Picks and Pans Review: State of Euphoria

updated 11/28/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/28/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST


Things sometimes get away from Anthrax, and they erupt into a maelstrom of thrashing noise. That's the good news. One thing that endears this New York speed-metal quintet to its young fans is the sense that the band walks a thin line between rough-and-tumble music and utter chaos. They clearly know what they're about, dancing on that precipice with songs like Schism and Misery Loves Company. Bass player Frank Bello and drummer Charlie Benante provide a ground swell of support. Rhythm guitarist Scott Ian contributes crucial industrial-strength riffs. Lead guitarist Dan Spitz flies feverishly around the frets, while Joey Belladonna adds stern but modulated vocals. When the band puts the brakes on its speed metal, as on Be All, End All, it lends an intriguingly ominous tone to this, their fourth (and best) album. But to encourage such constraint is blasphemy. The no-frills, no-amenities approach pays their bills. Cranked-up metal like this will make you dizzy, and if you play it at the volume for which it's designed, it will also make you deaf. Go ahead, metal heads; knock yourselves out. (Megaforce/Island)

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