German metalers Accuser (stylized Accu§er) are back yet again after being in a constant songwriting mode all over the past year. Together with long time producer Martin Buchwalter, this songwriting mode has culminated into their newest album The Mastery, due out January 26, 2018. For the band, The Mastery is some kind of missing link between the technical virtuosity of an album like Who Dominates Who and the more basic, heavy approach of Repent, and these ten tracks are exactly that: heavy. If this is your first taste of Accuser since their initial formation in 1986 (and then later reformation in 2008), you’re in for a real treat.
The first track “Mission: Missile” both opens and closes with an air raid siren for thematic effect. The guitar riffs from vocalist/guitarist Frank Thoms and guitarist Dennis Rybakowski are slick, and the drums from Olli Fechner are killer. Another standout for the guitars is “Real World”, and “Solace in Sorrow” has some truly incredible drumming. The vocals across all of these tracks is perfectly suited to the band’s thrash style.
“Time For Silence”, despite its name, is pretty damn loud. It’s a fantastic mid-tempo thrash jam which showcases exactly how well the band works together. “My Skin” begins with a lighter tone, but quickly turns into another mid-tempo jam that’s easy to bang your head to. “Catacombs” opens up slowly as well before turning things way up. The lengthy instrumental section on this one is easy to get lost in.
“Mourning” carries a hefty beat to it, with crunching guitar riffs and fat bass. “Ruthless” is a brutal jam with a fast tempo. This is a track that truly lives up to its name. It’s fast, unforgiving, and fun. Not wavering, the next track “Into the Black” is just as heavy hitting. Right away the track hits you with crunching guitars and the thundering drums come in soon after. There’s a particularly sweet solo on this track that you just have to hear. Finally, the album closes out with the self-titled track “The Mastery”, a headbanger if there ever was one. Coming in at almost seven minutes long, it doesn’t let up one bit.
The Mastery comes with all of the elements you would expect from a thrash metal record, and all of those elements work incredibly well, both as a whole and on their own. Each member of the band has an incredible amount of talent, which shows in every single track of this album and doesn’t slow down for anything. Try as I might to come up with some kind of criticism to balance it out, I just can’t. As I mentioned earlier, the album comes out in January of 2018. Go buy it. Final score: 5 out of 5 axes.
1. Mission: Missile
2. The Real World
3. Solace in Sorrow
4. Time for Silence
5. My Skin
9. Into the Black
10. The Mastery
Frank Thoms – vocals/guitars
Dennis Rybakowski – guitars
Frank Kimpel – bass
Olli Fechner – drums
Written by Mitch Ellerbrock for Bloodrock Media on December 14, 2017