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File:Anthrax-not man.jpg

One of the Big Four of Thrash Metal (alongside Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer), the New York City-based Anthrax was formed in 1981.

Unlike the aforementioned bands, Anthrax are known for having a sense of humor in their music - they stood out by recording quite a few songs inspired by movies and comics, and their brightly-coloured surfer appearance. They also discuss social issues in their songs ("Indians", "Who Cares Wins", etc.)

They are also one of the first metal bands to incorporate rap in their songs ("I'm The Man"), and Public Enemy joined them to do perform a new version of their hit single, "Bring the Noise".

Anthrax went through four lead singers throughout their entire career: Neil Turbin (1982-1984), Joey Belladonna (1985-1992 and 2010-present), John Bush (1992-2004), and Dan Nelson (2007-2010).

  • Fistful of Metal (1984)
  • Spreading the Disease (1985)
  • Among the Living (1987)
  • State of Euphoria (1988)
  • Persistence of Time (1990)
  • Sound of White Noise (1993)
  • Stomp 442 (1995)
  • Volume 8: The Threat Is Real (1998)
  • We've Come for You All (2003)
  • Worship Music (2011)

Anthrax provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Adolf Hitler: "The Enemy" from Spreading the Disease is about him and the Holocaust. Surprisingly epic for a song that clocks under six minutes.
  • Album Title Drop: In "Be All, End All" for State of Euphoria and in "Time" for Persistence of Time
  • Badass Beard: Rhythm guitarist Scott Ian's goatee.
  • Bald of Awesome: Scott Ian. He had long hair in The Eighties but now has a shaved head and looks totally Badass either way.
  • The Band Minus the Face: Went through four lead singers, the most successful being Joey Belladonna.
    • John Bush has his supporters as well.
  • Bedlam House: "Madhouse", complete with Laughing Mad, from Spreading the Disease.
  • Bounty Hunter: "Lone Justice" from Spreading the Disease.
  • Corrupt Church: "Make Me Laugh" from State of Euphoria.
  • Cover Version: Anthrax has covered "I'm Eighteen" by Alice Cooper, "God Save the Queen" and "Friggin' in the Riggin'" by Sex Pistols, "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" by Black Sabbath, "Antisocial" and "Sects" by Trust, "Parasite", "Watchin' You" and "Love Her All I Can" by Kiss, "Pipeline" by The Chantays, "Got the Time" by Joe Jackson, "Protest and Survive" by Discharge, "Remember Tomorrow" by Iron Maiden, "Dethroned Emperor" by Celtic Frost, "No Time This Time" and "Next to You" by The Police, "Celebrated Summer" by Hüsker Dü, "Phantom Lord" by Metallica, "The Bends" by Radiohead, "Snap / I'd Rather Be Sleeping" by D.R.I., "Cowboy Song" by Thin Lizzy, "We're a Happy Family" by The Ramones, "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun" by The Beastie Boys and "Exit" by U2.
  • Death From Above: They have a song with same title and theme on Fistful of Metal.
  • Epic Rocking: "A.D.I./Horror of it All", "Who Cares Wins", "Blood", "Keep it in Family" and "This is Not an Exit".
    • "Poison My Eyes" is an underrated example.
      • Ahem..."ONE.FUCKING.WORLD" from Among the Living, as well as "Finale" and "Now It's Dark" from State of Euphoria. And "Time" from Persistence of Time.
  • Fading Into the Next Song:
    • "Intro to Reality" → "Belly of the Beast", as well as "Time" → "Blood" (both examples from Persistence of Time, no less)
    • "Across the River" → "Howling Furies"
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls - "In the End" on Worship Music begins with ominous-sounding church bells.
  • Filk Song: Among the Living has "I Am the Law", which is based on Judge Dredd and the album's title-track and "A Skeleton in the Closet" are based on Stephen King's The Stand and Apt Pupil. Scott Ian's love of Stephen King goes further with The Gunslinger and Misery Loves Company. Additionally, while Safe Home is about New York post 9-11, it draws comparisons to The Dark Tower series ("My whole world has moved on"). Around the time of Sound of White Noise, Scott mentioned in interviews that he'd become aware of his tendency to write "book report songs" and was trying not to do it so much. Additionally, drummer Charlie Benante (who writes most of the music), wrote "Black Lodge" after being inspired by Angelo Badamlanti's score of Twin Peaks. David Lynch then came on board to direct the video.
    • Speaking of David Lynch, "Now It's Dark" (from State of Euphoria) is about Frank Booth from Blue Velvet.
      • And in a nod that loops right back round to Celebrity Paradox, in one story Dredd busts an underground metal venue where the DJ is playing an un-named Anthrax song. Snatches of the song lyrics appear throughout the strip, and it's pretty obviously "I Am The Law". Leaning on the Fourth Wall, indeed.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: "Howling Furies" from Fistful of Metal.
  • Fun with Acronyms / Sdrawkcab Name / Theme Naming / Funetik Aksent: "Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)", "N.F.B. (Dallabnikufesin)", Oidivnikufesin (N.F.V.) VHS and Penikufesin extended play.
  • He's Back: Joey Belladonna, for some of the fanbase.
  • Instrumentals: "Across the River" from Fistful of Metal, "13" from State of Euphoria, and "Intro to Reality" from Persistence of Time.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: "H8 Red" from Persistence of Time.
  • Mascot: Not Man, pictured above.
  • Medusa: "Medusa" from Spreading the Disease.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Fistful of Metal and Spreading the Disease are seven, but occasionally border on eight. Among the Living and State of Euphoria are at an eight. Persistence of Time is 8, but actually borders on 9 sometimes. Their John Bush albums are usually in the 6 to 8 range, with a couple of songs (such as "Black Lodge") being a 5.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Rhythm guitarist Scott Ian responded to fan charges that they were "selling out" when they chose John Bush as their new lead singer and with their more mainstream sounding album "Sound of White Noise" by saying "The bottom line is, everyone in this business is in it to make money. Myself included."
  • New Sound Album: State of Euphoria in the late 80's derived from the early Speed Metal sound and the band went straight Thrash for change of the decade. Sound of White Noise introduced the band's 90's sound.
  • Noble Savage: "Indians" from Among the Living.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Fistful of Metal and Spreading the Disease
  • Piss-Take Rap: "I'm the Man"
  • Power Ballad: "N.F.B. (Dallabnikufesin)" from Attack of Killer B's compilation is a parody of these.
  • Rap Metal: "I'm the Man"; "Bring Tha Noize" (with Public Enemy)
  • Rhyming with Itself: N.F.L. rhymes "life" with "life" in the chorus.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Averted. Anthrax is the only band of the Big Four where the other band members regularly provide the backing vocals. Scott Ian does the lead rapping on "I'm The Man" and the last two verses on "Bring The Noise".
  • Shout-Out: Many. For instance, "Fueled" is an homage to/mentions poet to Charles Bukowski. Also, see Filk Song above.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: On "I'm the Man", drummer Charlie Benante shared lead vocal duties with Scott Ian. Belladonna played the drums on said song.
  • Sword and Gun: Mentioned in "Armed and Dangerous" from Spreading the Disease.
  • Too Soon: It was rumored that they would change their name following the 2001 anthrax attacks, but eventually nothing happened... and they showed up at the anthrax attack benefit concert wearing this.
  • Wasted Song: "Bordello of Blood" which is only available on promo-single and in OST of the titular Tales from the Crypt film.
  • Zombie Apocalypse:
    • "Fight 'Em Til You Can't" from Worship Music is one of these.
    • The video for "What Doesn't Die" features the band taking on a zombie horde.