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ANACRUSIS

Progressive Metal • United States


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Anacrusis biography
Like many American kids of their generation, this metal quartet found a common liking for KISS, BLACK SABBATH and similar bands. Unsure about his own singing abilities, lead vocalist Kenn Nardi had initially convinced his mates to tune their songs all the way down from natural 'E' to a low 'B', thereby striking upon a distinctive, incredibly bottom-heavy sound which would eventually become their trademark. After some encouraging exposure, they landed a demo but somehow got lost in the shuffle of the late 80s thrash phenomenon. Also plagued by poor distribution, they never really caught on despite a couple of fine albums.

Their first two efforts, recorded on very low budget, were rushed and extremely amateurishly produced. However, "Manic Impressions" and "Scream and Whispers" both released in the early 90s, contain some fine material, the boys pushing their technical abilities to the limit with a heavy concentration on odd, shifting time signatures. Nearly every song on "Manic Impresions" has at least one memorable vocal melody to go along with a killer riff. Perhaps less raw and a touch more accessible, "Screams and Whispers" features arrangements that are even more sophisticated, making effective use of space, interplay, and dynamic and textural shifts, with 'schizophrenic' vocals as befits the genre. The production is icy clear on both albums.

Fans of VOIVOD and of generally dark, cold, heavy metal should definitely sample the last two albums.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Manic ImpressionsManic Impressions
Warner Bros / Wea 1991
Audio CD$25.00
$8.96 (used)
Hindsight: Suffering Hour & Reason RevisitedHindsight: Suffering Hour & Reason Revisited
CD Baby 2010
Audio CD$14.09
$23.08 (used)
Screams & WhispersScreams & Whispers
Warner Bros / Wea 1993
Audio CD$50.00
$6.94 (used)
ReasonReason
Restless Records 1993
Audio CD$43.98 (used)
Suffering HourSuffering Hour
Axis
Audio CD$19.00
Annihilation Complete:The Early YearsAnnihilation Complete:The Early Years
CD+DVD
Stormspell
Audio CD$78.09 (used)
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ANACRUSIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ANACRUSIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.31 | 19 ratings
Suffering Hour
1988
2.61 | 18 ratings
Reason
1990
2.95 | 23 ratings
Manic Impressions
1991
3.22 | 27 ratings
Screams and Whispers
1993
4.67 | 3 ratings
Hindsight: Suffering Hour & Reason Revisited
2010

ANACRUSIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ANACRUSIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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ANACRUSIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Reason by ANACRUSIS album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.61 | 18 ratings

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Reason
Anacrusis Progressive Metal

Review by the philosopher

5 stars Anacrusis is a late eighties trash metal band and one of the better ones. While the early trash metal giants (Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax) kept on repeating one another, some of the later trash metal bands took the trash movement to an higher level. Voivod and Anacrusis brought some progressive elements into the trash metal area, whereby Voivod became famous because of their Captain Beefheartesque avant garde elements, Anacrusis took a different path. In the same line as Voivod, Anacrusis prevented endless repeating of riffs, what became an element of most trashers including Metallica. Anacrusis is a very dynamic band, which switches to -poplike- sangmelodies to anxiousness or agressiveness and sometimes they'll do it in one melodic line!

The bass playes an important role in Anacrusis, and plays more on the foreground than in most other trash metalbands. The effect is amore complex sound. The guitarriffs sounds sometimes a bit naieve, but I like this chaotic sound.

I'm quiet a fan of the sang of Kenn Nardi. He uses his voice in a lot of different styles. Sometimes he uses high screams, low growls, clean sanglines and the most fantastic element is that he changes his way so often. This constantly changing in singing/ shouting / growling effects in a very complex emotional musical element. Understanding it is like understanding a psychophrenic patient. This part of this music is one of the key elements why Anacrusis feels complex.

Another part of the complexity is the constantly changing of heaviness. As I allready sad, Anacrusis is a very dynamic band. It changes from slow riffs to fast riffs and from clean guitars to distortion in very small time periods. This completes the changing of vocalstyls.

Reason is a very entertaining record wich has in my opinions no real weak points, except it's cover. This record is one of the few trash metal record (if not the only) I can listen seven days a weak without getting bored about it. By having sad that I conclude that this is without doubt a masterpiece of trash metal. Because of it's technical highstanding qualities it wouldn't suit ill in a progressive metal collection.

