Accužer - The Conviction/Experimental Errors (Koch) 1987/1988
1. "Evil liar"
This is a 1997 CD reissue of Accužer's first two albums on one disc. Both discs are outstanding, raw and speedy thrash metal, not unlike fellow German thrashers Kreator, Sodom and Destruction. Being that this is true, I wonder why these guys never reached the plateau of success or don't have the underground following that these bands have. Perhaps it was marketing, or maybe it was the terrible cover art, because it sure isn't the music. Everything is in place, right down to the epic songs, technical song structures, raw vocals and aggressive delivery.
Accužer - Who Dominates Who? (Atom H) 1989
1. "Master of Disaster"
This was the first Accužer CD I had ever heard. It was al surprise gift from a good friend from overseas who knows my tastes in music and knows I can't resist a good thrash band. AccužER play late 80's technical thrash metal with a raw aggressive edge. Their sound is similar in style to what many of the German thrash bands of the times were doing, which is just fine in my opinion as I love this style. I wish there were still bands left that sounded like this: speedy riffs, fast solos, pummeling double bass and aggressive, yet coherent vocals. The mastering on this CD reissue is a bit weak, but that is easily remedied with a crank of the volume knob. This one kept me thrashing for weeks after I received it and had me on an instant search for the rest of AccužER's catalogue.
Accužer - Double Talk (Atom H) 1991
1. "Double Talk"
Mosh it up baby! What we have here is some fast and furious, technical thrash with serious Bay Area influences. I hear little of the German influence on this disc, as was on some of their past albums. Accuser's "Double Talk" could have been released with the flood of Bay Area thrash that was being released in '91 and they would have been ahead of the pack. Unfortunately they had no U.S. distribution and little in the way of marketing so instead of being leaders, they were relegated to having an underground cult following. Not unlike early Kreator and Destruction, however, Accuser have more aggressive, gritty, shouted thrash metal vocals than do bands like Testament, Exodus, or Forbidden. Lyrically the band comes down hard on the US government in songs like "Double Talk" and "Flag Waver" in which they refer to Americans as "hypocrites" and the American government as "the war machine," which explains the cover art a bit. They also cover topics such as the killing of animals for such ridiculous things as beauty products ("Sadistic Terror), being a slave to money ("Money (Don't Stink)") and alcoholism ("Alcowhore"). One minor irritant is the mastering on this disc is a bit low. Crank it up and this problem disappears and you are once again moshing in the halls of your home. By the way, I should also mention that this AccužER page is being brought to you courtesy of an American fan!
Accužer - Repent (Teichiku Records) 1992
I wasn't sure what to expect on this disc, being that there is such a change in style from the three disc that proceed "Repent" to the ones that follow. However, be assured that "Repent" is fast becoming my favorite disc by Germany's AccužER This is just utter annihilation set to a mosh beat. This particular album put AccužER aside bands like Believer for technical thrash metal superiority. Every song is just straight forward thrash, with the possible exception of "Metal Machine Music" which adds a bit of an industrial flare. Despite the misleading title and cover art, AccužER are not a Christian band. One read through the lyrics and one can see that the band is criticizing the hypocritical and greedy leaders of the church who use Jesus as a means to line their pockets and control people. This particular CD was impossible to find, until a Japanese trader emailed me. Man, the internet is so cool. Anyhow, we hooked each other up. He found me two CDs that I could never seem to find in the US and I found two for him that were very obscure metal titles. (Thanks for the trade Ryo.)
Accužer - Reflections (Major Records) 1994
1. "The Wreckage"
Reflections is a pulverizing, knee-jerking, neck-snapping, head-banging assault to the ears. Accuser add some new, more modern ideas to their already aggressive thrash sound and come up with a cross between Machine Head and Testament with a Megadeth-like accessibility. This is one of those discs that are dangerous to play in your car because speed limits tend to be forgotten. Accuser are certainly one of the best, albeit one of the most unknown, of the thrash metal genre. Century Media released this disc in America with similar artwork and the exact same track listing and order. As far as I know, this is the only AccužER to see release in the US Should also mention that "Reflections" was produced by Alex Perialas who is know for his work with such bands as Testament and Wrathchild America.
Accužer - Confusion Romance (Major Records) 1994
1. "Head Like A Hole"
Killer EP featuring two covers, two originals, and two live tracks. "Head Like A Hole" is a Trent Reznor track and one of the best on the disc. "Driver's Seat" is a cool thrash meets acoustic cover of the British band Sniff 'n' the Tears' 1978 song "Driver's Seat". (Who the heck are Sniff 'n' the Tears?) An obscure cover no doubt, and one that took me a while to figure out. The two live tracks sound almost as good as the studio tracks. Both songs are performed tight and are well recorded. Glad to finally get this EP, the last disc to complete my AccužER collection.
