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After the mightily heavy, though generally unremarkable, Among the Living, Anthrax were in position to push their own boundaries and release something truly impressive. Unfortunately, they released State of Euphoria. Riding the coattails of their previous album, SoE just goes through the motions, doing little to expand the band's established formula and only providing us with a handful of classics.
I can't count how many times I've attempted to listen to this album in its entirety only to be literally thwarted by the unavoidable compulsion to fall asleep. At the time of this review, I've owned this album for over two years, and this is the first time I've heard the whole thing at once. And for the most part, I've been justified in my unintentional napping. This is Among the Living pt. 2. On one hand, that's a good thing, as Charlie Benante's drumming is even more ferocious and Dan Spitz's (or are they Scott Ian's?) guitar solos have improved dramatically. But for the most part, this is pretty generic. The riffage is heavy of course, and at times pretty fucking fast, but nothing is really remarkable. Joey's voice isn't as good as it was, either that or he's not being utilized to his full potential. Lyrics....are lyrics, nothing sticking out in that department either. The overall tone of this album is darker than Among the Living and the songs are a bit longer, but aside from the punky "Antisocial" and the stupid filler track "13," this album sounds just like it, though not quite as good.
But it's still thrash metal, meaning it owns the shit out of their post-Persistence material with John Bush. It's not as fun as Spreading the Disease, but it's good for fans that wish Anthrax was a darker, heavier band.
Highlights: "Be All, End All," "Out of Sight, Out of Mind," "Finale"