Accuser – The Forlorn Divide (Metal Blade)

Genre: Thrash Metal

You have to hand it to Accuser mainman Frank Thoms – his band may be into their third decade, but the guy sounds as angry as he did on 1989’s Who Dominates Who? – and his aggressive vocal delivery has lost none of its bite.

Like fellow German acts Kreator and Destruction, Accuser are proving that they still have the energy that fuelled them as callow youths: 2010’s Agitation was a popular return to form for the Siegen-based quartet and they’ve not looked back since. And in true Accuser style, they’ve again conjured an album that spits fire and brimstone, a volatile cocktail of violent Teutonic thrash, Bay Area suss and hardcore spirit.

And while their 11th full length may have been three frustrating years in the making, it has been worth that  extra effort: Perish by Oblivion is street-smart thrash with a switchblade in its back pocket, Arbitrary Life a masterpiece of snappy tempo changes and infectious melodies, Unreal Perception a headlong charge into battle, performed at warp speed. Plus, you have the outstanding fretwork of new(ish) lead guitarist Dennis Rybakowski to feast on too.

Granted, the production may be a bit too slick for some tastes and there’s no stone-cold classic among its ten tracks. But The Forlorn Divide proves Accuser are still relevant – indeed needed – in today’s thrash scene.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Formidable