Anthrax is one of the “big four” of 80s thrash metal (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament) and an undeniable pillar of the scene. Like most metal bands that have been around a while, their evolving sound has engendered controversy, with purists insisting that only the 1980s “Belladonna stuff” is the “real” Anthrax, with others more open to changes in direction. Whatever your position, you can’t deny that Anthrax has been one of the hardest-working bands in metal, having performed live and toured constantly since the very early days after their founding in 1981 to the present day–the band is reportedly working on a new studio album for release this summer, to be followed inevitably by a tour.
“Only” is the crowning achievement of the band’s 1993 album Sound of White Noise. This is the album that began moving them away from the classic 80s/early 90s thrash sound to a direction that included grunge influences–a controversial move in 1993, but you can’t deny the hard-hitting power of this song. John Bush certainly has a different vocal style than Joey Belladonna, but the gritty kinetic energy of Anthrax is still there, and this is probably my favorite song of theirs. James Hetfield of Metallica has expressed the opinion that “Only” is a “perfect” metal song.
I’ve seen Anthrax live numerous times. They seem to pop up at Wacken pretty regularly. Scott Ian has definitely embraced social media; his Twitter feed is one of the most fun-related metal accounts you can find.
Shabbat Shalom, enjoy!