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 1993, Screams and Whispers was the band’s fourth and final album. It’s also their crowning achievement. Anacrusis managed to combine the intricate riffwork, innovative bass lines, and otherworldly vocals that worked so well on Manic Impressions and add a sense of power and emotion that the previous album was lacking. If there’s a thrash album on par with Cynic’s legendary Focus album, this is it. Gloriously technical, yet emotional and sinister in a cold and clinical, walking down empty hospital corridors at night kind of way. It’s just an incredibly impressive technical metal album that more people should be aware of.
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, and Screams and Whispers is a good place to start.