Anthrax is an American heavy metal band from New York City, formed in 1981 by rhythm guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker. The group is considered one of the leaders of the thrash metal scene from the 1980s and is one of the “Big Four” thrash metal bands alongside with Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer. Anthrax is the only one of the four bands that is from the East Coast, and often credited as one of the early thrash metal bands to emerge from there.
It’s rare that a career gets a second shot, let alone a whole second act, but then Anthrax isn’t your average band. The group would go on to sell over ten million records and become the living embodiment of America’s hi-top wearing, riff-spitting, ear-thrashing answer to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal – that has undergone not one, but two complete eras – but that isn’t their real achievement. More than the group who let a fledgling Metallica crash on their studio floor in 1983, who became a lightning rod for geekdom by immortalizing Judge Dredd with “I Am The Law” in 1987, who enthusiastically unapologetic to the critics and unimaginative fans alike by collaborating with rappers Public Enemy in 1991 , and who – in 2011 proved that classic albums aren’t a bygone concept, the story of Anthrax is one of gritty determination in the face of outrageous odds.
The liveliest fourth of the Big Four, they’re arguably the only member of that legendary fraternity who’ve kept their eyes so firmly focused forward and who’ve so consistently delivered the goods, both on stage and in the studio. Ironically, it was on stage alongside those immortal coconspirators where the story of Anthrax’s 11 th studio record began. Seeing their names in lights next to Slayer, Megadeth, and Metallica had a catalyzing effect on the band weary from years of toil and changing times. According to bassist Frank Bello, it wasn’t just a potent reminder of what they did back in the 80s, but also of how far they’ve come.
As of April 2017, the band has released 11 studio albums, several other albums, and 26 singles. Anthrax sold 2.5 million records in the United States from 1991 to 2004, with worldwide sales of 10 million.
The band’s third studio album Among the Living was released in March 1987. It showcased the band’s humorous, experimental side and began a lyrical trend focusing on movies, comic books and Stephen King novels.
Anthrax is one of the bands responsible for the emergence of speed metal and thrash metal. It exhibited a typical thrash-metal sound on its early albums and was known for humor and comicbook references in the lyrics, distinguishing the band from its contemporaries.
According to Rolling Stone, “Anthrax was one of the few heavy-metal bands to receive critical praise and redefine the genre during the 1980s”.
Anthrax has won several awards including – the Classic Rock & Roll of Honors Awards (Won – Metal Guru) in 2012, Kerrang Award (Won – Spirit of Rock) in 2004, Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards (Won – Best Metal Band) in 2005 and (Won – Inspiration Award) in 2016 and Metal Storm Awards (Won – Best Heavy/Melodic Metal Album) in 2016. The band has also been nominated for several Grammy Awards from year 1991 to 2015 for Best Metal Performance Categories.
Recently on tour in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the album ‘Among The Living’, Anthrax will be heading down to Malaysia to meet their fans for the first time ever on 4th April 2020.