Anthrax: Joe Belladonna (vocals); Dan Spitz, Scott Ian (guitar); Frank Bello (bass); Charlie Benante (drums).
Recorded at Pyramid Sound, New York.
Anthrax's first full-length recording with new vocalist Joey Belladonna and bassist Frank Bello, 1985's SPREADING THE DISEASE, showed that the band had survived its first major lineup change without skipping a beat. If anything, the change strengthened the quintet, just in time for its first major-label release, on Island Records. While most thrash metal bands at the time were fronted by a gruff, screaming singer, Belladonna sang in a manner that was both melodic and conventional. Musically, the band could still thrash away with the best of them, as it became one of the new metal genre's leading bands, along with Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer.
The band's first video clip, for the song "Madhouse," was found too offensive for broadcast by MTV, while such tracks as "A.I.R.," "Gung Ho," and "Armed in Dangerous" became mosh pit favorites in metal clubs. The track "Medusa" remains one of the band's most melodic and pop-oriented efforts, but don't be mislead, the majority of this record is good ol' metal, with tracks like "Lone Justice," "S.S.C./Stand Or Fall," "Enemy," and "Aftershock." Although SPREADING THE DISEASE wasn't Anthrax's commercial breakthrough, it set the stage for their best album ever, AMONG THE LIVING.