Melkor | Orlando, Florida United States | 06/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1985 New York based Anthrax relased Spreading the Disease. Heavily influenced by Iron Maiden and their manager Jon and Marsha Zazula's previous band Metallica, Anthrax combined thrash rhythymic sensibilities with melodic vocals and riffs born straight from punk.Rhythym guitarist Scott Ian laid the foundation for a slab of metallic rhtythym by downpicking all his rhythyms just like Hetfield of Metallica while using the skin of his thumb to add thickness and texture to the riffs. Vocalist Joey Belladonna was the lone party man but offered melodic and diverse vocal ranges while the awesome rhythym tandem of Charlie Benante and Frank Bello set the framework for Ian and Dan Spitz's guitar intricacies.The album opens with "A.I.R" which would become an Anthrax trademark using acronyms for songs. "Lone Justice", "Medusa", and "The Enemy" all utilize the Iron Maiden formula of using popular fiction, mythology, and history for song topics. The difference is Anthrax perform with virtuoso speed and precision with lead guitarist Dan Spitz ripping unconventional yet melodic solos to complement the versatile vocals of Belladona and punk backing vocals of Ian."Medusa" is simply an epic metal anthem with a classic riff and inspired vocals by Belladona. "Armed and Dangerous" opens with an ethereal and majestic clean picked passge only to evolve into a straight forward adrenalin blast of thrash. "Aftershcok" is an energetic thrasher and "A.I.R" has a memorable opening riff and great vocals from Belladonna. Anthrax had nearly reached the pinnacle of their abilities with this album and the debut of vocalist Joey Belladona. This is a thrash album that today sounds thin as far as production is concerned but is technically brilliant. In 1985 it was Atlantic records biggest thrash band and a landmark in production for speed metal and thrash bands during that era. Antrhrax went on to surpass this album with their masterpiece "Among The Living" but "Spreading The Disease" has long been recognized as an essential and devastating thrash album that should not be overlooked."
Anthrax gets their foot in the door.
Melkor | 12/08/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album was recorded when (1985) bands like Judas Priest,Iron Maiden,Dio and Ozzy Osbourne were the reigning champs of heavy metal,and the other bands like Bon Jovi,Ratt,and Dokken, serious metal fans didn't want to have anything to do with. Then came along new bands like Metallica,Megadeth, Slayer,and Anthrax who had REALLY heavy sound,but at this time if you had heard of them , it was probably on college radio or a friend had one of their albums. " Spreading the Disease " is Anthrax's second album and premiered Joe Belladonna on vocals. This is one first "thrash" albums made on a major label ,though it's not their breakthrough album , it is a seed of and standard of how metal is played today. A little dated now in 1998 and Anthrax has put out disappointing efforts lately, I still have a craving to listen to jams like "Madhouse", "Aftershock" " Medusa" and my favorite "SSC/Stand or Fall". If you want to listen to some preety good vintage thrash , listen and/or buy this disc."
Metal Thrashing Mad
Erik Rupp | Southern California | 05/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"SPREADING THE DISEASE is Anthrax' finest hour. From the near-thrash of "A.I.R." to the grinding riffs and hooks of "Madhouse," to the all-out Speed Metal of "Gung-Ho," SPREADING THE DISEASE in an unrelenting classic. Joey Belladonna lends the album something their debut lacked - a strong sense of melody to go with the grinding power. Anthrax never really tried to return to this style, and although most of their material that followed was very good, they still haven't matched this album's quality or consistency (although SOUND OF WHITE NOISE came close). Not a Speed Metal album, STD is still a very heavy "Power Metal" album. And a GREAT one at that. -(And if you like this one, I also recommend Armored Saint's SYMBOL OF SALVATION and Flotsam And Jetsam's CUATRO and HIGH CD's)"
Screams! In the Night.....
Erik Rupp | 05/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"People will constantly tell you how good Among The Living is, and how it is superior to any Anthrax album. In my opinion, this is wrong! This is one of the best thrash albums released with vocals you can hear. Not only that, but Anthrax possessed from 1985 to 1992 one of the greatest singers of the genre : Joey Belladonna. And this is why this album is the greatest Anthrax release, because this was recorded at the only stage in their career when they perfectly fused British Metal with Hardcore and the thrash sound. Check out Joey's singing on 'A.I.R', 'Lone Justice', 'The Enemy', all amazing songs, and the highlights for me. Other highlights include 'Madhouse', 'Gung Ho' and the amazing 'Medusa', which is sooooo cool. This album has that rush to it, and the musicianship is on top form, whcih is why you should buy this album now metalheads! This should be a classic, make it one by purchasing now"
Essential early thrash
General Zombie | the West | 05/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As big of a fan as I was of Among the Living and Persistence of Time, I wasn't immediately drawn to this album. I can't really imagine why, but I didn't bother checking it out until a friend of mine bought a copy. I listened to that with him, and was highly impressed. This album can't quite match either AtL or PoT, but it's still of very high quality, and quite different from either of those, which makes it more than worth owning. This album is substantially less thrashy than their following few albums. It's got much more of a NWOBHM feel with an obvious Iron Maiden influence. Frankly, it just barely qualifies as a thrash album. Still, despite stylistic differences, their talent is already apparent. Charlie is already a first rate thrash drummer, with a lot of energy and nice use of the double bass, and newcomer Bello's bass makes it presence known, unlike just about every other thrash bassist out there. Ian's rhythm guitar isn't a tight or sharp as it would become, but it's noticeably more melodic and can still thrash it up quite efficiently. Belladonna's vocals are also more melodic than they'd later be. He's a little over the top occasionally, but that's alright, especially in conjunction with the more light-hearted feel of the album.Over the next couple albums Anthrax's lyrics became progressively more serious and dark. On Spreading the Disease, however, they are almost completely non-substantial or light hearted. This wouldn't work for every thrash band, or album, but it works here, and makes for an album which is more genuinely fun to listen to then lots of other high quality thrash albums. This is also more hook-driven then just about any other thrash album I've heard. Fortunately, they almost always work, and pretty much every track has a nicely melodic and immediately memorable chorus.(and a nice pre-chorus too, much of the time) The big standout on this album is Lone Justice. Unspeakably catchy, but with the riffs to back it up. A.I.R. is a classic opener with all the energy that such a title entails. The closer, Gung-Ho is probably the thrashiest thing here, with an absolutely outstanding main riff, and a copmletely silly but still very enjoyable chorus/pre-chorus. The Enemy breaks the mood of the album, as it is a very serious minded song about Hitler/Holocaust etc. It still works, although it certainly isn't the best thing here. Stand or Fall and Aftershock are the relative weak points, but they are still some solid early thrash. Lastly, although the rest of the song doesn't stand up to some of the stronger material on the album, the intoduction to Armed & Dangerous is just great, perhaps the best part of the album. Great vox from Joey. Lots of melodrama, perhaps, but rather effecting as well.Anthrax were one of the best thrash acts around, and this is one of their classic albums. Get it."