ANTHRAX — Spreading The Disease

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ANTHRAX - Spreading The Disease cover
3.93 | 52 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 1985

Filed under Thrash Metal
By ANTHRAX

Tracklist

1. A.I.R. (5:45)
2. Lone Justice (4:36)
3. Madhouse (4:19)
4. S.S.C. / Stand Or Fall (4:08)
5. The Enemy (5:25)
6. Aftershock (4:28)
7. Armed And Dangerous (5:43)
8. Medusa (4:44)
9. Gung-Ho (4:34)

Total Time: 43:46

Line-up/Musicians

- Joey Belladonna / vocals
- Dan Spitz / lead guitar
- Scott Ian / rhythm guitar and backing vocals
- Frank Bello / bass and backing vocals
- Charlie Benante / drums

About this release

Release date: October 1985
Label: Island Records

Thanks to Stooge, progshine, adg211288 for the updates

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Island 1990
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$4.04 (used)
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ANTHRAX SPREADING THE DISEASE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

martindavey87
After the disappointing EP 'Armed and Dangerous', Anthrax released 'Spreading the Disease' in 1985, and quickly showed the world why they deserved to be one of the bigger bands of the thrash metal movement, and why new vocalist Joey Belladonna was definitely the right choice to replace Neil Turbin.

While it was evident on the aforementioned EP that Belladonna was a fantastic singer that gave the band a more confident sound, the release itself still seemed fairly lacklustre. However, all of that changed when the band dropped this bomb on the metal world.

Featuring some of their most revered hits, 'Spreading the Disease' is 44 minutes of rip-roaring, high energy thrash metal, rife with intense guitar riffs and powerful vocals, it maintains its high quality throughout. With punk sensibilities and a knack for melody, it never falls into the cliché of just chugging away on the same chord, and while it does cover some serious topics, it never takes itself too seriously either.

With songs like 'A.I.R.', 'Madhouse', 'Armed and Dangerous', 'Medusa', 'Gung-Ho' and 'Lone Justice', this is clearly a band who have hit their stride. Guitarists Scott Ian and Dan Spitz effortlessly join the ranks of metal guitar duos with amazing chemistry, while bassist Frank Bello and drummer Charlie Benante hold up their end, keeping the rhythm section tight and heavy.

After a bumpy start, 'Spreading the Disease' is what truly started to excel Anthrax as one of the leading metal bands of the 80's, and has earned its status as one of thrash metals most highly regarded albums.
UMUR
"Spreading The Disease" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US heavy/thrash metal act Anthrax. The album was released through Island Records in October 1985. It´s the successor to "Fistful Of Metal" from february 1984. Quite a few things have happened in the 18 months between the two albums. There have been a couple of lineup changes as lead vocalist Neil Turbin has been replaced by Joey Belladonna, and bassist Dan Lilker has been replaced by Frank Bello. Lineup changes which formed what most probably consider the "classic" Anthrax lineup. In addition to that Anthrax also had time to record and release the "Armed and Dangerous" EP in February 1985.

So things moved fast for the band in their early years, and that includes changes to their musical style. While "Spreading The Disease" isn´t a 100% pure thrash metal release, the band have begun the process of moving away from their original raw heavy metal/speed metal style towards a more thrash metal oriented style based on catchy groove laden riffs and rhythms. The most thrashy tracks on the album are probably "A.I.R." and "Gung-Ho" which are the two tracks that bookend the album, while tracks like "The Enemy", "Medusa", and "Lone Justice", lean more towards traditional heavy metal (the former featuring a heavy Iron Maiden influence). So I´d say "Spreading The Disease" is a 50/50 heavy metal/thrash metal release.

The material is generally well written and for the most part instantly catchy. Joey Belladonna is a very versatile vocalist able to sing really high notes when that is called for, but also more rough sounding vocals. Always with a melodic sensibility to his delivery though. The 9 track, 43:46 minutes long album features 8 new original tracks, and "Armed and Dangerous", which had already appeared on the "Armed and Dangerous" EP earlier in the year. It´s a great track though and fits well on "Spreading The Disease", although it stands out a bit with it´s clean guitar intro and slow building structure.

"Spreading The Disease" is packed in an organic and powerful sounding production, and paired with the high level musicianship, and memorable songwriting, it makes for an enjoyable listening experience from start to finish. I still view "Spreading The Disease" as a transitional album though, and there are a couple of more questionable features on the album, which would be weeded out on the next couple of releases, but for what it is a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
Unitron
Anthrax-Spreading the Disease

'Spreading the Disease' is the second studio album by thrash/speed metal band Anthrax. Even though I do like Anthrax's debut, once Joey Belladonna joined is where Anthrax justly hold their spot as one of my favorite bands. Also, this is one of the albums that I had listened to a lot when I was young. My 8 or 9 year-old head was probably blown off after hearing the intense speed of 'Gung-Ho'.

