Released by: Metal Blade Records
Relase Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Prog-Trash Metal
R.O.T. (Reign of Terror)
A World to Gain
Annihilation Complete – Disemboweled
Frigid Bitch (Demo)
Vulture’s Prey (Demo)
Afraid to Feel
Quick to Doubt
Killing My Mind
Quick to Doubt (Demo)
So many bands, so little time. Sometimes I am embarrassed when I discover a band that has been around for ages but somehow missed along the way. Then there are bands whose name has been in my line of sight for many years and for one reason or another I have never delved into their catalog, despite reliable sources ensuring me that that band is one I need to check out. Anacrusis is one of those bands. When they were first on the scene I would see the name dropped here and there, but ultimately never enough for me to pull the trigger and I certainly never saw their tapes when I was out shopping for new sounds. Over the years I have heard about Anacrusis being such an early pioneer of Progressive Thrash Metal, but I still never found their stuff to purchase (and usually never crossed my mind digitally.) Finally, their albums are being reissued and I have been given the chance to get to know them.
Starting with their first full-length album, Suffering Hour, their roots are clearly in the Thrash world. Though they had leanings towards bands like early Slayer, Death Angel, and Kreator, you could already tell they were taking what they learned from the earlier bands and going somewhere else with it. Totally in-your-face aggression laced with fretboard calisthenics and a voice that was melodic but would punctuate moments throughout the songs with this crazed scream. Tracks like “Imprisoned,” “Fighting Evil,” and “Frigid Bitch” stuck more towards an almost classic thrash sound, yet showing some signs of where they were headed.
Next is the follow-up to Suffering Hour, Reason, which right out of the gate displays a band trying to create a new sound. Opening track “Stop Me” is almost a fully formed Prog Thrash masterpiece, whose title alone sounds like the band is challenging anyone to stop them from trying new approaches and time signatures. The Thrash element is still predominant, but certain approaches are changed, from odd drum attacks to ethereal passages, and this is still the opening track. “Not Forgotten,” “Vital,” and “Killing My Mind” push them more towards the realm of Voivod with odd polyrhythms, chaotic riffing, and unusual signatures. This certainly puts them at the forefront of Prog-Metal.
Hopefully, as the next two albums are reissued I can delve into those and see where they went later on. I’m certainly glad I finally got around to hearing Anacrusis. Both of these albums are very impressive and show a band interested in pushing the envelope musically. Suffering Hour is a great debut, but I found myself more into Reason by just a hair. I give Suffering Hour 8 and Reason 9 out of 10.
Written by: Chris Martin
Ratings: Suffering Hour – 8/10 and Reason – 9/10