After their slightly patchy debut album and a change in personel, Anthrax's secnd album is undeniably a classic of the thrash genre. Most fans will point to 'Among the Living' as the band's defining moment, but it's really hard to find any fault with this 1985 offering, as from the opening moments of 'A.I.R.' the album spews out a seemingly endless collection of killer riffs, while new vocalist Joe Bellandonna's melodic vocals provide numerous catchy choruses. 'Spreading the Disease' ranges from such relatively melodic songs as the insanely catchy 'Medusa' and 'Lone Justice', which at times sounds almost Iron Maiden-ish, to the full on thrash of tracks like 'Gung-Ho' and 'Aftershock'. The band themselves have at times stated a despair at being unable to escape 'Madhouse', but with a song this strong it's not hard to understand why it's in constant demand at gigs. Highlight for me though would probably be 'The Enemy', with the over-processed tribal drum opening givng way to what must rank as one of the greatest thrash metal riffs of all time.
Inevitably a little dated, especially in Bellandonna's clean vocals, but still utterly essential for any thrash metal fans.