‘State of Euphoria’
Anthrax had been thrust into the spotlight following the release of the seminal thrash metal albums ‘Among the Living’ and ‘Spreading the Disease’, with the New Yorkers showing that the East Coast’s take on thrash could easily keep up with the big boys from San Francisco. Yes, this version of thrash was indebted to hardcore punk and Anthrax’s driving staccato riffs, sense of fashion and interests had more in common with the burgeoning crossover scene and 1988 saw Anthrax release their fourth studio album ‘State of Euphoria’.
‘State…’ has the unfortunate accolade of being coupled with an absolutely hideous album cover, but sadly for this album, it is not the only thing which is poor. The band had delivered some of heavy metal’s finest albums with their previous two albums but with ‘State…’ it feels as if Anthrax had taken on too much. This album has all the hallmarks of a band which have rushed out a release, possibly burnt out from touring and writing with many of the songs appearing as if Anthrax are going through the motions, leading their work to be relatively dull and boring.
There are however quite a few positives to ‘State…’, tracks such as the televangelist slating single ‘Make Me Laugh’, the Stephen King themed ‘Misery Loves Company and the cover of the Trust song ‘Antisocial’ do their best to rescue the album, whilst the cello led ‘Be All, End All’ adds a new dimension to the Anthrax’s work and remains one of the best tracks which the band have ever wrote.
Although the response to ‘State…’ has been overwhelmingly lukewarm at best, there are enough songs here to keep the average Anthrax fan happy, there are album tracks here that work hard to earn the love they deserve.