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    Anthrax State Of Euphoria (Thrash Metal) (3/5)

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    skeletorissatan

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    Anthrax State Of Euphoria (Thrash Metal) (3/5)

    Post by skeletorissatan on Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:23 pm

    Unfortunately for Anthrax, their fourth full length album, 1988's State Of Euphoria, will forever be overshadowed by that which came before and that which came after. Such is the trend with albums that have been sandwiched between albums considered genre classics, particularly in the thrash metal scene. The most high profile of these cases would be Megadeth's So Far, So Good So What, but their are many albums that suffer from this judgement. However, in the case of State Of Euphoria, it is completely criminal to leave it out of discussions about their early material, as this is essential Anthrax.

    This is certainly a major step down from Among The Living, and features a little more diversity than what is usually found on a thrash release, but this is still Anthrax firing on all cylinders. This contains a lot more punk influence to it than before, but still moves along with that signature thrash crunch that defined such albums as Among the Living. This is very much the transitional point in Anthrax's career from the fun-natured Among The Living to the serious overtones of The Persistence Of Time, being rooted firmly in between, with the most fun song actually being a cover song.

    One thing that needs mentioning is that the consistency of this album is light years ahead of many albums. Each of these songs is as solid as can be, without having the filler that Among The Living carried. Every song on this album feels completely essential, and contributes to the big picture really well, despite it having quite a little more variety than on many early Anthrax albums. In particular, however, what stands out to me on this album more than the rest of the early releases is Joey Belladonna's vocal performance. In particular, his range on here is considerably more diverse than on their other releases, as displayed best by the rather aggressive track Make Me Laugh. He has an incredibly powerful voice, and goes through a number of different tones over the course of this release.

    The purely thrash numbers on this album are really well done, with the six minute opening track Be All, End All being a good example of this, as is Misery Loves Company. They are both flat out incredible songs, with exceedingly heavy, crushing riffs that cave the listeners head right in. The drumming is not quite as good as found on other releases, but keeps a nice beat to it, with some cool fills found throughout. The drumming on Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind stood out particularly to me, as well as on Make Me Laugh, with some speedy riffing to accompany it. The cover song, Antisocial, has gone on to be one of the band's signature songs, and it isn't that hard to see why, with some great instrumentals found throughout, and powerful vocals from Joey, making this a brilliant cover of Trust's masterpiece.

    The bass on this album is not quite as prominent as on the album before nor the album that follows, but is still mixed perfectly, so it is quite audible throughout. The production on this album is another standout factor, giving the songs an exceedingly heavy feel to them, and with every instrument having a nice sound to them and being mixed together to make no instrument be completely dominant. However, even this has a weak side in that despite the fact each song have the crunchy feel to it that many Anthrax albums carried, the overall sound of the album itself is too quiet, in a similar manner to the original mix of Rust In Peace.

    The real weak side to this album is that some of the songs are a little too experimental for the band, in particular the use of violins in Be All, End All, and some of the more hard rock songs found throughout the album. It is not quite as rock-oriented as the post-Belladonna era music, and the album on the whole is very quick, intense and thrashy,but some of the songs just have too much of a hard rock sound to them to fit in quite as well. They are all solid enough numbers, but just dont go with the others at times.

    This album highlights the peak of Joey Belladonna's vocals, but the instrumentation is no quite as good as on other albums. Some of the riffs are not as powerful or lasting as they were on the album that would follow, and the bass work is definately not as accomplished as on either what came before nor what came after. This is very much the growing pains before their masterpiece, The Persistence Of time, but is still a solid enough listen. 3/5

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