Anthrax - State Of Euphoria
Island Records
Thrash Metal
10 songs (52:47)
Release year: 1988
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

The follow up to 1987's classic Among The Living would be a step down for Anthrax, but only just. State Of Euphoria, their fourth full-length, showed the beginnings of a slight change in direction for the band that would be more notable on 1990's Persistence Of Time, moving away from the outright Thrash of before to a more Prog-touched variety. Musically, the band are all on form, especially when it comes to Charlie Benante's drumming, which due to a quirky production is easily audible atop the other instruments, and whilst Scott Ian and Dan Spitz are their usual tight and technical selves their playing seems buried under a layer of murk that makes for a frustrating listen.

Once you're used to this, however, it's not such a problem, and it's easy to see that this is a solid album. The killer songs come thick and fast, the album opening with the nice and epic Be All End All, a cello introduction soon giving way to the band's usually solid riffing and catchy singalong chorus. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind continues in much the same vein, the heavy guitars taking centre stage as the speed and melody of previous and future albums are left to one side - really, Anthrax in their eighties form were absolutely killer, and even entry-level Thrashers should be familiar with their songs. Heck, the tracklisting of this album reads like an Anthrax best-of in hindsight, the sheer catchiness of the material making it easy to love and hard to forget.

Haters may claim that State Of Euphoria is rather boring, but it's an easy argument to knock down once you've heard it at full volume with half a sixpack inside you and the rest waiting to follow it. Picking weak tracks out is difficult; the slow heaviness that opens Make Me Laugh soon switching to the band's usual stomp und drang with an especially memorable chorus, and even Trust cover Antisocial turned out to be exactly the sort of song that would fit perfectly into the band's live show, the Punked-up stormer rattling along and making for a great prelude to the ominous build-up of Who Cares Wins, at over seven minutes the longest track present. It's a kickass one too, the introductory instrumentation especially prog-tinged and off-kilter before the band kick into high gear - sure, it's formulaic, but damn, it's effective.

There's not a great deal of variation from then on, although there's a notable fun gloominess to Now It's Dark, and Schism's anti-racism plea is heavy and intense. Misery Loves Company is sure to induce a fresh fit of headbanging in its place towards the end of the album, and suitably-titled finale Finale bringing matters to a close in quirkily chaotic style. What lets State Of Euphoria down ultimately is that it's rather dull when looked at in context. Sandwiched as it is between the classic Among The Living and the excellent Persistence Of Time, the production another chain around its neck, it's hard not to feel slightly let down when you compare the album to its siblings, but it's a rock-solid blast of aggressive, powerful Thrash that people will still be listening to when modern pretenders like Evile have faded to mere trivia questions.

Killing Songs :
Be All End All, Out Of Sight Out Of Mind, Make Me Laugh, Antisocial, Who Cares Wins, Misery Loves Company, Finale
Goat quoted 89 / 100
Other albums by Anthrax that we have reviewed:
Anthrax - For All Kings reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Anthrax - Anthems (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Anthrax - Worship Music reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Anthrax - Volume 8 - The Threat Is Real reviewed by Goat and quoted 55 / 100
Anthrax - Persistence Of Time reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
To see all 19 reviews click here
3 readers voted
Your quote was: 95.
Change your vote

There are 11 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:48 pm
View and Post comments