Anthrax’s 1987’s thrash metal epic ‘Among the Living’ was always one of my favorite albums of the genre! I used to listen to it all the time back then and it was the soundtrack to many skateboarding sessions I’d have with my friends. I even had the Among the Living t-shirt with Judge Dredd on it, who they had written a song about on the album. So now Anthrax & Z2 comics have developed a rad new way to explore the album with an original anthology graphic novel comic book! Come July 6th, each song on the album has been given it’s own unique story from an impressive creative team, with a new NOTMAN design by Greg Nicetero of Walking Dead fame!
The album is infectiously catchy, with choruses that stick in your head for years and iconic metal riffs galore, It’s an album of anthems and most uniquely known for it’s songs bases heavily in pop culture of the time. So I’m stoked to take a journey with this when it comes out and give the album a spin while I jump into these new stories.
With big names like Brian Posehn, Corey Taylor & Rob Zombie involved it’s certain to be worth a walk down metal memory lane. The album which a fan favorite, definitely deserves a new audience and I’m ready to mosh like it’s 1987 one more time!
I’m a total sucker for a cool or super damn cheezy 80’s pop/rock song & I’ve noticed through the years that there are some really awesome soundtracks featuring obscure bands from the era that are almost entirely forgotten. Well NO more! I’m going to start compiling some of my favorite 80’s underground hits that have appeared in some of the more forgotten cult movies of the genre. So let’s get to the first installment!
About a week ago I checked out a cool little obscure australian slasher flick from 1989 called “Blood Moon”. It’s pretty much everything you want from the genre, playing out like a twisted ultra cheez John Hughes wannabe movie done down under. It’s got a ton of crazy horny teens, a ridiculous slasher, cool 80’s style and a total ludicrous plot.
“Something dreadful is happening in the small town of Cooper’s Bay … something more hideous than murder. The victims, usually students, are being strangled with a particularly grisly weapon while making love. They’re then buried … and small-town life goes on.
That is, until Kevin, an outsider, falls for Mary, the daughter of a Hollywood star. Both are on the campus killer’s hit list. They’re also on biology teacher Miles (sic) Sheffield’s hate list. Miles, you see, cannot tolerate his oversexed wife’s embarrassing affairs with the students. Finally, the rage building inside Miles and the insane butchering of young men and women explode in a nightmare of heart-pounding suspense … under a BLOOD MOON.”
Yep pretty much everything that makes a bad 80’s movie a ton of fun. What we also get is some cool obscure 80’s music, more notably a sweet Aussie power pop/glam band called “Vice” who “play live” in the movie during a school dance. I’ve gotta admit the band’s got the chops along with a rad goth glam look (They were forced to sport for the horror movie vibe) and some sweet ass catchy as shit pop gems. If I make a mix of cult horror movie songs this one will probably start it off.
It looks like Vice was a band formed in Brisbane in 1984 and throughout the years supported bands like ‘The Sweet’ & ‘Stryper’ on tours. I guess they started out as more of thrash band and also had some kinda offensive album covers too. In the later 80’s the band put out more polished power pop type of stuff. I checked out the album from ’89 called “Take Me home” that their “hit” song from the movie appeared in and it’s a ton of fun. Anyway here’s the theme song from Blood Moon “Keep Holding On” in all it’s 80’s keyboard kickin’ glory:
Word came out in the last day finally from Steve Thompson, the man responsible for mixing Metallica’s classic 1988 masterpiece “And Justice for All”. Finally addressing the elephant in the room- the fact that the album has no bass in it’s final mix! For years us Metallica fans were downright perplexed as to why it sounded as if Jason Newsted was absent from the record.
Was it a hazing he got for replacing legendary bassmaster Cliff Burton? Or was it just a bad decision by the mixer himself? Well the man had this to say about Lars Ulrich:
“We had to get the drum sound up the way he(Lars) had it,” Thompson says. “I wasn’t a fan of it. So now he goes, ‘See the bass guitar?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, great part, man. He killed it.’ He said, ‘I want you to bring down the bass where you can barely, audibly hear it in the mix.’ I said, ‘You’re kidding. Right?’ He said, ‘No. Bring it down.’ I bring it down to that level and he says, ‘Now drop it down another 5 dB.’ I turned around and looked at [Metallica guitarist James] Hetfield and said, ‘He’s serious?’ It just blew me away.”
“My only regret is that we didn’t have enough time to at least mix it the way we heard it,” he says. “I wanted to take Master Of Puppets and blow that away. That was my sonic direction for … And Justice For All. It was all there but I think they were looking for more garagey-type sound without bass. And the bass was great; it was perfect.”
Damn that Lars, always fucking some shit up, My question is why not re-release the album today with a new mix and remastering? They must have all the tracks still, it’s one of the most legendary metal album of all time. They’d make a ton of money and the fans would eat it up. Officially remix this shit! In the meantime there’s an awesome video on youtube where Newsted’s bass IS actually enhanced check this shit out, it give the album a whole new vibe!
So with Twin Peaks set to be revived soon I can’t help but wonder if maybe this time around legendary metal band Anthrax will finally get the respect they deserve for being big fans of the show! Back in 1993 they released ‘The Sound of White Noise” which was honestly never an album I ever got 100 percent behind. I guess I was extremely partial to Joey Belladonna and this album marked his departure as lead vocalist.
Well Anthrax always had rad subject matter to their songs, lets face it they are metal nerd fanboys and many people don’t realize “Black Lodge” from this album was written about Twin Peaks. Heck they even got the Twin Peaks score conductor Angelo Badalamenti to help them write the song. This album had a much more grunge sound to it as it seemed all bands around this era were changing their sound and trying to cash in on the whole grunge fad at the time.
But still let’s not ever forget that Anthrax delivered the best metal song about Judge Dredd called “I am the Law” and can you believe that two damn Dredd movies materialized and neither of them include this song in the soundtrack?! What a fucking crying shame!! Wake the fuck up Hollywood don’t take Anthrax for granted!! Here’s the video for Black Lodge in case you missed it back in 1993!
AND here’s “I am the Law” again, maybe they will put this in that rumored Dredd sequel!