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Suffering Hour

Axis (1988)
Rating: 8.5/10

Barely a year after Bernard Doe’s review of Anacrusis’ Annihilation Complete five-song demo, the St. Louis, Missouri-based boys are back, and with a full-length album no less.

When Bernard referred to Anacrusis as a mixture of Metal Church, Trouble, Slayer and Metallica, he hit it right on the nose. Although the band do manage to inject a flavour of their own into the proceedings, most of the material present on Suffering Hour is very much along the lines of those aforementioned outfits, even down to guitarist Kenn Nardi’s occasionally Dave Wayne-like (but higher pitched) vocals.

But even though Anacrusis don’t win too many points for originality, they should be highly commended for their ability (not to mention, guts) to play more than just one specific style of heavy metal, from the high-speed, straightforward thrash on tracks like ‘Frigid Bitch’ and ‘R.O.T.’ to the less frantic and more melodic (but still very heavy) power metal on songs like ‘A World To Gain’ and ‘Fighting Evil’.

I myself tend to think that the more controlled, more melodic material suits the Anacrusis sound better and comes across as more natural-sounding than the high-speed thrash stuff, but there’s no denying that the band do both styles well, and for that they deserve a lot of credit.

Production-wise, it should be said that Suffering Hour suffers quite a bit (pun intended), and I find Kenn Nardi’s vocals to be a little annoying at times (especially when he’s singing at a very high pitch), but overall this is a strong debut from a band that has the potential to turn into something really great over the next couple of years. Thumbs-up!

Borivoj Krgin

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 28 (1988)

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