19 March 2010
Here is me in 1988. Look how metal I was!
When I was 12, Iron Maiden was the gateway drug into metal. Their cover art alone was enough to draw me in. It wasn't long though before my friend Eric introduced me to Anthrax with their classic 1987 album Among the Living. Holy shitballs, I had never heard anything so heavy and so fast before. In an instant, I was a thrash metal convert. Suddenly, Iron Maiden seemed weak and boring. Within a year, I had everything by Anthrax. I listened to every song and read all the lyrics obsessively. My favorite songs were "Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)" and "Now it's Dark" on State of Euphoria (of course I had no idea it was about David Lynch's Blue Velvet).
Many, many hours of my life were spent ruining my hearing with Anthrax pumping through my headphones. I would play them for everyone who had a stereo. Even people who hated metal had to get a speech from me as to why this band was the greatest thing to ever happen to their ears. When Persistence of Time was released in the summer of 1990, I had found the zenith of music as I knew it. That summer, if you wanted to find me, I was either moshing around my room to "In My World" or playing video games (while listening to "In My World"). Now that my teenage years were well underway, pretty much any angry music spoke to me but Anthrax did it with intelligence and nerdy humor. Life was good.
It wasn't until high school that other bands would crush my Anthrax allegiance. Slayer and Sepultura would decimate most thrash bands and other oddities like Prong would steal my attention away. Then of course, Entombed would come along and within just a few weeks, I was all about the death metal. I still had a place in my heart for them. Hell, I even loved it when they changed singers for Sound of White Noise. It was a change that I liked and I still dig that album. But my fascination with the band and metal of any genre had dissipated before Stomp 442 even came out.
Boy was I surprised when I found out that We've Come for You All, released in 2003, is a fucking kickass album. Hopefully, their upcoming album, which went into limbo sometime in the fall of 2009, will see the light of day soon. I have been revisiting my nostalgia for this band and I'm finding that it's just good stuff. Even though I strayed for a bit there, after all these years, Anthrax is still, without a doubt, my favorite metal band.