Sound — 8
Out of the Big Four, there's just something about Anthrax that has such a mass appeal. They started out with Speed influenced Thrash, then moved on to pure Thrash, and as their career progressed they added in a bit of Modern and Groove metal. But with the three pure albums, there's just something so special about the fact that they aren't special at all. No gimmicks with these guys. They aren't Brutal, they aren't Technical, and they're just natural. It's nice, refreshing, headbanging metal. The album appropriately starts off with clock ticking, the gradually increasing until the instrumental part kicks in. You might think that once the music starts it would just explode and go right into the killer riffing, but it actually continues to increase in speed slowly. This album continues to surprise you with subtle, minor details that go off the trail of typical Thrash metal. When it comes to the individual instruments, even though the main melodies and rhythms are always played by guitar, the drums and bass are incredible. Drummer Charlie Benante shows diversity by playing the thrashy beats you would expect, but also other techniques that end up sounding great. Frank Bello's bass keeps you grooving the entire album, never getting worn out.
Lyrics — 8
As for Joey Belladonna's vocal work, longtime Anthrax fans will not be disappointed. His ever popular style of combining quick, shouted phrases with rapid fire, spitting in words out in multiple succession is very much present. It's certainly an interesting combination, but it works so well with his unique voice. As for lyrics and song structure, it's pretty much a total Thrash formula. Low register but high power choruses with repeated lines, same old same old. But that's not what Anthrax is about. Yeah, so there's nothing innovative about the lyrics either. But Joey's special vocals make up for it all the way. This album also has a well-fitting cover of Joe Jackson's "Got The Time". Well, put it in the vault with Anthrax's other perfect cover. "Antisocial", and now "Got The Time".
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, while Anthrax is much better known for "Among The Living", this and "State Of Euphoria" - along with their other non-pure thrash albums - are truly awesome as well. I like a lot of bands, but I have no regrets or complaints when it comes to these guys. They have a well deserved place in the Big Four, and with the new release that throws back to this album, I'm sure they're not going anywhere.