Anacrusis
Screams and Whispers


4.5
superb

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
July 14th, 2007 | 225 replies | 16,184 views


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Anacrusis' final album before they disappeared from the thrash world. Heavy, thrashy, melodic, catchy, dark and moody.

After four albums and multiple tours, Anacrusis reached the end of their tenure with their final album, Screams and Whispers. The band sited inner-turmoil brought about by a perceived indifference and confusion from metal fans the world over. It's a shame that bands considered to be ahead of their time often fade away long before they're appreciated, but that's what happened here. Anacrusis was one of the best and most unique technical thrash bands of their time, but almost no one knew it. This lack of exposure didn't stop the band from putting their hearts into every release and this final album proves that beyond a doubt.

On this album the band retained the razor-sharp guitar and bass tone that they developed on Manic Impressions but the production takes on a warmer tone creating a less mechanical and more “human” feel. They also returned some of the bottom end that some felt was lacking from the last album and also gave the bass drums a thicker sound (although not to the extent that Reason did). Overall, this is probably the best sounding album of the band's career (although I still prefer the cold, mechanical production of Manic Impressions).

Musically this album let up a notch in the technicality department. The riffs and arrangements are still fairly technical and involved but they feel less dense and precise than on Manic Impressions. One of the reasons that it feels that way is because the choruses on this album seem more thought out and catchy than anything they ever did before. That in no way implies “sell out” or a less heavy album, it just means that they paid more attention to the hook instead of making the choruses just another part of the song.

Another reason these songs seem less technical and precise is that they lost their drummer from Manic Impressions, Chad Smith, and replaced him with Paul Miles. Paul is a very capable drummer and his input to the album is great, it's just that he has more of a looseness to his playing then the technical playing of Chad Smith. Due to that looseness, the songs on Screams and Whispers seem to have more of a groove than most the stuff from their past. That doesn’t imply a Nu-Metal influence or anything (it was only 1993, after all), it just means the songs, while still being heavy, thrashy, and technical, just felt like they had more of a groove.

As usual, the vocals of Ken Nardi are all over the spectrum, from low growls to black metal shrieks, as well as everything in between. He had improved to near perfection on the last album and because of that they only sound slightly better here, but that could also be due to the increased emphasis on the choruses as well. His lyrics on this album are still mostly introspective and thoughtful but also seem to be more fleshed out then anything before.

Anacrusis has always been a thrash band first and the progressive tendencies were used within that framework. They never branched out into jazz or funk or anything else that would remove the focus from the heavieness. On this album Ken Nardi started incorporating keyboards into the songs he was writing. Apparently, the rest of the band wasn’t too happy about it but they sucked it up. The keyboards on this album aren’t your typical prog keyboards like Dream Theater or something. There are no keyboard solos or ragtime fills or anything similar. In fact, the keyboards aren’t even used on every song. When they are used they go for more of a spacey orchestral feel and are mainly used to enhance the mood of the song. They do a good job of doing that and they don't take away from the overall heaviness or quality of the song at all. If your opinion of the keyboards on this album is different and you’ve never heard their older albums than I’d still recommend you check them out.

Overall this is a very solid release and shows that even four albums in that they were still willing to experiment by pushing the limits of thrash. They still have the fast technical riffs, the mid-paced heavier songs, the many different parts of each song, the dark emotional inward-looking lyrics, as well as a better use of choruses and melody. If there is an Anacrusis album I’d recommend for the uninitiated it would be this one or Manic Impressions (with Screams and Whispers being slightly more accessible and Manic Impressions being much colder and technical).

Recommended Songs:
  • Sound the Alarm
  • My Soul’s Affliction
  • Release




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4.3
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Cravinov13
July 14th 2007



3854 Comments


Never been a thrash fan so I don't think I'd be checking this out.

Willie
Moderator
July 14th 2007



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

If you're into any type of Progressive Metal you still may like it... otherwise, you're
right, it probably isn't worth your time.

To download all their albums for free from their official site (Since they're out of print
now) go here:

http://anacrusis.us/media%20files/MP3/Albums/Albums.html

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

Confessed2005
July 14th 2007



3314 Comments


Never heard of these guys but if it deserves a classic rating I guess it is worth a look.

Nice review.

Kage
July 14th 2007



1173 Comments


The second I saw this on the main page I knew it was gonna be some guy praising some undeserving dumb ol' metal album.

kalkal50
July 14th 2007



2386 Comments


Novices tend to overrate things like hell and and that sometimes pisses me well off.

Willie
Moderator
July 14th 2007



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

Kage: Did the "5" in the score column and the word "Thrash" under the band name on the main page give it away that easily?

