Among the Living is the third studio album by American thrash metal band, Anthrax. It was released in March 1987 by Megaforce Worldwide/Island, and was certified gold by the RIAA on July 31, 1990. The BBC has described the album as "arguably their big breakthrough", and "often cited by fans as their favorite Anthrax album".
Among the Living was produced by Anthrax and Eddie Kramer. It includes the singles, "I Am the Law" and "Indians". The video for "Indians" received substantial rotation on MTV.
The cover of Among the Living depicts the character Rev. Henry Kane, antagonist from the film Poltergeist II: The Other Side. It has been said to depict the character Randall Flagg, the subject of the album's title track, the antagonist from the Stephen King novel The Stand, but drummer Charlie Benante denies this, claiming "I wasn't thinking about The Stand when I had the idea" for the cover.
"I Am the Law" is a tribute to comic book hero Judge Dredd. Numerous characters, settings and story elements from Dredd's fictional universe are referenced in the song's lyrics. "Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)" ("nise fukin life" spelled backwards) is about comedian John Belushi's drug addiction and death. "Indians" and the mosh pit anthem "Caught in a Mosh" are still considered Anthrax classics today. "A Skeleton in the Closet" is inspired by the Stephen King novella "Apt Pupil".
This was the final Anthrax album to feature songwriting contributions from original bassist Danny Lilker, who, despite having left the band after 1984's Fistful of Metal, was credited as the co-writer of several Anthrax songs for the next two albums. On Among the Living, he is credited as the co-writer of the songs "I Am the Law" and "Imitation of Life".
The album was dedicated to the memory of Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, a highly regarded figure in the thrash community, with whom they were label mates at Megaforce Records and who died six months prior to the album's release.
On November 10, 2009, a deluxe edition of the album was released which included a bonus concert DVD. The deluxe edition featured alternate takes of several album tracks, live versions and "I Am the Law" b-side, "Bud E Luv Bomb And Satan's Lounge Band". During the Metal Alliance 2013 tour, Anthrax played the Among the Living album in its entirety.
In August 2014, Revolver placed the album on its "14 Thrash Albums You Need to Own" list.
"Among the Living" is based on the Stephen King novel The Stand. "The Walkin Dude" is Randall Flagg, the main villain in the book, and the beginning verse: "Disease! Disease! Spreading the disease!\With some help from Captain Trips\He'll bring the world down to its knees" refers to the virus that destroys most of the population in the novel. The song was released as downloadable content for the Rock Band series as a master track.
^Larkin, Colin (1997). Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music. Virgin Books. p. 25. ISBN0-7535-0159-7. Among The Living, co-produced by the band with Eddie Kramer, established Anthrax as a major force in the speed metal scene,...