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Anthrax
Fistful Of Metal
Type: CD
Company: Megaforce
Release: 1984
Genre: Thrash
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 5/31/2004
Innovative, original, and completely over the top
Anthrax - Fistful Of Metal 1984 Megaforce Records reviewed by: EC

Track Listing
1. Deathrider
2. Metal Thrashing Mad
3. I'm Eighteen
4. Panic
5. Subjugator
6. Soldiers of Metal
7. Death From Above
8. Anthrax
9. Across the River
10. Howling Furies
Got My Foot Pressed To The Floor
You Can Feel The Engine Roar
I Got Thunder In My Head
I'm Metal Thrashing Mad!

Anthrax. Fistful Of Metal. 1984. Megaforce Records. One of the most wicked metal sensations to ever course through the human ear, Anthrax stepped over the line with "Fistful Of Metal", the best album to date by the band, and a record that will forever be held in high esteem by metal fans world-wide. With "Fistful Of Metal", Anthrax created the perfect stomping ground, laying down ten tracks of thunder sure to raise the dead themselves, roaring through the rotation in 35 minutes. Like "death from above", Anthrax sweep in, shellshocked and left the town a bloody spectacle.

With very little regard for human life, and the human ear, Scott Ian (Rhythm), Dan Spitz (Lead), Neil Turbin (Vocals), Dan Liker (Bass), and Charlie Benante (Drums) set out on a mission to kick start the world into heavy metal momentum, by-passing the laws of physics and sound, instead settling on a mind roar of loud, crashing, thunderous sound waves that devestated EVERYTHING in January of 1984. Anthrax laid the groundwork that would soon be taken to the limit with Jag Panzer's "Ample Destuction", with "Fistful Of Metal" influencing everyone from Exciter to Overkill, creating a solid album of heavy fast chops, wailing vocals, and a tight battery that sounds like a battering ram, carefully plotting each strike in high hopes of breaking down the proverbial walls, delivering each smashing blow with all intentions of total sonic destruction. Anthrax delivered a Fistful Of Metal.

From opening storm "Deathrider" to the gothic power metal overtone of "Howling Furies", Anthrax create the perfect heavy metal album. With the lightning quick guitars of Ian and Spitz, the bottom basement bass lines of Liker, and the fantastic vocal performance of one Neil Turbin, the group manage to mesmerize the listener with a wall of sound, one that really combines the raw aspects of Venom and Motorhead with a loosely built New Wave Of British Heavy Metal engine, with a deep understanding of thrash metal added to the mix.

With songs like "Deathrider", Anthrax refuse to let up, instead increasing the pace to a fever pitch. Ian and Spitz combine to unleash the ultimate gallop, with Turbin sounding completely out of control, almost pyschotically deranged in his vocal delivery, sounding rabid with his "Here It Comes, You Better Hide, Shoot The Guns, You're Going To Die!!" ramblings. "Metal Thrashing Mad" is a power metal classic, building around one huge guitar chop, sounding like a more metallic version of Nugent, with Turbin once again driving like a maniac. Soaring leads hit this one at the midway, with Benante laying down an extraordinary drum pattern on the skins. This is just classic!

"Panic" is just simply too much at times, almost making it an unfair fight for the other bands, showing off the true fury that is Anthrax, with "Panic" thrashing almost out of bounds. "Subjugator" shows off the red, white, and blue New Wave, almost sounding like a hard and fast look at the dirtiest KISS. "Soldiers Of Metal" and "Death From Above" are raging steelers, once again showing off Turbin's loud and aggressive pipes. "Across The River" builds into "Howling Furies", a good song writing venture into the realms of Hell, a great track that probably went on to inspire other bands like Iced Earth, Helstar, and Nasty Savage. "Howling Furies" takes the grinding doom riffs of Sabbath and speeds them up, still conveying that gloomy doom vibe, but instead focusing on a more up tempo delivery, one that is both atmospheric and thrashing at the same time. The band also stops by to cover Alice Cooper with a good renditon of "I'm Eighteen".

With "Fistful Of Metal", Anthrax took over the underground, laying claim to the "most over the top" album to hit the streets. This album would be considered extreme metal for '84, long before extreme meant church burnings and murder, extreme for Anthrax was creating the ultimate out of control sound, one that never wavers in its valid attempts to crush everything in sight.

"Fistful Of Metal" did exactly what it proclaimed, serving up the perfect dish for the starving metal legions. KISS were never this wild. Priest didn't go thrash until '90. Anthrax simply played monkey in the middle, making the most of their opportunity by creating the perfect debut record. Unfortunately Turbin and Spitz left the band later, with "Fistful Of Metal" really being the only 'Thrax album of its kind. Runner-up "Spreading The Disease", with Joey Belladonna on vocals, never wanted to get too far out of line, making what "Fistful Of Metal" did that much more impressive.

Innovative, original, and completely over the top, Anthrax simply killed with "Fistful Of Metal".


--EC 05.31.04
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: ANTHRAX
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Anthrology: No Hit WondersAnthrax
2005
Ken Pierce10/4/2005
Fistful Of MetalAnthrax
1984
Eric Compton5/31/2004
Music Of Mass DestructionAnthrax
2004
Eric Compton5/13/2004
The Greater Of Two EvilsAnthrax
2004
Troy Cole12/7/2004
We've Come For You AllAnthrax
2003
Frank Hill8/10/2004
We've Come For You AllAnthrax
2003
Eric Compton3/7/2003


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: ANTHRAX
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
For All KingsAnthrax
2016
Eric Compton3/17/2016
Worship MusicAnthrax
2011
Chris Kincaid9/10/2011


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INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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