Unlike the raw speed of the debut, Spreading the Disease shows a combination of thrash, speed, and traditional heavy metal. This combination is immediately heard with the opening song 'A.I.R.'. During the bridge, there's a crazy guitar solo and Charlie Benante pulls off some crazy beats. Being a lover of the bass guitar, I can't not mention the ass-kicking bassline that opens the next track 'Lone Justice'. Once the drums kick in, the headbanging thrash comes in. The maniac laughing introduces the most popular song on the album 'Madhouse'. This is one of the thrashier songs on the album, with an extremely catchy beat and chorus. Even though all of these songs standout in some way, one especially is 'Stand or Fall'. It begins with middle-eastern instrumentation, which is the only time I've heard it in Anthrax, and has a much more traditional feel to it with a really catchy chorus and inspirational lyrics. Of course my favorite has to be the intense gut-splitting of 'Gung-Ho'. While all of the previous tracks were all at a pretty standard speed, this song comes as a face-pounding surprise. Double-bass, fast riffing, Belladonna's amazing vocals, and a crazy solo makes this a complete treat to listen to.

Joey Belladonna is among my favorite vocalists, and I just have to listen to this album to remember why. His voice on this album is very suited for traditional heavy metal, yet it's able to sound amazing in thrash. Especially hearing 'Fighting the War' being screamed and the chants of 'Fight' in Gung-Ho is amazing. His vocal performance on 'Medusa' and 'The Enemy' is especially amazing.

Overall, this was a hard review to write. All of the songs standout on this album, but of course I couldn't describe every single one. This, along with the rest of Belladonna-led Anthrax albums remain some of my favorite albums of all time. Essential to any metal collection.

Hope you found this review helpful.

Feel free to comment!
Warthur
Of all of the Big Four of thrash, Anthrax always seemed to me to be the most mainstream, particularly since they were more inclined to write lyrics based on pop culture references, drinking and partying than the other three. However, their musical capabilities shouldn't be underrated, because in their prime they were also the catchiest of the Big 4 - witness Spreading the Disease, on which each and every song will inspire headbanging, or at the very least foot-tapping, from a wide range of listeners. Plus with closing track Gung-Ho they prove that they can play just as fast and aggressive as Slayer, if they put their minds to it.
AtomicCrimsonRush
This is the first Anthrax album for me and one of the first thrash albums with some of the most incredible riffs I have heard. It is a raw sound the band generates and a little under produced but it doesn’t matter such is the power of the metal. The riffs are killer on A.I.R. with its anarchic lyrics belted out by Belladonna, telling us “you’re no good, misunderstood, …. So high and mighty though much too blind to see”. At the time I could relate to this myself and I soaked it all in though I still don’t know what AIR stands for (Anthrax Is Rock?)

1984-1988 were the years when metal was king and every young male teen was heavily into it. Anthrax certainly made an indelible mark with this 1985 classic. Madhouse and the drilling riff heavy Armed and dangerous were essential listening for thrash addicts but I was really taken with the moderate tempo and scratch riffing of Medusa in particular. The lyrics are unforgettable “Seize, appease, deceive, die… Medusa, she's staring at you… with her eyes…Evil witch, cast her spell, seducing you, She'll take you to the very depths of hell, cannot move, no eyes to see, a statue now, For all eternity Medusa laughs at you And you're her slave.”

Not everything on this album rocks as awesome as these tracks specifically the messy speedy Gung Ho, but it is the raucous crunching power metal of the guitars of Spitz and Ian and those pounding drums that draws you in.

A great album and one of Anthrax’s best, before they inundated us with that awful rap crap. Anthrax hit the nail on the head with this early look at the thrash craze.
Time Signature
Armed and dangerous...

Genre: thrash metal / traditional heavy metal

Anthrax are one of the most important thrash metal bands, and releases like "Among the Living", "State of Euphoria" and, to some extent, "Persistence of Time" are all thrash metal classics, while "Sound of White Noise" shows a more alternative side of Anthrax. What about "Spreading the Disease", the band's second album?

It is not as strong as the above-mentioned albums, but there is some good stuff on it. There are a lot of thrashy elements on it, and a couple of fast parts. However, there the majority of the album is midtempo and, I think that there are more elements from traditional heavy metal than thrash metal on this album.

Notable tracks are the midtempo metal-rocker "Madhouse" and the all out thrashers "Stand or Fall","Aftershock", and "Gung-Ho".

This album should appeal to fans of traditional heavy metal and also fans of "Kill 'Em All' (although "Spreading the Disease" is a bit more polished).

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