New York City thrash metal pioneer Anthrax was founded in 1981 by guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker. In their early albums, they helped pioneer a new style of heavy metal by fusing the energy and intensity of hardcore punk with the booming guitars and powerful vocals that defined the genre.
Along with Slayer and Metallica, Anthrax was widely regarded as one of the most influential bands in the burgeoning thrash metal genre in the 1980s. What sets them apart, though, is the way they inject a healthy dose of humor and realism into their otherwise serious music. The band was also ahead of its time in fusing rap and hip-hop on their crossover hit, "Bring The Noise,” a collaboration with Public Enemy.
Anthrax is made up of Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, Frank Bello, Joey Belladonna, and Jonathan Donais, but the lineup has changed several times over the band’s 40-year career.
Neil Turbin, Joey Belladonna, Dan Nelson, and John Bush have all been vocalists for the band at different times. Only Scott Ian (the band's founding member) and Charlie Benante (who joined in 1983) have been featured on all of the band's albums.
After leaving Anthrax in 1992, Joey Belladonna rejoined the band in 2010 and has since recorded two more studio albums with them—2011's Worship Music and 2016's For All Kings.
In 2021, for the band's 40th anniversary, Anthrax played a two-hour set of fan favorites at a Los Angeles sound stage that was broadcast live online around the world. In 2022, Nuclear Blast released the concert/film XL—a documentary of the entire show that also featured rehearsal footage and a walking tour of pivotal New York City locations led by Scott Ian.
Anthrax has sold millions of albums worldwide over the course of their career. On top of their long and successful career, the group has also been nominated for six Grammys and won three Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards.