Accuser – Accuser (Metal Blade)Friday, 20th November 2020
German groove/thrash metal act Accuser have been a steady force in their scene – evolving from their more straight-ahead roots of the late 80’s into this amalgamation of influences in the present. Reuniting with second guitarist René Schütz, the quartet on this self-titled effort seem to incorporate aspects of their previous discography while still advancing into some heads down, semi-technical textures that take on some Bay Area and non-Teutonic influences. Listeners can expect thick walls of rhythms, crushing tempos, and barking vocals that spit fire into the cauldron of militant thrash – eleven tracks that feature loads of furious down picking, intricacies in the guitar melodies, and sophistication that fans of Forbidden, Artillery, and Grip Inc. can appreciate beyond the normal Exodus and Sepultura-like ferocity present.
The band is very adept at mixing up the faster material with the mid-tempo efforts that possess more of the solid groove and melodic mechanics veteran musicians should deliver. Check out the killer, melodic lead harmonies of Rene and vocalist/guitarist Frank Thoms for “Be None the Wiser” – the main riffs aligning with early 90’s Metallica, or the bluesy, distant nuances to the six-minute plus “Psychocision” which build out through back and forth crunchy, stunted rhythms as the tempo and time changes float between progressive thrash and solid pounding. The Sepultura-like tribal aspects come into play with Frank’s rhythm-like vocal delivery in unison to specific riffs, as “Contamination” and “Temple of All” best illustrate. The elevated spider web runs against heads down jackhammer speed parts make “Phantom Graves” an ideal single for maximum headbanging, while the band peak back into their early roots of thrash mayhem during a latter half offering like “The Eliminator”, where Frank even quotes a bit of Megadeth when it comes to ‘killing is my business/and business is fine’ right out of the gate. Unlike many of the Teutonic bands, Accuser prefers to look at the precise aspects of latter day Bay Area thrash in the guitar/bass interplay from the late 80’s/early 90’s and add in that catchy hook/ drumming aspect that causes whirling madness in the pits.
Accuser serve up some tasty tracks and impressive performances that ardent thrash maniacs will love – and serve as a bit of a separation from the normal retread of influences newer acts parade out these days.