Anacrusis - Suffering Hour
Axis Records
Thrash Metal
9 songs (47:10)
Release year: 1988
Anacrusis
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

One of those faintly obscure Thrash acts that earned itself plaudits from those in the know and was ignored by generally everybody else, Anacrusis recently re-released this, and the following album together, but it’s worth taking a look at them individually, and Suffering Hour, the band’s 1988 debut, is simply great. An intelligent album with superb performances all around, this is especially notable for the sorrowful atmosphere, helped considerably by the gloomy production which highlights the instruments’ low end, let alone that cover art. Nicely complex songwriting packs the riffs in, and swerves between varying styles without sounding too disjointed – Imprisoned’s gloomy, almost Doom opening, the early Death-style maddened riffing and soloing, and the group-grunted chorus towards the end somehow all fit together perfectly, for example, and while there are notable differences between songs (not always a good thing for Thrash) the album flows well and keeps you interested and headbanging throughout.

“Notable differences” is rather an understatement, as fans of this album will know. Opener Present Tense rips in, heralded by shrieks from vocalist Kenn Nardi, slowing down in the second half for some breathy whispers and fairly technical instrumental fun, with an almost catchy, Speed Metal-esque vocal performance. It’s rare to find an occasion when Suffering Hour isn’t straddling genres, the aforementioned Imprisoned one good example of many, the following R.O.T proving it even moreso with the acoustic opening vs the following crazed shrieks and early Kreator-esque pounding. No Thrasher could possibly dislike the crushing pound of Butcher’s Block, Nardi at his most Schuldineresque as catchy rhythm guitars and surprisingly epic riffs do their best to fracture your vertebrae.

Picking highlights is shooting fish in a barrel. There’s more speed metal-esque crooning on A World To Gain, Frigid Bitch’s thoughtful misogynistic rambling and Fighting Evil is just plain ol’ fun, yet the seven-minute Twisted Cross is a personal favourite, starting very acoustic and quiet and ending like a goddamn building falling on you. By the time you’ve reached the suitably-titled Annihilation Complete/Disemboweled you’re all thrashed out, the album having done exactly the function it was created for. Although the less said about the bonus cover of Black Sabbath’s NIB the better, this is a fantastic album that Thrashers should love – if you haven’t got it, you can download it for free along with the full Anacrusis discography from the band’s website, link above. They went kinda melodic and proggy after this, so true kvlt thrashers should start here.

Killing Songs :
Present Tense, Imprisoned, R.O.T, Butcher’s Block, A World To Gain, Twisted Cross
Goat quoted 87 / 100
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