Sadly, it would seem you'd be more open minded having reviewed and enjoyed bands like Porcupine Tree, Riverside, and older Devin Townsend projects... but apparently not.

kalkal50: My assumption is you've never even heard of them... therefore your opinion would be invalid. Novice in what exactly? Album rating is an opinion based project, there's no skill... the skill comes with the writing and conveying your opinion clearly; which has nothing to do with an actual album score.This Message Edited On 07.14.07

south_of_heaven 11
July 14th 2007



5428 Comments


This is a good review, and it sounds interesting. I'll look into it.

kalkal50
July 14th 2007



2386 Comments


kalkal50: My assumption is you've never even heard of them... therefore your opinion would be invalid. Novice in what exactly? Album rating is an opinion based project, there's no skill... the skill comes with the writing and conveying your opinion clearly; which has nothing to do with an actual album score.

Read your own review and you'll see this isn't a 5.

Willie
Moderator
July 14th 2007



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

There isn't anything wrong with this album, its great, its just different then their last one... in that review I did point out differences but never said they were weaknesses.

To me a classic album is an album that you've had for years that you thought was flawless when you got it and years later you still think its flawless and still listen to it regularly, and generally that would also mean its near the top of the genre its attached to.This Message Edited On 07.14.07

Kage
July 14th 2007



1173 Comments


Porcupine Tree, Riverside, and older Devin Townsend

I've actually gone off those bands considerably since I reviewed them, but I highly doubt this is actually "progressive" in any true sense. I'll check it out just for you though.

kalkal50
July 14th 2007



2386 Comments


The review was good, but you don't seem very enthusiastic about this album.. I mean you gave it a 5 because it's different than their other stuff, and yet you only think "yeah this is great"? I'm confusedThis Message Edited On 07.14.07

Willie
Moderator
July 14th 2007



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

've actually gone off those bands considerably since I reviewed them, but I highly doubt this is actually "progressive" in any true sense. I'll check it out just for you though.


Anacrusis is more thrash then progressive, and you may not like them... I just meant that generally people into bands like the ones I mentioned take a little more of an open mind towards music, not that Anacrusis had a lot of similarities to the bands above. Although I like all of them and Anacrusis too... so maybe.This Message Edited On 07.14.07

Kage
July 14th 2007



1173 Comments


I'm openminded towards music, but I generally dislike straight up metal...don't get me wrong, I love a lot of heavy music but I find metal genres like thrash and traditional metal to be unutterably boring in general.

Willie
Moderator
July 14th 2007



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

The review was good, but you don't seem very enthusiastic about this album.. I mean you gave it a 5 because it's different than their other stuff, and yet you only think "yeah this is great"? I'm confused


I see your point in that regard in so far as I could've spent more time talking about this album specifically without references to the other album. I decided to point out this albums main points by contrasting them with the last album which probably wasn't the best thing in the world to do in hindsight since most people have never heard them and there is no review for the other album... but while comparing/contrasting I still think I got the point across of how this album sounds... I think the main contention is, "Is it really a 5". I'd really like for it to be a 4.7 if that were possible, but it isn't and I felt it was closer to a 5 then a 4.5.... so I rounded up.

Kage
July 14th 2007



1173 Comments


Hey WillieFisterbut you're cool in my book, you put up with my bullshit admirably.

Willie
Moderator
July 14th 2007



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

I'm open minded towards music, but I generally dislike straight up metal...don't get me wrong, I love a lot of heavy music but I find metal genres like thrash and traditional metal to be unutterably boring in general.


I really wouldn't consider their last two albums straight up metal at all, there are definitely large amounts of progressive elements and quality musicianship within the framework of a thrash album... would they end up on progarchives.com... probably not.

ha ha thanks... I'm good at giving and getting bullshit ;)This Message Edited On 07.14.07

Kage
July 14th 2007



1173 Comments


I hate progarchives.com

kalkal50
July 14th 2007



2386 Comments


To me it feels like you should've rounded it down but I only have your review to judge how you feel about this album. Maybe just talking more about the overall sound with less dismal adjectives would've cut the mustard.

Willie
Moderator
July 14th 2007



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

To me it feels like you should've rounded it down but I only have your review to judge how you feel about this album. Maybe just talking more about the overall sound with less dismal adjectives would've cut the mustard.


In hindsight, I am going to round down, because I eventually plan on reviewing Manic Impressions, and it is a 5, not a 4.7, and that review may lose something if the two albums I've reviewed by Anacrusis are both 5's... it may come off as fanboyism... if I reviewed the first two albums that would prove to not be the case though ;)This Message Edited On 07.14.07

Cravinov13
July 14th 2007



3854 Comments


I checked this out and was deeply unimpressed.This Message Edited On 07.14.07



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