So much can be said about Accuser’s legacy from the 80s through 90s. During this time, Accuser was a main attraction among many in the international metal scene. Having gotten their start at the same time as powerful acts like Megadeth and Testament, this Germany-based group stood out as a strong leader in the industry with the release of ‘Who Dominates Who’ in 1989. That album was an anthem for many years for so many metal fans. It’s been a winding road for these guys as they actually did break up in 1996, ending a ten year reign as a powerhouse in the scene.
Former members of Accuser continued to record and play new material under a new banner of Scartribe; however, it was only a matter of time until they would reunite as the proper Accuser once again. In 2008, they reformed and began work on the new chapter in their legacy. This brings us to ‘The Forlorn Divide’ in 2016. The current line-up consists of Frank Thoms on vocals and guitars, Olli Fechner mastering the drums, Dennis Rybakowski shredding guitar and Frank Kimpel returning to man the bass. A few years back, I wasn’t sure if we’d ever get to hear any new Accuser, but I’m proud to say that new thrashy metal is coming our way and it’s quite good!
Jumping right into the album from track one, we have a sweet melodic introduction with ‘Predawn’, which sets the mood (or anti-mood) of what is to come with our next song, ‘Lust for Vengeance’. We see Accuser’s aggressive side with blistering guitars and shrieking howls that usher you into the early goings of our new experience.
‘Unreal Perception’ climbs into your earholes with some unique battering drums and all sorts of offbeat riffs that create a wonderful sound that’s almost reminiscent of some of Testament’s later works. This is quite a change from the rest of the album and is a welcome addition to an already wide range of styles. ‘Arbitrary Law’ implants a wonderful transition, mid track, from speedy death into a drudgingly doom style and quickly back and forth. There’s real creativity in these tracks. ‘Impending Doom’ has so much going for it, with a wondrous guitar solo that completely departs from the way the song starts and stands out from the rest of the album as well.
‘Tribulation’ brings forth one of the most interesting tracks on today’s offering. When it starts with a distorted bass solo in conjunction with some traditional guitars, the track eases into a pretty killer groove and continues to impress with its rhythmic changes in time signatures. ‘Perish by Oblivion’ lurks next, with some traditional style riffs in the intro that oozes of Slayer-like inspiration. ‘Fifth Column’ begins with a lengthy instrumental intro which actually brings back memories of Metallica’s ‘That Was Just Your Life’ from Death Magnetic in 2008, that quickly splats over a nice mix of throbbing drums and smashing riffs! While this track truly show off how amazing Fechner’s abilities are as a drummer, it’s likely the least impressive lyrical performance of the record.
Now we head towards the closing tracks of the album, with ‘Sulfur Rain’ that truly picks up the pace after the last song, improving on the vibe going forward! In what I would consider to be the killer track of this release, ‘Sulfur Rain’, in entirety, is a prime example of the triumphant return of thrash metal in the 21st century! During my first listen through, I thought that Thoms was bellowing “Suffering” during the chorus!
We end the album on an incredibly awesome high note, with a flashy, quick, and energetic tune that continues to show off this group’s ability to drive home an enjoyable sound that features wonderfully frantic drumming. ‘Flow of Dying’ is the last track here, but it shouldn’t be considered just another ‘last track’ on an excellent thrash album, as it offers so much more than what you usually see from other bands to close out a record.
Overall, yes, I’m impressed. These guys' "still got it" and any fans of classic thrash will fully enjoy this work from the masterful Accuser, who outperform their competition by adding some modern touches that make it slightly different than anyone else.
THE FORLORN DIVIDE
Review by Joshua Jaeger
11th March 2016
2) Lust for Vengeance
3) Unreal Perception
4) Arbitrary Law
5) Impending Doom
7) Perish by Oblivion
8) Fifth Column
9) Sulfur Rain
10) Flow of Dying
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...any fans of classic thrash will fully enjoy this work from the masterful Accuser, who outperform their competition by adding some modern touches that make it slightly different than anyone else."