Germans Accuser are very active last decade. I would say that it is the most active period of the band’s 30 years history with the split-ups, leaving the scene and reunions. Just take a look on their discography: from 2008 until now the band released the same number of albums they released since the band was founded until 2004 (when it became Scartribe). So, it is the end of 2020 and here is the band’s new album, self-titled this time.
“You stay fresh through curiosity,” states vocalist/guitarist Frank Thoms. “Writing new songs keeps you fresh, and it is always exciting how things develop and how the listener reacts to them afterwards. This process never gets boring. It is always exciting and invites you to try new things.” Well, it’s quite arguable statement, especially taking into account that in the middle of 90s the band split-up also because they didn’t so wanted to experiment with some other genres, while Thrash Metal had rapidly lost its actuality those years. Nevertheless, it was many years ago and nowadays the Accuser‘s music is diverse indeed, with Thrash at the core, obviously. Also in 2019 one of the band’s founders, René Schütz returned to the band, so Accuser will be the first album with Thoms/Schütz guitar duo since Agitation.
I want to highlight René’s playing separately: his melodic solos (sometimes even too melodic for this genre) are perfectly integrated to the music. Such melodism surprising from time to time but there is no song where it can cause the feeling of dissonance.
Despite their country of origin, Accuser play not quite Teutonic Thrash Metal, like Sodom, Kreator and Destruction but move towards more to American Thrash – at least the opening “Misled Obedience” and “Seven Lives” sound exactly like this. However, it is not only about fast tremolo riffs and mighty bass but also Frank Thoms’ low vocals, which remind Chuck Billy’s singing in a way. “Phantom Graves” adds some heaviness – the chorus with male chanting is stomping on the listener. “Contamination” is quite smooth, compared to other songs, but it sounds very aggressive and powerful, especially Olli Fechner’s drums.
The experiments and trying of something new, which were mentioned by Frank, start in “Temple Of All”: slow clean guitar intro interrupted with rigid riff and the song goes to some half-Thrash, half-Hardcore territory, while it somehow manages to keep a great melody. In “Lux In Tenebris” the band easily goes from Thrash Metal aggression to brutality of Death Metal and back, sometimes even using some Heavy elements but at the same time, like the other songs, melodic component is very strong here. And the most diverse song in Accuser will probably be “Be None Be Wiser”, some kind of leisurely Thrash ballad, where you can hear Groove, Thrash, Heavy and much more, devil knows what. Me personally it reminded Texas Hippie Coalition is some moments (but this is my very own conjecture).
Accuser also did a cover here, Agnostic Front‘s “The Eliminator” and did in greatly! The band managed to keep the angry mood of the song, while giving it a new shape in a way. And the album ends with pure Thrash Metal, “A Cycle’s End”: potent bass, rigid riffs and great harsh vocals constitute a good final chord of Accuser.
Will Accuser surprise their fans with this album? Yes, I guess: there are a couple of pleasant surprises here. Nevertheless, Accuser is still Accuser (I beg a pardon for the forced tautology), not so young but still full of power, recognizable and not boring at all.
Accuser will be released on November, 13 via Metal Blade Records.
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