When discussing 80’s metal it’s nearly impossible not to mention something about the Big 4 of thrash metal. The sub-genre itself is worth considering since the influence of these bands can still be heard in today’s metal. Though, as far as the Big 4 goes I’ve always felt that Anthrax deserved more recognition and respect for their contributions to metal. They are my personal favorite and here are some reasons why:
1. They unintentionally coined the term thrash metal with their song “Metal Thrashing Mad”.
2. Scott Ian (do I really need to explain?).
3. Compared to their contemporaries, they have one of the most energetic and entertaining live performances.
4. As far as thrash bands are concerned, Joey Belladonna is an incredibly talented singer. In his heyday he could adjust his vocal styleings to match the band’s music perfectly, and in some cases channel his inner Bruce Dickinson (recommended listen: “Armed and Dangerous”).
5. Only Anthrax can successfully pull off a song with Chuck D of Public Enemy.
6. Lyrically, they are very diverse. Their themes can range from the overly silly “Caught in a Mosh” and “I’m the Man” to the very dark “Persistence of Time” album.
7. They know how to voice their political opinions without sounding like assholes.
8. They have the ability to make cover songs sound like Anthrax originals (recommended listens: “Antisocial”, “Got the Time”).
9. In spite of early, and several, line-up changes they have remained fairly “drama free” (Scott Ian and Dan Lilker were in S.O.D. together shortly after Lilker was kicked out of Anthrax).
10. Their earlier music inspired Jonathan Donais, who is now their lead guitarist.
Opinions are going to vary but we can all agree on one thing, Anthrax is one badass band.