It was a spring day back in 1990 and I made my regular trip around the record shops in my hometown. I’ve been checking out an LP for weeks, the cover was very dramatic with a dim picture of a cathedral and felt cold and evil. A band with a record like this must be great, right? The thing though, the older guys in my gang said it wasn’t any good, it wasn’t fast at all, nothing to have really. This week though my curiosity took overhand and later that day I went home with “Suffering Hour” in my bag. Perhaps it wasn’t all what I expected, frankly it’s a quite odd record and no, it didn’t sound anything like the rest of the bands I was listening to at the moment. There was something that got stuck on me though and I did (and have done since) my best to defend my shopping spree. In view of the fact that this was long before the age of internet it took years before “Reason” ended up in my possession and even longer before my ANACRUSIS collection was complete.
Sure, the original version of “Suffering Hour” has perhaps more cult status than it is a great release, the sound is rough and edgy but still it can clearly be heard that they were on to something very unique. Now with “Hindsight” available which holds completely new recordings of ANACRUSIS first two releases they can probably get a little bit of the recognition they deserve. Here of course comes the question, is it really necessary for a band to push out old material once more? In this case I would say yes because the original releases are only available through eBay and such places and also because a lot of people, who were there in the early days and new people can have it really hard to look past a primitive production. Those people now have another chance because the sound is improved and the production still is quite simple absolutely more modern. Even if it is an improvement from the originals, which I think is extremely cool as they are, ANACRUSIS hasn’t lost what it was all about. The magnificent songstructures with the raw and dark and Doom stricken Thrash riffs still are very much the same. ANACRUSIS trademark has always been very well written songs and basically everywhere they’ve been pinned as very much ahead of their time. This, right now, is just perfect. Everything is just a little bit enhanced when it comes to performance and sound. The songs are the same of course, but most important, the same old feeling is there too.
Why check out ANACRUSIS now you say? Time has actually caught up with them. ANACRUSIS music was a little step away from Power Metal when that moniker was the recognition of bands as METAL CHURCH, RAZOR or AGENT STEEL, towards the first rough steps of European Thrash Metal. Set METAL CHURCH in one corner, SODOM in the other, add a little touch of Old School BLACK SABBATH, then you’re getting close to what this is all about. At least for “Suffering Hour”, “Reason” is a little bit more cleaned up, more towards Power/Heavy Metal than the rest but it still has the trademark style. The thing that really spices them up though is Kenn Nardi’s mellow voice. Sure, this isn’t what’s normal for this type of music but it really works and separates this band from the masses.
Even if this release is financed by the band, without any support from record companies they have made a very fat double digi-pack with completely new (stunning) artwork and a thick booklet which includes new and old pictures, a full set of lyrics and small stories from the band and the ones who discovered them in the early days. Compared to other retrospective records “Hindsight” is a job very well done from this St Lois bunch. OK, they had me from the start but I’m sure this release will earn them the credits they so well deserve. Do we dare to hope for a completely new album?
A World To Gain
The Twisted Cross
Annihilation Complete / Disemboweled
Killing My Mind
Afraid To Feel
Quick To Doubt
Kenn Nardi - Guitar, Vocals Kevin Heidbreder - Guitar John Emery - Bass Mike Owen - Drums