3. Spreading The Disease (1985)
1. A.I.R. 2. Lone Justice 3. Madhouse 4. S.S.C./Stand or Fall 5. The Enemy 6. Aftershock 7. Armed and Dangerous 8. Medusa 9. Gung-Ho
Recommended Track: “A.I.R.” An undeniable Thrash classic, sophisticated and controlled, yet bouncy and energetic enough to get any mosh-pit jumping. Refreshingly, neither as harsh and brutal as many of their contemporaries, Anthrax’s knack for writing Thrash with melody could not be better exemplified than on “A.I.R.”
Now this is Thrash!
Anthrax found their melodic yet crunching sound on this, only their second full length album, and it catapulted them to the forefront of the then fledgeling Thrash Metal scene.
Containing perennial favourites “A.I.R”, “Madhouse” and “Gung Ho”, this record never lets up from start to finish and ranks as one of the best Thrash Metal records to emerge from the genre’s infancy.
Joey Belladonna impressively sings, screams, shouts and wails his way through 9 tracks of seriously consistent material which elevated Anthrax to the top of the Thrash pack. Belladonna stood out as a vocalist who incorporated significantly more melody than the the generic bark adopted by lesser Thrash bands.
Anthrax were fortunate to be blessed with a Classic Metal vocalist in the vein of Rob Halford and Ronnie James Dio as opposed to the gruff, no-thrills approach adopted by the barking and screeching vocalists of many lesser Thrash bands. More importantly, he was a full-time frontman. Unlike Metallica and Megadeth who’s singers also had to play guitar, Belladonna, unencumbered by playing an instrument, could concentrate on singing and his showmanship and subsequently the band benefitted greatly.
Bucking a trend that had barely begun, Spreading the Disease embraced the Classic Heavy Metal of old as opposed to worshipping the likes of Venom, Raven and other New Wave of British Heavy Metal alumni.
It was this nod to the old school that led to an instant classic.