Saturday, October 30, 2010

Quarter Century Review: Spreading The Disease

Spreading The Disease
Island Records
Produced by Anthrax and Carl Canedy

My issue with early Anthrax has never been the songwriting. It is quite impressive the amount of melody they managed to jam into all the heaviness. The first half of Spreading The Disease is especially impressive. Concert staple "A.I.R.," and classic "Madhouse," are massive achievements and are widely considered the band's flashpoint.

My problem, while always, present truly rears its ugly head in the second half of the album. Joey Belladonna's voice is that ugly head. While this is his first album with the group, he never did much more than hold the band back from truly breaking through. "Lone Justice," and "S.S.C.," could have been amazing if they weren't hampered by hair metal vocals. Even Pantera used to sound like this and it took them the better part of a decade to figure out that a stylistic change was necessary. Eventually, Anthrax would follow their lead but it wouldn't be for 8 more years. The result is a very top-heavy album that hints at a greater ability and reveals the measures it would take for the band to realize its potential.

Overall Grade = 7.92

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