Fistful of Metal is the debut studio album by American thrash metal band Anthrax, released in January 1984 by Megaforce Records in the US and Music for Nations internationally. It includes a cover of Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen" which to this day is the only Anthrax recording which does not feature guitarist Scott Ian, as he refused to play the song in protest to the management decision to have the song on the album. This is the band's only album that features original vocalist Neil Turbin and original bassist Dan Lilker.
Bassist Danny Lilker and guitarist Scott Ian were the original founders of the band, however Lilker was released by Anthrax shortly after the release of the album due to Lilker's unprofessional behavior. The band, at rhythm guitarist Scott Ian and drummer Charlie Benante's insistence, hired Charlie's nephew, Frank Bello, who has played on every Anthrax album since. Neil Turbin had contributed song ideas, lyrics, titles and arrangements to the majority of songs on the album, as well as three songs from the second album Spreading the Disease, but Ian and Benante, who played guitar in addition to drums, felt they needed tighter control on the songwriting. Due to a songwriting partnership between Ian and Benante, with Ian writing all the lyrics and Benante writing the music, Turbin was released from the band. Music journalist Eddie Trunk stated: "Early on, I told Jon Zazula that what I didn't like about Anthrax was singer Neil Turbin's vocals." He admits in his writing to pressuring Zazula and Anthrax into firing Turbin from the band. The band did not rehire Lilker when given the opportunity, but Lilker did rehearse with his new band at the time Nuclear Assault within a month of his release from the band at the same leased rehearsal room as Anthrax in Yonkers, New York.
Fistful of Metal was released as a double album by Music for Nations in the UK, featuring extra mixes of the tracks "Soldiers of Metal" and "Howling Furies", which were not included on the US edition.[better source needed] In 2000, Megaforce repackaged and re-release a compilation of Fistful of Metal and the 1985 Anthrax EP Armed and Dangerous which featured some liner notes, but excluded any new mixes and bonus tracks and features a different artwork instead of the controversial "Metal-wrapped fist" artwork. The term "thrash metal" was used for the first time in the music press by UK's Kerrang! journalist Malcolm Dome, while making a reference to the song "Metal Thrashing Mad".