Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante talked about how important third albums were for most of the classic thrash metal titans, explaining to Billboard during a recent interview:
“The momentum behind [Anthrax’s third album, 1987’s] ‘Among the Living’ almost made you have to like our next record.
“And I’m not saying that [Anthrax’s fourth album, 1988’s] ‘State of Euphoria’ was bad; all of us in the band felt that it was not finished. We could have used a little more time with it.
“I took myself back to that time and going through all the motions and moods and pressure we all felt back then. You have to understand, we were only that band for maybe four years at that point.
“So believe me, man, it was a whirlwind trying to maintain a certain level of continuity between our first three records that we did and ‘State of Euphoria.’
“If you compare our arc to what Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth were doing as well back then, our records were all on the same wavelength. ‘Among the Living’ was our ‘Reign in Blood,’ our ‘Master of Puppets,’ and those were all, I felt, our signature records.
“The ones that came out after that weren’t as strong, in my opinion. I don’t think ‘…And Justice for All’ is nearly as strong as ‘Puppets,’ though I still love that record, and I don’t think ‘State of Euphoria’ was as strong as ‘Among.'”