Anthrax
State of Euphoria (Re-Issue)

For me, the best Anthrax album is Among the Living from 1987.  However, Anthrax wasted little time with getting their fourth full-length released with the 1988, State of Euphoria record.  Anthrax had already firmly established themselves with their patented NY stylized crunch thrash metal guitar tone and were already touring worldwide.  The airing of the video for “Indians” on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball from Among the Living was constantly playing and no doubt played a part in getting the band name out.  They were a force to be reckoned with their songwriting and live shows.  State of Euphoria, some say, even the band will say, was maybe a little too rushed, with only 1 year between releases and maybe more time was needed to flesh the songs out more.  I never felt that was the case.

All the trademark Anthrax sounds are still there with the massive guitar tone and when “Be All, End All” comes in with the catchy bass guitar and guitar riff to embed in your mind for years to come, then Anthrax rips into a nice fast part, pretty quickly.  Super catchy.  Band in top form and Charlie proving why he always gave Dave Lombardo a run for his money when it comes to thrash drummers.  Just check out some of the double bass drumming during “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”.

Anthrax continued tackling real-life topics, such as homelessness on the blistering “Who Cares Wins”. Through all the super catchy and fun thrashing crunch of the music Anthrax  continued creating they always were relevant when singing about real life issues.  Something the band continues to do so excellent today. If my memory serves me correctly Anthrax were part of the Headbanger’s Ball tour with State of Euphoria.  I believe Exodus and Helloween were part of the tour.  I’ll continue to kick myself for not seeing this tour, especially since Helloween were on it.  Regardless the majority of the tunes on State of Euphoria thrashed and were fast.  The band slowed things down on tunes like “Antisocial” and “Now It’s Dark”, but by and large State of Euphoria actually has faster songs than on Among the Living.

So the Island Records deluxe 2cd reissue is well done.  Bringing out all the nuances more and the remaster punches you in the gut harder than before.  The drums are still a little too loud on songs like “Who Cares Wins”, where the drums tend to drown out everything else during the fast parts, but the remaster definitely upgrades the sound.  The second cd are all outtakes of songs from the album.  Quite honestly I find disc 2 pretty much useless.  I would have preferred a live cd or DVD of a show during that time period.  When bands put out the reissues, and include a bonus cd of the demo/outtakes it is pointless, to me.  The final and elite versions are the ones which made it to the album, so listening to less than complete songs or songs that do not sound as strong as the final product is just not something I’ve ever been a fan of.  It comes across as filler on reissues.

At least disc 1 has some bonus songs which has been on B-sides before such as “Parasites” and “Pipeline”.  The thick chunky digipak is well designed as well as the booklet.  It was sure nice to see the band not cut out pictures of Dan Spitz, like they did on the Spreading the Disease reissue.  Missing from the booklet are the lyrics to the songs on State of Euphoria.  C’mon that should have been a given to include those.

Regardless this is a very good reissue.  It would have been better to have a live cd and of course the inclusion of the lyrics.  Next up Anthrax are working on a deluxe reissue or Persistence of Time.  Hopefully after that they will do the same for Fistful of Metal-which is one of the best speed metal albums of all time.

 

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Written by Frank Rini
January 28th, 2019

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