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This was my first encounter with these crossover pioneers years ago and after having heard a lot about them and seeing some of their albums around and about I finally took the plunge and bought this one. Good choice, too.
The production has a clear yet raw feeling with a great, crisp guitar tone that slices and crunches mercileslly as Tommy Niemeyer riffs away with precision and fury. Alex' dark and fuzzy bass growls and rumbles away over Josh Sinder's amazing drumming--this kid was shredding hard with his feet flying on those pedals. It's one of my favorite productions, actually. Never really cared for Blaine's vocals, but they add a certain level of character and uniqueness to the band's sound with his incoherent screaming and throaty squalling. And some demented lyrics about wonderful things like flesh-eating zombies and pounding nails into the lid of your coffin, too.
That last track is the opener and features some awesome Slayeriffic guitar and drum bits executed with vicious abandon, only enhanced by the killer production job. Buzzsaw guitars, ahoy! Another cool song that shows a little diversity is "Down and Out", featuring semi-funky wah wah guitar parts and a rather groovy bass line. And yes, there's a rapper (the Mad Poet) on it, but he's got good flow and has a lot to say about homeless folks in his turn in the spotlight--would that most rappers these days could be bothered to write lyrics this good about serious and intelligent subjects like this--it's why I hate rap, as it has nothing to say at all anymore. "Voices" has a creepy and ominous feel on the verses and speeds up on the choruses for nice contrast, and "When I Was A Child" is like a train running out of control as it roars at you madly at top speed with double bass drums going like mad.
This shows the Accused at their tightest and most obviously metallic and is more than worthy in my household. If you can hunt this down, it is worth your time, if you can get past the acquired taste vocals. Ignore the vocals and home in on the furious riffing and well-constructed songs at hand and you will not be disappointed. And the lyrics are worth a read too if you have a sick sense of humor!
Even though they're playing on a rap label now (Nasty Mix), they released their best CD ever, adding a bit of variation into their formula of mutilation. For instance, the opening track "Pounding Nails (Into the Lid of Your Coffin)" starts fast, slows down a bit, then ends in a blissful double-time frenzy. "The Corpse Walks" is definitely one of their best tracks with its catchy opening guitar line accented by a moving verse line. Even though "Down and Out" has a guy rapping in it, it's still a great track with a good message and some hot chops. "Boris the Spider" is an old Who song and "M Is for Martha" has the sound clip intro (this time from Sesame Street!). The only real weak spot on the record is the beginning of "Voices", but there's no reason to fret, it starts kicking ass a little before the minute mark. Every track is a standout, every track has awesome guitar work, the musicianship is top notch, this is definitely a masterpiece.
I didn't really know why I picked this tape back in 1990. I've never heard or read of the Accused. I was just at the record store, looking at the latest metal releases. There wasn't much being released that time (much less now!) and I stumbled upon this tape that had a gruesome though crudely and simply drawn cover. I said to myself - THIS MUST BE METAL! So I bought it. I was pleasantly suprised to find out that this indeed was a metal album on the thrash-y side of things albeit, with punk elements infused. Singer Josh Sinder was my favorite singer for a time with his untypical (for a metal band) frantic vocal stylings that was more punk-ish in delivery. It certainly worked well within the Accused's punk metal delivery. The songs were fast, furious and abrupt. The band even threw in a cover of the Who's "Boris the Spider" from the Who (whom I wasn't familiar with back then. Heck, I'm not that familiar with their material even today!) which I swear captured Sinder's best vocal moment on the album. There's even a rap metal collaboration with some rapper named the Mad Poet called "Down & Out" which was only mildly stimulating. The only reason I'm mentioning it here is that it only goes to show that during that era, rap was the usual territory that bands would dabble into when experimenting with their music. This is my only encounter with the Accused and it was certainly a pleasant surprise and experience.