Anthrax
Spreading the Disease


4.0
excellent

Review

by Aaron Arneson CONTRIBUTOR (104 Reviews)
September 30th, 2012 | 115 replies | 2,898 views


Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An essential thrash record full of exceptional guitar work and impressive vocals.

Although they aren't always regarded in the same light as Metallica or Megadeth, there's no question Anthrax is one of the most influential thrash bands in existence. As most people should already know, the band is considered one of the "big four" founders of thrash. They recently reuinited with their former singer Joey Belladona who was the band's vocalist on all of the classic Anthrax albums. He really does have an amazing voice and deserves every bit as much recognition as other metal singers of the era. The band's second effort Among the Living is often considered to be their best work as it took on a relentless thrash sound, but Speading The Disease proves to be just as enjoyable.

One noticeable difference between Among The Living and Spreading The Disease is found in the vocals of Belladona. Even though his voice is impressive on both albums, I feel like his singing is better on this release. The somewhat harsher sounding vocals he used on Among the Living fit that album perfectly, but there are times on this album where we can truly hear his singing ability. The stellar 'Armed and Dangerous' is a perfect example of his talent. It starts out slow with his considerably softer singing then shifts tones towards a more thrash based song. He utilizes his voice perfectly to compliment all areas of the song from the ballad like opening to the fast paced ending.

Joey Belladona isn't the only star of Anthrax, however. In fact, Scott Ian is quite possibly one of the best guitar players all time. His rhythm guitars have been spicing up Anthrax albums since their debut back in 1984. Between Dan Spitz on lead guitar and Ian on rhythm, Spreading The Disease is packed to the brim with excellent guitar work and impressive solos. It really has more variety guitar wise than lets say Metallica, and the rapid fire drums seem to put Lars Ulrich to shame. The record also seemed to be more experimental than their somewhat disappointing debut Fistful of Metal. The creative guitar intro to 'S.S.C./Stand or Fall' has an egyptian feel to it and the rest of the song is full of great instrumentation. It seems like they were willing to change it up a little bit in each song so thankfully no two tracks sound the same. The only real missteps on the album have to be either 'Lone Justice' or Gung-Ho'. To be honest the songs have memorable riffs and guitar work, but the verses and choruses feel really uninspired, especially on 'Gung-Ho'

There are many possible reasons this band never gained the attention they deserved. Although 'Madhouse' is one of their most popular songs (and one of the best on the album), the music video was pulled from MTV due to the broadcasters finding the video to be "insensitive towards the mentally ill". Which is a shame because perhaps if the video had been allowed to receive more airplay they would have ended up as big as Metallica. Not only is 'Madhouse' one of the albums best offerings, it's one of the best songs they've ever created. The track is an example of the band at the top of their game and it's full of top notch performances from Ian, Belladonna, and crew.

Containing some of the most memorable riffs I've heard in the genre, Spreading The Disease truly is a thrash essential. The album is also well produced which only helps make the impressive vocals and instrumentation that much more enjoyable. It's not as balls out thrashy as Among the Living, but I think both albums are great for separate reasons. While the latter album was the perfect offering to bang your head to, this album is more accessible and a good start for anybody looking to get into Anthrax.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012



18591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yup. I went there.

Probably my longest review thanks for reading people.

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012



14491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well written man but looks messy mixing 'quotes' with italics, should just use one or the other imo, pos'd neway nice read

Digging: Ian Anderson - Homo Erraticus

Calc
September 29th 2012



10839 Comments


first off please change the summary everyone bashes lars ulrich I know your more clever than that. But I'll read this in a bit

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012



18591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah calc I really like the summary!

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012



18591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"everyone bashes Lars ulrich"

All the more reason I think they will appreciate the summary. the drumming really is top notch on this album though

Calc
September 29th 2012



10839 Comments


just so you know I reading it only because you wrote it there's not way id like this lol

greatlookingguy
September 29th 2012



594 Comments


yea calc its not for pussies

Calc
September 29th 2012



10839 Comments


exactly. or for people who dont like Anthrax but you could be a cunt if you want

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012



18591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"there's no way I'd like this"

Why? Do you not like megadeth or metallica?

@Menawati, thanks I appreciate it. When I went in to edit the review and put the italic coding in I missed some of the albums. should be fixed.

greatlookingguy
September 29th 2012



594 Comments


nah u obv cant handle thrash post hardcore bitch

Calc
September 29th 2012



10839 Comments


I do like megadeth and i'm going listen to this of course just going in with (non) great expectations

Calc
September 29th 2012



10839 Comments


@the ugly guy

w/e dude dont care

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012



18591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dude calc i've listened to pop punk for most of my life and I love it.

greatlookingguy
September 29th 2012



594 Comments


hahaha pussy

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012



18591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Do you guys agree with Calc should I change the summary and take out the Lars Ulrich burn?

foultzyyy
September 29th 2012



40 Comments


for some reason i can't really get into most of the big 80s thrash except for Anthrax, but i feel even more alone preferring this album to Among the Living haha...awesome album though, can still get me pumped for lifting every time

GiaNXGX
September 29th 2012



4867 Comments


What's up bro, I just read the review and noticed some things:

"He really does have an amazing voice and deserves every bit as much recogniction as other bands of the era."

*recognition

You mean other vocalist of that era? Or you could say:

He really does have an amazing voice that deserves as much recognition as other vocalists from his era.


One noticable difference between Among The Living and Spreading The Disease is the vocals of Belladona.


*noticeable

change is for are on "Among The Living and Spreading The Disease is the vocals of Belladona."


He utilizes his voice perfectly to compliment all areas of the song fromthe ballad like opening to the fast paced ending.

*from the


Spreading The Disease is packed to the brim with excellent guitar work, and impressive solos.


The comma is unnecessary

The creative guitar intro to 'S.S.C./Stand or Fall' has an egyption feel to it and the rest of the song is full of great instrumentation.

*Egyptian


but the versus and the chorus really feel uninspired, especially on 'Gung-Ho'.


*verses?

*feels


Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012



18591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I might prefer this to among the living too but it's a close call. Like I said in the review both albums are great for different reasons. If your in a really thrash mood among the living is better but they are about equal IMO

Jruined
September 29th 2012



1273 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck. I have Medusa stuck in my head just by reading the tracklist.

XingKing
September 29th 2012



9042 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't think it really matters. Benante is a truly underrated drummer (as are most of the musicians in Anthrax) and everyone knows Lars sucks dick.



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