Anthrax – Fistful of Metal (1984)
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About the Album
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”. This is the band’s only album to feature frontman Neil Turbin and bassist Dan Lilker, who were replaced by Matt Fallon (and eventually by third vocalist Joey Belladonna) and Frank Bello, respectively.
Critical reception to Fistful of Metal was mixed. Xavier Russel of Kerrang! called it a great debut album, with songs played “at a hundred miles an hour”which could just have been “slightly more original.” Writing in the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Colin Larkin called the cover art “tasteless”, but commended the album’s small, but steady commercial performance. AllMusic’s Steve Huey said Anthrax has not found its distinctive style yet, sounding more like a Judas Priest cover band. Huey found the lyrics utilizing heavy metal stereotypes and opined fans would find the record “off-putting”. Canadian journalist Martin Popoff praised the well-produced sound and the “almost operatic anti-thrash vocals”from Turbin, considering the album responsible for “putting New York back on the US metal map, and quality back in the books of bruising and uncompromising underground metal.” The term thrash metal was used for the first time in the music press by Kerrang! journalist Malcolm Dome, referring to the song “Metal Thrashing Mad”.