Screams And Whispers - Anacrusis

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Screams And Whispers - Anacrusis

1 CD(s) - Heavy Metal - Label: Metal Blade - Distributor: Sony Music/Arvato Services - Released: 24/01/2000 - 398414265260

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Review of "Screams And Whispers - Anacrusis"

published 28/05/2002 | yhwman
Member since : 16/07/2000
Reviews : 292
Members who trust : 78
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Excellent
Pro Quality, quality album. No rapping!
Cons Slightly dated synthesised instruments, too thrashy at times
very helpful
Originality
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money
Lyrics

"Temple of the Burning Virgin"

Hair, guitars, drama and the odd bit of yelling. All of this without being connected to Bruce Dickinson. With the exception of the hair that's not a bad way to make a metal album and if metal's your thing (Proper metal of course, none of this Linkin Park style nonsense) then you should like this album.

But who are Anacrusis? Well, they're four serious guys with equally serious barnets who go by the names, Kenn Nardi (Vocals and 'left' guitar), Kevin Heidbreder ('right' guitar), John Emery (bass) and Paul Miles (drums). Musically this album isn't to far away from middle era Metallica, Master of Puppets especially, but has more depth than your average thrash album (And even above average albums like Puppets). Anacrusis mix the growl 'n' howl vocals and machine gun guitars of thrash with the sort of instrumentation and vocals you might find on a decent Pink Floyd album.


* Sound the Alarm *

Don't turn it up, the song may start of with quiet chorused guitars but it'll soon burst your drums as it comes in with some screaming guitars and acrobatic bass. Eschewing the quiet/loud pattern for something approaching, quiet/really loud/quiet/louder/really loud, the band mix up melodic rocky moments, castrating machine gunning sections and moody melodic bits - quite often at the same time. Finishing off with a mournful guitar solo backed by sporadic assaults from the bass guitar, Sound the Alarm is one of the best opening tracks on a metal album I've ever heard.


* Sense of Will *

Shifting along with even greater momentum than Sound the Alarm, Sense of Will bounds along in the same way an athlete does when bladder extension shop is closed. Leaving behind all of the gentle melodies found in the previous song, Sense of Will prefers to mix rapid guitars/drums/bass with blasts of screaming guitar. Not quite up to the same standard as Sound the Alarm but still a cracking track.


* Too Many Prophets *

Anacrusis bring the melodic element back on Too Many Prophets. The song is a fractured mix of brass, machine gun guitars, strings and pianos. Each element popping in and out of the mix at not always predictable times. The lyrics deal with 'smoke and mirrors' aspect of religion and are sung in just about every style Mr Nardi has. Too Many Prophets is a good song although its fractured nature gives the listener a less comfortable ride than the previous songs.


* Release *

Religion is once again the topic of choice, this time Anacrusis start off with the crucifixion of Jesus and wind a cheery path down to guilt. Nardi again shows his range of vocal styles, screaming during the chorus and returning to proper singing in the atmospheric verses.


* Division *

Probably the most out and out thrash song on the album, the song is beset with far to many play-fast-go-arghhhh moments. However, personally I think its one of the better songs on the album with its moody guitar picking moments and ludicrously atmospheric/dramatic choruses. Chugging guitars phase around with occasional crashes of raw distortion and moody vocals. Shame the verses are fairly dully really.


* Tools of Separation *

Starting off like a slower version of the play-fast-go-arghhhh moments of Division, the song redeems itself in the quiet, completely distortion free choruses. Led by strings, Nardi does some proper singing along with moments of sonorous brass and bursts of clean guitar. The verses do seem a touch weak compared to the choruses but it's still a good song.


* Grateful *

Anacrusis plunge gleefully into another atmospheric intro on Grateful, it's a good job these guys are good at them really. Sci-fi synths, guitar harmonics, huge drum sounds and some restrained lead playing lead the song into a chugging thrash riff backed up by a more grooving drum line. Nardi then produces one of his best singing performances of the album in the first verse, which reprises the intro but with more elements, including amongst other things, war like trumpets. Anacrusis thrash it up on their way to the chorus before producing a seriously heavy if slower moment to finish the chorus off. One of the best songs on the album.


* A Screaming Breath *

While there is technically an intro to this song, it doesn't feel like there is. Groaning guitars, a rasping bass and bad mood drums just start without a warning before leading into a staccato verse which opens out into a fully fleshed chorus. A brief respite is provided by a reprise of the intro and then we're off again. Another great song.


* My Soul's Affliction *

Anacrusis thrash around in a sort of "we're warming up" style before turning on a huge bunch of phasers and going "Look! Atmosphere!". It's all quite nice but it doesn't last and plunges off in to a fast but not distorted verse, not that that doesn't stop Nardi from doing his screamy voice from time to time and very effective it is as well. The distortion gets turned on for a growly trip through chorus land, which is also rather good. The song is only really let down by the reworkings of the intro that are inserted every so often. Still a good song.


* Driven *

A heavy intro batters you towards a moody section ala Grateful before going VERY Pink Floyd indeed. You couldn't fool yourself you were listening to Dark Side of the Moon for long though as the drums start getting quicker and then the heavy guitars come in and Nardi gets through all his vocal styles several times in about a minute. Stunning song.


* Brotherhood? *

Huge sounding raked acoustic guitars strings and a rather downcast sounding Nardi all stand together holding hands in an echo chamber for the dreamlike intro, complete with lyrics that point towards the break up of the band that happened shortly after this albums release. Very inward and self doubting, the accompanying music mixes melodic rock moments, dramatically building strings/brass sections and out and out thrash moments. Another quality track.


* Release (remix) *

Don't worry, it ain't dance and so the chances of it being utter bilge are greatly reduced. Release is stripped down to expose more of the song, with some of the distorted guitars being replaced by more gentle acoustic moments. While it is a very good reworking of the song, don't be expecting Trent Reznor levels of variation.


And for those of you who couldn't be bothered to read all that, this album could be fairly well summed up as Master of Puppets meets Dark Side of the Moon. If that appeals to you though, you're in for a bit of hard work as I seem to have bought last the last copy in the country. Everywhere now either claims never to have heard of it (Including BOL where I bought it from) or that they're not planning on having it in stock anytime soon (Amazon). However, Screams and Whispers is one of the finest metal albums ever recorded, even if I have picked at some of the songs having a straightforward thrash moment here and there, so it's well worth mooching round the auction sites to see if you can pick it up.


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Comments on this review

  • polli published 23/06/2002
    Sounds good. Great op, polli
  • Excelle published 28/05/2002
    Good stuff chap - Anacrusis aren't bad, although I haven't listened to much yet :) Nice to see the old burl ops still popping up every now and again!
  • craiggy_boy published 28/05/2002
    Well I found it far more agreeable than Everclear anyway bud ;) - Craig
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Product Information : Screams And Whispers - Anacrusis

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1 CD(s) - Heavy Metal - Label: Metal Blade - Distributor: Sony Music/Arvato Services - Released: 24/01/2000 - 398414265260

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EAN: 398414265260

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Listed on Ciao since: 28/05/2002