Anacrusis "Manic Impressions" CDPosted on Friday, April 25th, 2008 @ 6:56am » permalink
I'm quite surprised it's taken this long for me to officially give a nod to Anacrusis here on the site, as they're one of the more innovative and unquestionably unique progressive metal bands of all time. Formed in the late-80's as a diverse though harsher-edged unit, they had grown into a much more mature and adventurous (if still underappreciated) outfit by the time they called it quits in 1993, shortly after the release of their final album, "Screams and Whispers". And for the longest time I felt like "Screams and Whispers" was my favorite Anacrusis album, but as the years pass I'm not so sure anymore. The more I listen to it, the more their third full-length, "Manic Impressions" (released by Metal Blade in 1991), has slowly inched into that top spot. Make no mistake, "Screams and Whispers" is an absolute classic, and I recommend it just as highly as this material, but… I now feel like this record's just a hint more consistent in terms of overall songwriting quality.
If you've never heard the band, this album is where they really, truly started to come into their own and fully realize the foundation of their overall vision. Retaining just the right amount of the harsher, speedier thrash riffing and shrieking vocals from their debut, the technicality and diversity of the progressive influences really gelled here – with much more singing, melody, and far more memorable songwriting. This material also really set in stone the band's unique set of production values, as their guitar and bass tones are immediately recognizable, and have rarely been similarly utilized in this combination by any act since. Furthermore, their penchant for hard-panning the guitars in the mix makes for some great headphone listening, as you can really hear how the dual guitar lines differ and work alongside one another in tandem with the crisp basslines.
While "Screams and Whispers" contains a handful of absolutely stunning compositions, this album's standout, "What You Became", remains my favorite Anacrusis track of all time, and really hits home right off the fucking bat. Hell, even their cover of New Model Army's oddly titled "I Love the World" is fucking incredible. You can't lose. I definitely hope I'll introduce some new fans to these guys here, so… see what you think!
You've grown into this faceless mask and empty shell. And, like a ghost of your indulgence, you wear them well. Still haunting something, by your own hand, lost. And you shiver with the chilling sense. You've saved nothing for yourself… The lies, the games, devoid of guilt or shame. Now you resent what you became, and the reality of only you to blame…
This one's out of print, of course, but thanks to the band's criminally underrated status as more of a "cult favorite" you can still grab the CD for less than $2 at Amazon.com (and it's on iTunes as well, if you prefer).