Review Summary: Anacrusis break from the thrash mold by adding more technicality to the music, as well as introducing a lot of moody elements to it and the lyrics, courtesy of their new found influence by The Cure.Anacrusis
was one of the few criminally overlooked bands that started in the late 80’s thrash scene. On their first album it was no surprise that they were overlooked because despite a few unique elements, there really wasn’t much to differentiate them from a lot of their peers, but on their second album, Reason
, all that would change. Only two albums into their career and Anacrusis
had developed a sound and style to the point where they were basically in a class of their own. Gone were the messy thrash riffs and doom/gloom lyrics of the last album. Replacing these things were technical, yet thrashy riffs, progressive arrangements, and lyrics that were deep and thoughtful.
On this album Anacrusis
got a much-improved production over their last album. The guitars come at you like a wall of sound when thrashy, and clean and clear when there is no call for distortion. The drum sound has also improved immensely with the double bass sounding clear and full, and each symbol crash is noticeably audible, overall making them sound very powerful and in your face. As in the last album, the bass is also still audible and carries an even deeper bottom end then before, which is rare for a thrash album. One complaint that people have leveled against this production, though, is that it sounded a little muddy. The band explained that they derived their sound for this album because they were listening to a lot of Disintegration
by The Cure
and it inspired a lot of the moodiness within the songs, as well as the production. Overall, I can hear the muddy sound they’re referring to, but it doesn’t detract from the music at all.
A great sounding album doesn’t mean anything, though, if the music sucks; fortunately that’s not the case. This album starts with one of my favorite songs of any of their albums, “Stop Me”. This song starts with a heavy riff and moves seamlessly into a mellow part with Ken’s vocals doing something a lot of thrash bands never do; they’re showing emotion, mainly due to their new influence from Robert Smith of The Cure
. The song continues to go back and forth between heavy and soft, but with the drummer keeping up the heaviness even during the slow parts due to his creative playing and use of the double bass. Throughout the song we’re treated to Ken’s thrash vocals, his black metal vocals, and his new, more emotional clean vocals. About half way through a squealing guitar solo comes in, ending when Ken comes back in singing some of his most sorrowful, yet powerful parts of the song. The song ends with Ken yelling, “What’s wrong with me” over and over again. From there, almost as if trying to prove that they haven’t let their new influence mellow them out, comes the song “Terrified” which is quite possibly one of the heaviest songs they’ve ever done. Double bass, a thrashy riff, a screeching guitar melody (if you want to call it a melody) and Ken’s black metal sounding shriek get this song started immediately and it never lets up.
The same could be said about the album as a whole, through out the entire thing it never lets up. Whether busting some funk sounding bass playing on “Not Forgotten” or thrashing through a song such as “Misshapen Intent” it just doesn’t let up. Literally, through out this entire album, you’ll experience some very solid technical thrash played in a way that most have never heard before. The arrangements keep each song from sounding even remotely similar, and Ken’s vocal style, which ranges across almost the entire vocal spectrum, never allows you to really know what’s coming next. You add to that some very good and inventive drumming, plenty of heaviness and aggression and you’ve got an album that is enjoyable from, pretty much, start to finish. The reason I say “pretty much” is because the closing song is kind of boring due to a chorus which sounds out of place, as well as the overall slow pace of the song. Another thing worth noting is that, even though all the other songs are good, it’s hard to get through the entire album sometimes, due to the hour-long length and the oppressive nature of the songs, but that may just be me.
I’d recommend this album to anyone who likes their thrash music played heavy and technical with lyrics that break from the stereotypical subjects long associated with it. Fortunately, I can also recommend this album (all their albums, actually) to anyone that is into heavy music and simply willing to take the time to download the songs, and try something new. What I mean is that their entire catalog is out of print, so the band were cool enough to make all their albums available for free high quality download on their official website. There nothing to sign, nowhere you have to input an e-mail, you just download their songs. The direct link is:
I don’t usually do song recommendations, but as these are available for download legally, I’ll make a few.