Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Anthrax - Fistful of Metal

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Fistful of Metal, the debut album from the thrash-metal band Anthrax. The line-up for this 1984 album included Charlie Benante (drums), Scott Ian (guitar), Dan Lilker (bass), Dan Spitz (guitar) and Neil Turbin (vocals).

I will say right up front that I do not own any Anthrax albums and have likely only heard a few of their songs here and there. So, this one is totally a first impression review. Strap in - I understand it is going to be a wild ride.

Side one begins with “Deathrider”. My first impression is how amazingly fast these guys play; they pack a lot in a three plus minute song.

“Metal Thrashing Mad” is a pedal-to-the-metal tune about driving down the road at an insane speed.

“I’m Eighteen” is a cover of the Alice Cooper 1970 hit song. I really like this one a lot; it pays proper homage to the original while updating it enough for a new generation of rockers too.

“Panic” definitely sums up that emotional feeling with another frantic paced tune.

“Subjugator” closes out the side.

Side two starts with “Soldiers of Metal”, the only single from the album. This one casts the band as warriors in the battle for music supremacy.

“Death From Above” is next. It is the album’s longest track, clocking in at over five minutes in length.

“Anthrax” follows. The question comes to mind is this: is the song named after the band, or is the band named after the song? I do like that the rhythm on this one changes up a few times through out the song; it helps it to stand out a bit from some of the other tracks.

Next up is the minute and a half long instrumental “Across the River”. I like how it builds with layers as it progresses, and then it mixes things up with a totally different kind of bridge. I actually would have liked to hear more, though it does dovetail nicely into the next track.

“Howling Furies”, the B-side to the single, closes out the album.

While thrash-metal is definitely not my cup of tea, I have got to give Anthrax their props. These guys really play the hell out of their instruments in a controlled-chaotic way. Fistful of Metal is a non-stop workout. I am exhausted just from listening to it.

No comments: