Anthrax is an American heavy metal band from New York City, formed in 1981 by rhythm guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker. The group is considered one of the leaders of the thrash metal scene from the 1980s and is one of the “Big Four” thrash metal bands with Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer; Anthrax is the only one of the four from the East Coast, and often credited as one of the early thrash metal bands to emerge from there, along with Overkill and Nuclear Assault. As of April 2017, the band has released 11 studio albums, several other albums, and 26 singles, including collaborating on a single with American hip hop group Public Enemy. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Anthrax sold 2.5 million records in the United States from 1991 to 2004, with worldwide sales of 10 million.
Noted for its live performances, Anthrax signed with the independent label Megaforce Records, which released the band’s debut studio album in 1984. Lilker soon left the band to form Nuclear Assault, and was replaced by roadie Frank Bello. Lead vocalist Neil Turbin was replaced after two years by Matt Fallon, who was then subsequently replaced in 1984 by Joey Belladonna. With a new lineup, the band recorded Spreading the Disease (distributed by Island Records) in 1985. Anthrax’s third album, Among the Living, was released in 1987 to critical praise. The band experienced another lineup change in 1992, when John Bush from Armored Saint replaced Belladonna as lead vocalist. Sound of White Noise was released the following year, peaking at number seven on the Billboard 200. Studio recordings during the 1990s saw the band, influenced by other genres, experimenting with its sound.
Anthrax’s lineup has changed several times over their career. The band has had a number of vocalists including Neil Turbin, Joey Belladonna, Dan Nelson and John Bush. Founding member Scott Ian and early arrival Charlie Benante, who joined Anthrax in 1983, are the only band members to appear on every album. Bassist Frank Bello has played on every album, except for the band’s debut Fistful of Metal, which featured Dan Lilker. After briefly rejoining the band from 2005 to 2007, Belladonna returned to Anthrax once again in 2010, and the band has since recorded two more studio albums with him: Worship Music (2011) and For All Kings (2016).