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Anthrax - 1984 Fistful Of Metal



ARTIST: Anthrax
ALBUM: Fistful Of Metal
LABEL: Megaforce (USA), Music For Nations (UK)
SERIAL: MRI 469, MFN 14
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1986, Music For Nations, CDMFN-14 * 1992, Megaforce, 0 20286 6901-2

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Neil Turbin - vocals * Scott Ian - guitars * Dan Spitz - guitars * Dan Lilker - bass * Charlie Benante - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Deathrider * 02 Metal Thrashing Mad * 03 I'm Eighteen * 04 Panic * 05 Subjugator * 06 Soldiers Of Metal * 07 Death From Above * 08 Anthrax * 09 Across The River * 10 Howling Furies

WEBLINKS: www.anthrax.com


Background
Before evolving into a thrash act with Joey Belladonna later in the decade, Anthrax started out as another American metal act influenced by the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon etc. Unlike other bands who merely copied the British style, Anthrax had a reputable sound from the beginning, with Ian and Spitz's riffing capturing an early thrash vibe that saw the band signed by Megaforce, home to Metallica. Despite a ton of lineup changes prior to recording, this version of the band's one and only album ranks with the best in the bands history. Carl Canedy of The Rods handled production and the cover art spelled out Anthrax's manifesto in no uncertain terms! A 'Fistful Of Metal' indeed. Though recorded in 1983, this was released in early January 1984.


The Songs
'Deathrider' is a lost classic and a wise opener. A nifty piece of early thrash, Ian's riffing set the stage for hundreds of pretenders to come, not to mention Benante's double kick drumming frenzy. This makes Slayer's 1983 debut 'Show No Mercy' seem almost amateurish. 'Metal Thrashing Mad' is a good attempt at capturing Accept like energy, even the cover of Alice Cooper's 'I'm Eighteen' has enough individuality to separate it from the original. The stop-start intro to 'Panic' is pure excitement, the riffs shredding the competition with ease. Elsewhere it's all speed and metallic attitude, lend an ear to 'Soldiers Of Metal' and 'Death From Above' to hear what metal is supposed to sound like. Even in 1983, Manowar had no chance. There's even a self titled track, always a laugh, but bringing an even bigger smile are the guitar harmonies halfway through 'Howling Furies', a note for note copy of Judas Priest's similar harmonies during 'Heading Out To The Highway'.


In Summary
A tragedy this would prove to be - is that this is the only slab of vinyl from this version of Anthrax. Lilker snuck off to create Nuclear Assault, while Turbin would spend considerable years in the wilderness. Another shame, Turbin containing powerful pipes that helped put Anthrax over with this debut. Of course Anthrax would go onto bigger things in the 80's, but let's not forget where it all began. Right here with this priceless heavy metal onslaught.


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