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 Suffering Hour by ANACRUSIS album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.31 | 19 ratings

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Suffering Hour
Anacrusis Progressive Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The first album from Anacrusis follows a familiar hardcore crossover thrash metal pattern. Familiar that is for those of us who were around at that time when Anacrusis released this album and had a brief taste of fame.

The thin vocals and the guitar riffs says it all, really. This is pretty standard thrash metal and it is not even good. Then again, very few thrash metal albums from that era were good. I get some associations to Slayer's Reign In Blood, but also a lot of associations and bad memories from countless thrash metal albums still in my record collection (packed away well out of view).

This album does not move me at all. The sound is pretty bad too, although not horrible and this album has a distinct lack of good songs too. Avoid.

2 stars

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 Screams and Whispers by ANACRUSIS album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.22 | 27 ratings

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Screams and Whispers
Anacrusis Progressive Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Matured Anacrusis.

After three crossover hard core/thrash metal albums, Anacrusis settled down on their final album and went for respectability and sophistication.

When a pretty original sounding band seeks mainstream respectability, they normally forfeit their reason for being and their own sound. This album is no exception from this rule. I have never rated Anacrusis at all, but this new matured version of the band is pretty dull. Their mix of AOR, avant-garde and hard core sounds neutured and forced upon them. There is little originality around and even the avant garde stuff here sounds lame. The songs are decent enough and this album is by no means a turkey. Neither is it a good album and I ends this session on a two stars verdict.

2 stars

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 Reason by ANACRUSIS album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.61 | 18 ratings

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Reason
Anacrusis Progressive Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Anacrusis is a band I did not expect to find in ProgArchives. But after listening to this album, I understand their inclusion here.

Anacrusis has returned with some horrendous bad artwork, but with some decent music. Music in the landscape between thrash metal and hard core. This type of music was called Crossover (not to be confused with the ProgArchives genre called Crossover) when I was a young man. Cryptic Slaughter and Anacrusis among the purveyors of this genre. This was back in the early 1990s. Memories, memories, memories.........

The music on this album is pretty decent. It is pretty good when the tempo is slowed down a bit. I find the more faster, chugging guitar riffs pretty uninspiring and dull. Something which there is far too much of on this album. The shrieking vocals too is pretty tiring and not good at all. Well, they wanted to make a crossover album out of it and that is what they have made. There is some good ideas here they have underdeveloped. I can understand why this band does not rate this album and why it has been re-recorded again (I believe).

This is pretty decent crossover, but nothing more. Pass me the salt and pepper please.

2 stars

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 Manic Impressions by ANACRUSIS album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.95 | 23 ratings

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Manic Impressions
Anacrusis Progressive Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The Anacrusis albums has been gathering dust in my collection until I found out about their inclusion in ProgArchives. Something that came as a big surprise to me. So my disdain of their albums has been wrong all the way, then. (???)

Nope. Anacrusis does a blend of technical thrash, hardcore and emo metal on this album. The songs here are nothing special. The charm factor is not particular great either. The vocals are a bit special and gives Anacrusis their own identity. The rest of the band is also a tight unit.

The songs on this album seems a bit more worked through and matured than the songs from their first two albums. This album is certainly pretty mellow. The quality though is not particular good and I do not rate this album. Which at the end of the day may be down to personal preferences. This is not an album for me.

2.5 stars

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 Suffering Hour by ANACRUSIS album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.31 | 19 ratings

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Suffering Hour
Anacrusis Progressive Metal

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Suffering Hour, the debut album from thrash metal band Anacrusis, is a pretty important album in the thrash metal genre. It's nowhere near the importance of Slayer's Reign In Blood or Metallica's Master of Puppets, but Suffering Hour is a bit of an underground classic in the thrash metal genre. Even though I am a pretty big fan of late 80's thrash metal, Suffering Hour has never really impressed me. It shows a lot of potential, but a few big problems really destroy my enjoyment of this album.

