ANACRUSIS — Screams and Whispers (review)

ANACRUSIS — Screams and Whispers album cover Album · 1993 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
UMUR
"Screams and Whispers" is the fourth full-length studio album by US, Missouri based thrash/progressive metal act Anacrusis. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in May 1993. It´s the successor to "Manic Impressions" from May 1991. There´s been one lineup change since the predecessor as Chad Smith has been replaced by Paul Miles. Promotional videos were made for the tracks "Sound the Alarm" and "Release". "Screams and Whispers" ended up being Anacrusis last album in their original run as they disbanded shortly after the album was released.

Stylistically they´ve now made a complete tranformation from their raw and aggressive thrash metal roots towards a technically well played and progressive metal sound. The raw snarling thrash metal vocals and high pitched piercing screams are almost gone from the music (they still appear on occasion), and lead vocalist/guitarist Kenn Nardi predominantly sings clean vocals ranging from semi-raw singing to mellow atmospheric cleans. I´m often reminded of a more metalized and progressive version of Killing Joke (and artists like Alchemist and mid-90s Morgoth, but that was later and they were both also greatly influenced by Killing Joke, so maybe they don´t count). Both when it comes to the vocals but also the general feeling and atmosphere of the music. Anacrusis aren´t easy to pin down like that though, and there are a lot of other influences heard and Killing Joke is just one of them.

The music features both heavy thrashy parts, although that part of Anacrusis music has decreased greatly since "Manic Impressions", but more often heavy riffs and atmospheric clean guitars. In that respect Anacrusis did follow the times as many other contemporary thrash metal acts also released less thrashy albums. Artists like Coroner, Testament, Overkill, and Metallica in particular turned away from thrash metal (some for longer than others). Anacrusis have elements of the heavy alternative influence which some of the other mentioned artists were also toying with at the time, but of course Anacrusis were a much more progressive and unconventional sounding act. Which is probably why they never rose to anything but cult status. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
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