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Anthrax are one of the biggest and most important metal bands of all time, which is a fact that doesn't get repeated enough despite their prestigious slot in the "Big 4" of thrash. It's not easy being direct peers with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth, but throughout their 40-year history, they've produced a boatload of fantastic rippers that bands are still taking influence from today. In celebration of their four decades of destruction, we asked our readers to cast their vote for the single best Anthrax song. The results weren't exactly what we expected, but they're ranked accordingly below.
No, it's not, strictly speaking, an Anthrax song, but the NYC thrashers totally made it their own when they covered Joe Jackson's new wave favorite on 1990's Persistence of Time. One of the last tracks that lead singer Joey Belladonna recorded with the band before his 1992 departure (and subsequent return in 2010), "Got the Time" made for a great send-off: impossibly fast and infectiously fun.
The lead single from Anthrax's 1985 sophomore album, Spreading the Disease, is practically the inverse of "Got the Time." It was one of the first to feature Belladonna on the mic, and instead of a lighthearted, funky rant on the hecticness of modern life, it's a menacing thrash-metal banger about being trapped inside of an insane asylum. It's catchy and heavy as hell, and even comes replete with a cartoonish video of the band performing inside a mental health facility.
Many fans consider Anthrax's 1987 opus, Among the Living, to be their greatest full-length, and its lead single "I Am the Law" certainly makes a strong case for that school of thought. Whether or not you know the full context behind its lyrics, which are based on the Judge Dredd comic book character, hearing the band push the speed into a rolling double time during the song's second half never gets old.
Any true Anthrax fan has strong opinions about Belladona's time in the band versus that of his replacement John Bush, who recorded five albums with the group between 1993 and 2004. Bush's first was Sound of White Noise, which featured a lead single called "Only" that Metallica's James Hetfield once called a "perfect" song. Anthrax's pivot toward a slower, groovier, even grungier style of metal is apparent from the jump, but there's no denying that "Only" is a helluva tune.
Although "Caught in a Mosh" is arguably more popular, our readers made the bold and, in our opinions, quite reputable determination that "Indians" is the superior cut. This other single from Among the Living is simply thrash par excellence — galloping movement, unbeatable riffage and a truly iconic chorus. As the ranking of this poll indicates, it's hard to think of a better Anthrax song.