As I've mentioned earlier, this is late 80's thrash metal in the vein of Slayer or Metallica, but this never reaches the high level of quality that those bands reached in the late 80's. First of all, Suffering Hour just isn't as memorable as either of those band's masterpieces. After I finished listening to this album I can only recall a few riffs, and that's always a big problem. I have a very hard time distinguishing all of the songs from each other because of the general lack of variation and memorable sections. There are a few exceptions, but generally it's hard for me to remember every song when I'm done with the album. I wish that the arrangements would have been a bit more varied. There is a limited amount of instruments on this album, and it makes the album feel linear and uninteresting by the end.

The four musicians on this album range in terms of quality. Mike Owen's drumming is pretty good; tight and fast. Not much more I could ask from a thrash metal drummer. The bass is mostly inaudible except for a few quieter parts, and that's a big problem. The two guitarists (Kevin Heidbreder and Kenn Nardi) are pretty great and really show their chops on Suffering Hour. Unfortunately, my biggest issue with this entire album is the vocals. While they aren't terrible, every now and again Kenn Nardi will do an odd, high pitched shriek that I find extremely annoying. Listen to Twisted Cross or and you will know what I mean. It sounds a bit like a dying bird to me. Needless to say it didn't impress me very much. When he sings normally or even goes rougher, he sounds great. It's just those screams that seam to appear in all of the songs that really annoy me.

As I've mentioned, the bass is generally inaudible. This obviously means that the production isn't very good. It's pretty standard for late 80's thrash metal, but I find it insufficient. It really detracts from the overall value.

Conclusion:

Suffering Hour is a rather poor debut from Anacrusis. They have never been one of my favorite thrash metal bands, and this album proves that. This is worth no more than 2 stars. If you're into Anacrusis and/or are a huge fan of early thrash metal, this might be worth getting. Keep in mind, however, that I am a big fan of thrash metal and I don't find much enjoyment from this album.

2 stars.

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 Screams and Whispers by ANACRUSIS album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.22 | 27 ratings

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Screams and Whispers
Anacrusis Progressive Metal

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Upon its arrival on my favourite radio program in 1993, Screams and Whispers made quite an impression. Most of the songs are very convincing and best of all, it's free. You can download it at quick speeds from their home site for nothing. Chances are you might also find it cheap second-hand. This eclectic gang of thrashers didn't find themselves an audience in the speed metal dominated scene of their times, which is a bit of a shame.

Anacrusis plays a blend of industrial metal, progressive metal and thrash with some gothic overtones. A mix of Ministry, Metallica, Voivod and Killing Joke if you want to put band names on it. The vocals are mainly hoarse bellows similar to the great Jazz Coleman on Killing Joke's 90's albums, for some reason Kenn Nardi also does occasional extreme raspy screeches. Due to the Jazz Coleman vocals, the steady pace of the music and some psychedelic elements, they also remind me a lot of the more recent band Alchemist, one of my favourite recent metal flavours. Recommended songs to check out are the 3 first standout tracks. Also the weird Division is interesting. The band also sits close to Prong here. 3.5 stars.

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 Screams and Whispers by ANACRUSIS album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.22 | 27 ratings

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Screams and Whispers
Anacrusis Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Screams and Whispers is the fourth full-length studio album from American progressive metal act Anacrusis. Itīs safe to say that I have not been impressed with any of the previous efforts from the band even though their third album Manic Impressions (1991) did make a promise of better things to come. Screams and Whispers is finally an album from the band that I can appreciate. Thereīs been a lineup change since Manic Impressions (1991) as drummer Chad Smith has left to be replaced by Paul Miles.

The music is thrashy metal/ alternative rock with some progressive elements like occasional symphonic keyboard parts ( very few though). The vocals are both harsh ( not growls) and clean. The music is mostly mid-paced and the faster thrash metal riffing which dominated their previous albums are now almost gone. There are a few times during the albums 62:05 minute long playing time when Anacrusis speed the music up but itīs not very often.

The musicianship is tight and professional and even vocalist Kenn Nardi who I have been complaining about in my reviews of the first three albums now sounds confident enough to deserve his place behind the microphone.

Singer/ Guitarist Kenn Nardi acts as producer on the album and he has made a powerful and very clean metal sound. I really enjoy this production.

