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3.17 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1988

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Present Tense (6:22)
2. Imprisoned (6:11)
3. R.O.T. (4:51)
4. Butchers Block (6:06)
5. A World to Gain (4:04)
6. Frigid Bitch (4:03)
7. Fighting Evil (3:26)
8. Twisted Cross (7:20)
9. Annihilation Complete / Disemboweled (4:41)

Total Time: 47:09


- Kenn Nardi / vocals, guitar
- Kevin Heidbreder / guitar
- John Emery / bass
- Mike Owen / drums

About this release

Label: Axis Records
Release date: 1988

Thanks to umur for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Suffering Hour" is the debut full-length studio album by US, Missouri based thrash metal act Anacrusis. The album was released through Axis Records in 1988. Anacrusis formed in 1984 and released the "Annihilation Complete" demo in 1986. Four of the seven tracks from the demo were re-recorded and included on "Suffering Hour".

Not surprisingly then "Suffering Hour" continues the raw and aggressive thrash metal style from the "Annihilation Complete" demo. Anacrusis are however a technically well playing band and while I wouldn´t call this pure tech thrash there are certainly tech thrash elements and moments here and there (opening track "Present Tense" is for example a pretty technical thrash metal song) and "Suffering Hour" is an album often travelling the border between raw and aggressive thrash metal and technical thrash metal. Not completely unlike a band like Coroner or maybe Realm.

Sharp thrashy riffs are complimented by blistering lead guitar work, and Kenn Nardi´s rough shouting/screaming vocals (when Nardi hits the high screams I´m reminded of Vektor) and his occasional clean singing parts, while the rhythm section drive the music forward with great energy and skill. The structures of the tracks are pretty anarchistic, which make the songs less accessible but provide them with longivity. You have to work a little to understand and appreciate these tracks. Anacrusis are obviously a band who do things their own way and on their conditions.

"Suffering Hour" doesn´t exactly feature pristine production values, but it´s not as bad as it may sound and the raw and unpolished sound production even provides the music with some grit and atmosphere it may not have had, if the album had featured more clear and professional sound production values. Upon conclusion "Suffering Hour" is a good quality debut album and fans of thrash metal which is on the border to technical thrash metal and sounds a bit unconventional are advised to investigate. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
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.


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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