Accužer - Taken By The Throat (Koch) 1995
1. "Helium" (4:14)
This album is just freaking brutal. Thoughts of Sepultura meets Carcass came to mind as I was thrashing my car speakers the first time I popped this disc in. How this band never made it outside Germany, like fellow thrashers Kreator or Destruction is beyond me. The vocals take on a slightly hardcore yell, as opposed to the more thrash like singing of their earlier albums. The guitar riffs on this album are outstanding and would leave Pantera with jaws dropped to the floor. I'm not 100% sure of this but I think this was the band's last release after close to ten years together. I assume that the band was frustrated by a lack of success after releasing so many stellar albums over the years.
Accu§er - Agitation (Red Shift) 2010
Accu§er - Dependent Domination (Red Shift) 2011
1. Apocalyptic Decay (6:03)
Album number three for Accu§er since reforming a few years ago. As with the last two, "Diabolic" is another fast and furious album of Teutonic thrash metal. Frank Thoms and Co. continue to mix together the old-school thrash metal ways of their own classic albums "Who Dominates Who?" and "Repent" with the more modern influences and production qualities of the criminally underrated "Reflections". The album opens with a short, melodic musical interlude before unleashing a fury that doesn't let up for the entirety of the album. It's pretty clear what Accu§er were setting out to do, create an album that is a fast aggressive aural assault that will grab you by the jugular and not let go until the very last note has faded. The entire album is packed full of infectious riffs. From front to back it's just one machine gun riff after another driving each and every song. Add to the bone crushing riffs a tight rhythm section and you've got the formula for "Diabolic". But where Accuser excels where other bands fail is in the songwriting. The speed for speed sake ethic can get very boring after a while if not coupled with strong songs and the right mix of melody and hooks. Accu§er have managed to find that perfect blend with all the speed, power, amplitude, hooks and melody.
Though I feel "Diabolic" is a solid album from front to back, after only a few spins, a few songs began to stick out in my mind. Album opener "Apocalyptic Decay" is a brilliant display of aggression with chugging riffs and Thorns' Sepultura-esque vocals. "Deification" is absolutely pummeling with Thorns sounds a bit like Chuck Billy at his most brutal. "Save You Legend" is definitely on of the standout cuts on the album. Like most of the songs, this song is built around aggressive, in-your-face riffing. The solo section and the bridge right after the solo is brilliant. As well, the dual lead in the middle of "Dethroned" leading into the infectious groove just after should grab the attention of thrash metal monger.
I've said it before and I'll say it again here, Accu§er deserve to be on the same level as the other well known German thrash bands and are easily one of the most underrated thrash bands to come out of the 80's. "Diabolic" is a neck-breaking, ear-splitting, head-busting thrash metal album and easily one of the best of 2013.
DISC ONE (1989)
1. Master Of Disaster (7:46)
2. Who Pulls The Wire? (4:15)
3. Elected To Suffer (6:39)
4. Symbol Of Hate (5:34)
5. Who Dominates Who (5:15)
6. Bastard (6:09)
7. Called To The Bench (8:21)
DISC TWO (2014)
1. Master Of Disaster (7:49)
2. Who Pulls The Wire? (4:15)
3. Elected To Suffer (6:39)
4. Symbol Of Hate (5:39)
5. Who Dominates Who (5:15)
6. Bastard (6:10)
7. Called To The Bench (8:28)
Released in 1989 at the height of thrash metal mania, "Who Dominates Who" was the very first Accu§er CD I had ever heard and I became obsessed with the band from that point on. As such it remains as one of my all time favorites from their catalog. The album is packed full of vicious, machine-gun riffs, speedy guitar solos, pummeling bass and drums and chaotic songwriting. There was something a bit different about Accu§er than there was with the more well known German bands from the time, Kreator, Destruction and Sodom. Accu§er managed to have the intensity, speed and aggression but with more memorable songs and riffs. Also, the songwriting was less concerned with "look how evil we are" and the theme of the album was the war between machine and man, with social injustice and corruption being the central idea behind the songs. The only real problem with the album was the mix and mastering, especially on the original 1989 CD release.
In 2014 the band decided to re-release the hard-to-find and out-of-print CD, completely remastered. With this 25th Anniversary re-issue the mastering has been significantly improved on the original release. Many remastered albums seem to just make the album "louder", where that is not the case here. This album brings out the brightness of the original mix, which was considerably muddier on the original CD release.
The 25th Anniversary release also contains a second CD with a re-recorded version of the album done by the current line-up. The new recording was produced by well-known producer Martin Buchwalter (Destruction, Suidakra). The re-recording features Frank Thoms on vocals, who was the guitarist on the original album. As such the vocals are considerably different than the original, sound much more like the last few studio albums. However, for the most part the band stayed true to the original songs. Guitarist Dennis Rybakowski does respectfully enhance the guitar solos. It might be blasphemous to say, but this re-recording is absolutely awesome! Rarely does a re-recorded album come out better than the original album, but I do believer that Accu§er managed to kill it. Though I have never seen Accu§er live, I can only imagine that the re-recording makes "Who Dominates Who" sound like Accu§er might sound playing the whole album on stage in 2014.
The 2-CD package contains the original booklet as well as a second booklet with new cover art, lyrics, photos and "The Story of Who Dominates Who?". Overall, a nice package celebrating 25 years of a classic thrash metal release.