Accuser – “The Forlorn Divide” (Metal Blade Records)
Connoisseurs of German mid 80s thrash will no doubt be familiar with the name Accuser, who certainly made their mark across two albums “Who Dominates Who” (1989) and “Repent” (1992), before moving with the times to become more groove orientated for their next two releases. Interestingly they then folded but immediately returned as a new band – Scartribe – until 2008, whereupon Accuser was reactivated by founder main man guitarist / vocalist Frank Thoms – along with Scartribe‘s rhythm section. So I guess Siegen must be a small town heh heh! Thankfully the ‘new’ Accuser’s material is anything to snigger about, being a modern day synthesis of classic 80s techno thrash with a more brutal sound almost hinting at darker metalcore or even death metal especially in Thoms grizzly vocals. That said, don’t be taken in by the grim, pseudo religious death march cover as there are plenty of impressive flowing techno melodies, tranquil passages, and more than a fair share of flamboyant neo classical solos a la Megadeth – along with lyrics based on real life rather than on satanism! With such a diverse legacy, undoubtedly there has been the obvious challenge of striking the right balance between the different styles of the band(s), but Accuser have commendably risen to it all in delivering an impressive 11th album that effectively balances scything thrash freneticity with classy hook laden melodies and some ball grabbing brutality on tracks like ‘Fifth Column‘ with its jumping licks, revving riffs and singalong chorus, to ‘Perish by Oblivion‘ complete with crushing riffs, roaring Araya vocals and tasty techno melodies, and ‘Impending Doom’ where violence meets virtuosity in a very classy style thanks to the racy twin guitar leads not forgetting Olli Fechner‘s anabolic drumming! Personally I think the ‘new’ Accuser shoulda just changed their name again to do this praiseworthy evolution true justice – 3rd time lucky eh – but what the hell, they sound even better now than they ever did so who really gives a toss?