Anacrusis


Reason

Anacrusis - Reason ©1990 Metal Blade
1. Stop Me
2. Terrified
3. Not Forgotten
4. Wrong
5. Silent Crime
6. Misshapen Intent
7. Afraid To Feel
8. Child Inside
9. Vital
10. Quick To Doubt
11. Killing My Mind
12. Injustice

Having been working my way backwards through the Anacrusis catalogue over the past few months, I find myself hesitating to lavish the same amount of praise on Reason than I have with the following two releases Screams and Whispers and Manic Impressions. Clocking in at over an hour, a sense of tedium becomes paramount around the sixth track and it becomes really difficult to finish up. Anacrusis strikes me as a band that grew in leaps and bounds with each album. The foundation to their unique sound and approach can be found in Reason, yet it is not as compelling or as well executed as it should be. Singer/guitarist Kenn Nardi tends to use his shrill shriek far too often and unfortunately the cringe factor is immense. The other major problem is that their strings of riffs tend to not quite pull the listener along in the way they probably intended. Instead, you ride through a series of uncohesive thrash that simply is tiresome in great excess. Fortunately, the band's songwriting only improved from this point on.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/1999

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Manic Impressions

Anacrusis - Manic Impressions ©1991 Metal Blade
1. Paint A Picture
2. I Love The World
3. Something Real
4. Dream Again
5. Explained Away
6. Still Black
7. What You Became
8. Our Reunion
9. Idle Hours
10. Far Too Long

Now here's a band that deserves the "Super-Underrated" tag. Anacrusis plugged away for several albums in the late 80's-early 90's but never seemed to catch the attention of the mainstream thrash audience or the wacked-metal audience of Voivod. Quite complex and moody with a sense of desparation, Anacrusis' music does defy normal categorization...hence their lack of widespread acceptance. A 1999 perspective actually proves their music ages remarkably well as they don't sound dated at all to its 1991 creation. Rather, this sounds fresher than most of the current crop of stuff around. Vocalist/guitarist Kenn Nardi's voice is a unique thing: both haunting in a somewhat gothic sense (though not steeped in cheesiness...his voice is very somber and wretched) and a really bizarre upper register squeal that is somewhat disconcerting but not like anything you've ever heard. Musically they are very aggressive but weave abject riffs. I heard this once in the early 90's but made the mistake of not getting a copy. This is your retro pick of the moment.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/1999

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Screams And Whispers

Anacrusis - Screams And Whispers ©1993 Metal Blade
1. Sound The Alarm
2. Sense Of Will
3. Too Many Prophets
4. Release
5. Division
6. Tools Of Separation
7. Grateful
8. A Screaming Breath
9. My Soul's Affliction
10. Driven
11. Brotherhood?
12. Release (remix)

Before Anacrusis faded back into total obscurity, they were kind enough to leave us with this gem of an album: Screams and Whispers. Moving precisely where you'd expect after the fine Manic Impressions, Anacrusis delivers a full hour of very solid songwriting and intelligent music. There is a bit more usage of keyboards on the album, acting as punctuation to the main sound. The guitars are quite ingenious throughout; anything from clean rapid picking to more normalized riffing is used. All the while, it still retains a very unique and distinct sound that only Anacrusis could approach. Kenn Nardi's vocals are also at full force here, displaying less of that really odd scream and more powerful singing. Some of the best tracks are "Grateful", "Release", "Sound the Alarm" and "Brotherhood?" Each song is able to stand apart from the others, making the album sound fresh all the way through. Too many bands are unable to distinguish themselves even within the confines of their own album and thankfully Anacrusis moved above that. Needless to say, if you see this album used anywhere, it is something you owe to yourself to have.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/1999

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