When I was in high school, back in St. Louis, Anacrusis was the best local band on the scene, bar none. They are, and were, true musicians, a cut above the rest. In 1993, just before they released Screams and Whispers, I ran into a couple of the band members at a local record store. They told me about their upcoming album and I told them how much of a fan I was. They gave me an advance demo copy of Screams and Whispers on cassette, on the condition that I promise to buy the CD when it came out!!! Imagine my excitement!!! I readily agreed!!! When the CD came out, I faithfully purchased it (which I would have done anyway). Shortly thereafter, I saw them perform that album live at Mississippi Nights in St. Louis. They rocked that place better than anyone before or since. All I can say now is this: if the members of Anacrusis are reading this, I want to thank you for being the great musicians that you are. Whatever you do, continue to make your music. The world will be better for it. To everyone else out there, buy these CDs and you will be glad you did.
The glory days of the great power trios are faithfully re-visited as Inside Out Music proudly submits the sophomore release by the mighty Jelly Jam. Jelly Jam features the almost other-worldly musical talents of Ty Tabor (King’s X) on guitar and lead-vocals, John Myung (Dream Theater) on bass, and Rod Morgenstein (The Dixie Dregs) on Drums. The (power) trio format gives these uniquely gifted musicians the freedom and space to stretch out and really show what they’re capable of doing, but never at the expense of their listeners. Huge and catchy guitar riffs are driven by a thunderously, tight rhythm section within song structures that swing from surgical precision to free-form instrumental jams. Ty’s vocal skills and knack for melody are also on display in abundance. The Jelly Jam will be playing showcase dates in support of the release (details TBD) This release will have direct appeal to the formidable fan bases of Dream Theater and King’s X.
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You just had to dig way beneath the surface. These guys are wicked fast. They have that thin guitar sound some people dislike… it’s not as chunky and bassy as some bands, but they have a more progressive sound. It’s still quite heavy, in fact the bass is allowed greater prominence by thinning out the guitar sound, which still has a sharp edge to it. They are also articulate and at ease with changing tempos within their songs. Cool live shows, too, as I remember from way back in 1991.
Progression and technical proficiency have long been an important part of extreme music, but you usually tend to find those elements in death metal bands like Cynic, Atheist, Alchemist, and of course Death. In the thrash metal arena, Anacrusis was the most innovative band in terms of taking the straightforward thrash sound and fusing it with technical virtuosity and musical/vocal experimentalism, creating a complex and engaging variation of thrash metal that set them apart from the rest of the genre’s mainstays.
Released in 1991, Manic Impressions was the band’s third album, and is arguably their most technical work. The intricate riffwork, innovative bass lines, and otherworldly vocals all add up to an utterly unique thrash metal album. I’ll grant that it does come across as cold and clinical, but there is a level of emotion to the album, however bleak it may be. And most importantly, the band never lets their technical prowess get in the way of writing actual songs, like some other over the top technical acts tend to do. I prefer the more moving Screams and Whispers (hence the 4-star rating), but Manic Impressions is still an awe-inspiring technical metal album.
I highly recommend Anacrusis to all thrash and/or progressive metal fans. If you’re into old school bands like Testament, (old) Metallica, Watchtower, Cynic, Atheist, Believer, Alchemist and Death, or even newer bands like Spiral Architect, Mercenary and Nevermore, you should definitely check out Anacrusis. Either of the band’s Metal Blade releases – this album or Screams and Whispers are good places to start.
do you like exotic guitar riffs and changes? this album is for you. extremely heavy, manic impressions is some of the best work by anacrusis. it’s unfortunate that they are no longer together. all you need to hear is the opening for “paint a picture”, and “something real”, which is the heaviest love song that i’ve ever heard. by far, it is the greatest song too on this album. kenn nardy’s vocals are twisted between whispers and pain filled screams. after hearing the talent of the twin guitar power of kevin heidbredder and kenn nardy, it’ll make you wonder how metallica got so big on such garbage after anything after” in justice for all” came out. true talent, such a shame they only released four albums. their previous album “reason” is another must have if you honestly want to hear a great band that was never given any chance to succeed.
Tortured Soul Kenn Nardi and crew entered a Wisconsin Studio in the winter of 1991 to create one of the finest records ever. There are several big changes here, most noticeable being the excellent, cold, mechanical production, and the addition of Chad Smith on drums, who couldn’t misplace a beat if he tried. These two factors make this an incredibly tight, focused album, something that was lacking on the first two. The guitar tone is mostly treble, which allows Emery’s bass to just cut right through, which is to the benefit of all who hear, as his performance just blows me away every time I listen. Another reference to Voivod, as both bands made the step to DDD on their cyber-releases (Nothingface). What else can I say, the first three notes of the album are indicative of what is contained within, an aural buzzsaw, unrelenting until the final hi-hat fade closes the album. Lyrically, incredibly depressive, as madness and life (usually the former resulting from the latter) are explored very personally, with Nardi’s delivery brought up a notch on both ends, his clean vocals becoming more pronounced as are his shrieks. A guitar tech-fest, exchanging the hyper looseness of Reason for razor sharp riffage. I usually find that perfection is attained at the cost of emotion, but that’s not the case here, as you just feel the pain contained within. A mathematical trip into an intricate mind, Manic Impressions is the culmination of 4 extraordinary musicians in the first half of their finest hour. If you ever see this, buy it, period.