If you like albums like Coroner - Grin (1993), Alchemist - Austral Alien (2003), Killing Jokeīs early nineties albums ( Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions (1990), Pandemonium (1994) and Democracy (1996)) and Morgoth - Feel Sorry for the Fanatic (1996), thereīs a chance that youīll find Screams and Whispers exciting. Many of the elements that those bands have in their music can also be heard on Screams and Whispers. Screams and Whispers is ( for now) the final album from Anacrusis and you can chose to view the album in two ways. Maybe this was the first promising release from a band that had yet to unleash their full potential or maybe this was their best shot and it was for the best that they called it quits when they did. Iīm afraid it was the latter and I for one do not mourn the loss of a potentionally excellent future album from the band. Screams and Whispers is a good album though and deserves a 3 star rating. Iīm happy for Anacrusis that they at least released one respectable album in their career.

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 Manic Impressions by ANACRUSIS album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.95 | 23 ratings

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Manic Impressions
Anacrusis Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Manic Impressions is the third studio album from metal act Anacrusis. Itīs safe to say that I havenīt been overjoyed with the first two albums from Anacrusis: Suffering Hour (1988) and Reason (1990). In fact I think both of those albums are weak attempts at playing technical thrash metal. Iīve read much about Anacrusis through the years and quite frankly I couldnīt understand what the fuzz was all about after listening to those two albums. But I never give up on a band before Iīve heard everything they have to offer and two out of the three current reviews of Manic Impressions are pretty enthusiastic, so I decided to review the album.

The music has definitely grown since Reason and there are actually parts that I find enjoyable on the album. The style is still technical thrash metal which is very rooted in the eighties version of that genre. Vocalist Kenn Nardi has a very weak and strange vocal style and it hasnīt gotten any better on Manic Impressions. He even tries some clean vocals on the New Model Army Cover song I Love the World and it just doesnīt work. Even though the thrash metal riffing is mostly generic and forgettable there are some powerful sections here and there that saves the album. The acoustic parts that occur in some songs are also good for the diversity but not very impressive in themselves.

The musicianship is very good, but good musicians donīt always make great composers and that īs exactly the problem with Anacrusis IMO. They might know how to play technically difficult things, but their songs are inconsistent and poorly written.

The production is excellent and because of the great production I almost gave the album more than it deserved.

Out of the first three albums from Anacrusis this one is definitely the most listenable, but that doesnīt make it good in my book. Thrash metal with progressive leanings should actually be right down my alley, but when itīs delivered this weakly Iīm not impressed. 2 stars and a recommendation to look elsewhere for technical thrash metal. And donīt let anyone tell you this sounds anything like Voivod. Thatīs blasphemy to my ears.

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 Reason by ANACRUSIS album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.61 | 18 ratings

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Reason
Anacrusis Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Reason is the second studio album from American progressive metal band Anacrusis. Their debut album called Suffering Hour was a raw thrash metal album with no progressive tendencies whatsoever, but with Reason the band shows us a more sophisticated side of themselves.

The music is still basically old school thrash metal ( Slayer, Metallica, Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Testament, Xentrix, Vio-Lence and Forbidden just to mention a few) and IMO of the boring kind. What makes the music a bit out of the ordinary is the acoustic parts which appear in some songs. It kind of adds a progressive touch to the songs. The two longest songs on the album the opener Stop Me and Afraid to Feel are by far the most innovative songs here. The rest more or less sounds like most of the songs from Suffering Hour.

The musicianship is somewhat doubtful here. There is nothing wrong with the guitar and bass playing. Pretty well played thrash metal riffing, but the vocals from Kenn Nardi are not very good and his weird screams donīt fit the music very well. The terrible eighties drums are the worst part here though. Mike Owen does not know the word subtle. Everything is played loud and without much consideration for the other parts of the music. His playing really ruins the music IMO.

The production is terrible. The drums are too loud and the overall sound just comes out sounding weak and powerless. This was a common problem for many eighties thrash metal bands though.

Reason is not much better than Suffering Hour really, but we are introduced to the more innovative side of Anacrusis music and thatīs a plus in my book. Reason doesnīt deserve much more than a 1 star rating, but as I do respect the urge to make innovative music Iīll give Reason 2 stars. Iīm stretching though and I wonīt recommend this album to anyone.

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