Anthrax: Spreading The Disease

One of the great thrash albums, now with various bonus stuff.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Perhaps the finest album of Anthrax’s career, this expanded version is something of a hotch potch. Apart from the original tracks, which come across remarkably well in this remastered form, there’s a live show from Tokyo in 1987 which captures the band in a riotously raw state.

This addition would have been enough to ensure the new version was worth acquiring. But what lets it all down slightly is the decision to include basic rhythm tracks of the Spreading songs – which seem to have been included just to fill up space – plus a demo of Medusa that is interesting, but also somewhat pointless.

However, the combination of the power evoked by the original album, plus the sheer thrust from the Japanese performance makes this a fine reissue package. Listening again to the way the band sounded in 1985, when the album was first released, makes you appreciate why they were regarded as part of the Big 4 of thrash. A classic.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021