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And A Sick Grin It Is - 85%

corviderrant, December 5th, 2005

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!