouse
   * 1987: Im the Law
   * 1988: Make Me Laugh
   * 1988: Antisocial
   * 1988: Indians
   * 1990: Got the Time
   * 1990: In My World
   * 1991: Bring the Noise
   * 1993: Black Lodge
   * 1993: Hy Pro Glo
   * 1993: Only
   * 1995: High Octane
   * 1996: Nothing
   * 1996: Fueled
   * 1998: Inside Out
   * 1998: Born Again Idiot
   * 1998: Crush
   * 2003: Safe Home
   * 2003: Taking the Music Back


   * 1985: Armed and Dangerous
   * 1987: I‘m the Man
   * 1989: Penikufesin
   * 1991: Attack of the Killer B's
   * 2003: Summer 2003


   * 1986: Fistful of Anthrax (Japan Only)
   * 1994: Live - The Island Years
   * 1998: Moshers…1986-1991 (Best Of)
   * 1999: Return of the Killer A‘s (Best Of)
   * 2001: Madhouse - The Very Best of Anthrax (Best Of)
   * 2002: The Collection (Best Of)
   * 2004: Music of Mass Destruction (Live, DVD + CD)
   * 2004: The Greater of Two Evils (ReRecordings)
   * 2005: Anthrology: No Hit Wonders (1985 - 1992; 2-CD Best OF Reunion)
   * 2005: Alive 2 (Live, DVD+CD)

--ZakkWylde 03:24, 1 July 2008 (CEST)