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Manic Impressions

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Album Review

Manic Impressions is a significant step forward from Anacrusis' first two albums, tightening and focusing the songwriting and honing their instrumental work to a razor-sharp edge. That alone would be enough to make them stand out in the progressive metal subgenre — often criticized for the same excesses as '70s progressive rock, substituting technical flash and aimless "extended" structures for substance and songcraft — but what's even more impressive is the emotional depth of the album. Manic Impressions is a study in depression and mental instability, its bleak lyrical worldview grounded in everyday reality and enhanced by the icily clear production and the mechanical precision of the complex compositions. Vocalist Kenn Nardi's ability to leap between growling rage and ethereal melodicism — sometimes in the same lyric line — is complemented by the band's new-found grasp of dynamic shifts, which heighten the songs' dramatic impact. And, on top of all that, nearly every song has at least one memorable vocal melody to go along with the killer riffs — Anacrusis has a unique melodic sensibility, taking unpredictable directions but always seeming elegantly constructed and evocatively melancholy. The closest comparison is Voivod (without the sci-fi obsession), but the closer one listens, the more it becomes apparent that Anacrusis' sound is really all its own. Vastly underappreciated upon its initial release, Manic Impressions (like its follow-up, Screams and Whispers) is essential listening for fans of both thrash and progressive metal. [In 1999, Manic Impressions was remastered and reissued.]


Formed: 1986

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Anacrusis was one of the more talented bands which somehow got lost in the shuffle of the late-'80s thrash phenomenon. Plagued with poor distribution and isolated from the thriving speed metal communities on either coast, they were often said to be ahead of their time by enthusiastic critics, but it seems that their eclectic style simply shot over most listeners' heads. The members of Anacrusis grew up in and around St. Louis, MO, and like most kids of their generation found a common bond in the...
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Manic Impressions, Anacrusis
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  • £7.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: 28 May 1991

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