Review Summary: The Accused, as ever, never fail to impress...
The Accused formed in 1981, and was one of the pioneers of crossover thrash, originally playing punk rock before slowly and steadily incorperating hardcore and heavy metal into their tracks. Between 1983 and 1992, they released 5 full length albums, 3 EPs, 2 split albums, 1 demo and 1 'Best Of' compilation album. In 1984, The band dubbed their style "splatter rock," in homage to their favorite genre of horror films. Their hybrid musical formula was distinguishable by Blaine's unusual choking-sound vocals, Niemeyer's muted, choppy, buzzsaw guitars, dark metallic riffs, and rapid-fire drumming. They then split up in 1991 and reformed in 2003. In 2005, two years after the reform, they released both a split and a full length album. They released another EP and 'Best Of' compilation before coming back in 2009 with another great album, entitled The Curse Of Martha Splatterhead. It's a shame really. The Accused aren't recognized in the metal music industry as being one of the pioneering members of crossover thrash. These boys deserve more attention than they get.
Back in 2009, with only the main man Tommy Niemeyer left from the original line up, I, like many others I'm sure, didn't have high hopes and expectations for this record, but that changed for me as soon as I heard the opening track, The Splatterbeast
, which is an excellent reminder of old The Accused. The songs on the album are awesome, there really is no other way to put it. This album is nothing but fourteen songs of pure crossover thrash, stripped down so that you experience the full brutality of The Curse Of Martha Splatterhead
. Each song is propelled along by Tommy Niemeyer’s riffs which go from thrash to hardcore to punk with ease and he even slips in the odd sloppy solo which works superbly in the context of these songs. Most songs are clearly thrash, although they have a punky sound to them as well. Niemeyer is backed up by Dorando Hodous on bass and Mike Peterson on drums, who just keep adding to this deadly combination. With a new vocalist as well, known only as Brad Mowen, his performance on the album is superb. He goes form yells, to rasps that all fit in perfectly with each song. The main lyrical theme of most songs include zombies, gore and society.
I do have an issue with the production, however. The snare drum seems so loud in comparison to the other instruments. (Imagine Metallica's St. Anger
, only not as crap.) Brad's vocals are superb in relation to the other instruments, as well as the guitar seeming so stripped down and raw. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, as it just makes The Curse Of Martha Splatterhead
seem so much more brutal and complete. Thrash isn't about production, it's about style, and The Accused pull this off perfectly. The album is produced by Southern Lord, who has also worked with other bands such as Glorior Belli, Sunn O))), Weedeater and Wolves In The Throne Room.
The Curse Of Martha Splatterhead
works perfectly because this is what crossover thrash is supposed to be about; killer riffs and superb drumming. The sound, overall, is sloppy, yet heavy, and backed up by some truly killer riffs. Although this album is not on par with the band's early work, it is still an excellent album. As far as crossover thrash goes, this is what the new Municipal Waste wants to be. This is not something you find everyday. It's an opportunity. Take it.