Review Summary: Anacrusis reappear after more than fifteen years of silence with the re-recording of their second album, Reason. Hindsight: Reason Revisited improves on all of the areas that needed work and otherwise stays faithful to the original songs.
Almost everyone that loves music probably has a story about discovering a band, buying all of their music, doing everything possible to learn about their history and then watch as they go and ***ing break up. It’s even worse when that band seemed to be onto something that really grabbed your attention – something that made it seem as if their best material might still be ahead of them. I’ve read comments on this very site from people that felt that way about bands such as Cynic
and At the Gates
, but my personal tale involves the technical thrash band Anacrusis. They caught my attention with their final album, Screams & Whispers
because I had never heard anything like it. The vocalist was one of the most versatile thrash singers that I had ever heard. I also loved the fact that the bass was clearly audible and an integral part of the music. Eventually I acquired their entire discography and I couldn’t wait for their fifth album – and then they ***ing broke up.
Before they did, though, they released four albums that steadily moved towards a perfect balance of technicality and thrash metal. Reason
was the band’s sophomore album and the first to really display the talent and direction that would only be improved upon for the rest of their career. It was an album that began the band’s infatuation with heavy, technical riffs combined with a strong sense of melody and plenty of transitions. Reason
also benefited from the fact that the bass guitar wasn’t buried under a wall of distortion. Instead, it was given a fat tone that helped it to cut through the riffs and become a vital (and independent) part of the music – and what music it was. The band seemed to enjoy establishing a tempo just long enough to tear it apart with quick outbursts of speed and aggression that would eventually return to the main motif or possibly even something mellower. The band’s main asset, though, was probably always the vocals of Kenn Nardi. To this day, he has to have one of the most unique voices in thrash metal. His main vocal delivery was a coarse shout that could easily slip into clean singing. This style was accentuated by high pitched shrieks and deep growls. The thing that made that style so unique (especially for the early nineties) was that he was able to use all of those styles with ease, which added an extra dynamic to the musical transitions.
Hindsight Vol. 2: Reason Revisited
carries all of those positive aspects over, but gives them a much needed facelift that also includes some minor adjustments. The most noticeable thing that the re-recording accomplishes is to bring the album’s sound in line with the band’s final two albums. The muddy production of the original has been replaced with the same clear, razor-sharp tone that the later albums employed (and probably actually surpasses their sound). It has introduced a separation between the instruments that just wasn’t there on the original and has lead to an increased clarity of individual performances. Also, the performances actually seem to be tighter now than they were on the original, although that could be an illusion created by the enhanced sound. The minor adjustments that were mentioned earlier are just that – minor. The most noticeable of those adjustments is that some of the old guitar solos have been replaced with new improved versions. Other than that, a vocal may be sang at a slightly different tempo or a scream may be held for less time than the original, but only the most hardcore fans will probably notice.
After more than fifteen years of silence Anacrusis is finally showing signs of life again. While Hindsight: Reason Revisited
isn’t exactly new material, it is still worth getting even for those that already have the original. The sound has been improved on in almost every way; the vocals are stronger, the performances are tighter, and they’re clearly audible. For those worried about the band messing with the fundamental formula of the original tracks, rest assured that they’ve stayed very true to the originals. Even if you’re a fan from way back and are perfectly happy with the original recordings, I’d suggest getting this just so the band knows that the fans are still out there… maybe it will even convince them to start writing album number five.