ANACRUSIS – Suffering Hour

by Kinger

Band promo 1987

Band promo 1987

When ANACRUSIS sent us their Annihilation Complete demo last year, I knew good things were just around the corner. But, before I had the chance to praise their stunning songs in the glorious pages of Demolish ‘zine, I was sent yet another tape in the mail – only this time, it was actually a pre-release of their début album entitled Suffering Hour.

AXIS Records was the smart label that spotted their [undeniable] potential and did a great job by picking these guys. The demo was good, but I have to say that they sprung onto vinyl with new life and surprised me one more time!

This quartet from the Midwest (St. Louis) have a quite versatile + unique metal sound that shines on tracks such as: Imprisoned, Twisted Cross and a slightly more melodic approach on Fighting Evil and A World to Gain. The thrashin’ tracks like R.O.T., Frigid Bitch and Annihilation Complete/Disemboweled however, kinda’ cut their sound in the originality department a bit (with detectable sounds of Metallica, Slayer and Metal Church creeping in). I can tell they are hinting at something great overall, but due to a limited budget and time in the studio some of the tracks are not as realized as they could be.

Don’t get me wrong, they fuel-the-fire with plenty of their ‘own wood’ so-to-speak, on Butchers Block – which is my favorite track of the bunch because of it’s marching, rhythmic/anthem-like grinding! One might even hear a dash of TROUBLE in the midst of all the heavy riffing.

I think the slower, melodic songs are under better control and or offer more finesse compared to the fast-paced thrashers. It is on these tracks that vocalist Kenn Nardi ‘sings’ instead of blending in some of those high-pitched screams, which I find at times hard to cope with [laughs].

Another notable/standout track is Present Tense (my second favorite track).


  1. “Present Tense” – 6:22
  2. “Imprisoned” – 6:11
  3. “R.O.T.” – 4:51
  4. “Butcher’s Block” – 6:06
  5. “A World to Gain” – 4:04
  6. “Frigid Bitch”- 4:03
  7. “Fighting Evil” – 3:25
  8. “Twisted Cross” – 7:20
  9. “Annihilation Complete/Disembowled” – 4:41
Band photo 1988

Band photo 1988

*The only tracks that I haven’t mentioned would be a rapid-fire version of BLACK SABBATH’s “N.I.B” and even a quick run through of the Munsters Theme song. I am not sure if these songs will make it to vinyl but they were an added bonus – for me at least on this advance copy.

This album is a good, solid start at a promising musical career and given the time to mature, I am sure this young band will please lots of people if given the chance [hint, hint].

Kenn Nardi – guitars and lead vocals
Kevin Heidbreder – guitars
John Emery – bass guitar
Mike Owen – drums, backing vocals

  • Suffering Hour is the first album by the St. Louis thrash/progressive metal band Anacrusis
  • The album’s recording was self-financed by the band members themselves.
  • The album was released in 1988.
  • The band had won “best demo” in the 1987 reader’s poll of Metal Forces magazine in the UK.
  • Positive press from the demo, landed them an appearance on the Scream Your Brains Out comp. from Bernard Doe’s imprint.

DOWNLOAD the Munsters Theme song here

DOWNLOAD their N.I.B. cover song here


Band Update

The band went on to further develop their unique sound and put out three excellent releases that I’ve always thought were under rated. Another lost (but not forgotten) kick-ass band from the Midwest that could’ve – should’ve – would’ve went farther than they did. Kudos for the band for putting together an excellent archival website for the fans, other bands take note – this is HOW to do it properly. Great job Kenn!


Reason (1990)


Manic Impressions (1991)


Screams and Whispers (1993)

anacrusis - hindsight

Hindsight: Suffering Hour & Reason Revisited (2010)

Recorded in 2009-2010, this double album consists of fully re-recorded versions of Anacrusis’ debut album SUFFERING HOUR and follow-up album REASON. Featuring all four original members, the band recreates their thrash, doom and power-metal roots in an updated version of these 1988 and 1990 releases.

*They also filmed a special reunion DVD that is recommended if you are fans of the band.


In 2009, the band announced that the original line-up of Kenn Nardi, Kevin Heidbreder, John Emery and Mike Owen would reunite for a performance at the 2010 Keep It True XIII Festival in Germany. Also in 2009, the band released a CD/DVD anthology of early material on Stormspell Records. The package included their 1987 “Annihilation Complete” demo along with other demos, rehearsal recordings and early live footage.

In preparation for their first festival appearance in 17 years, Anacrusis played a reunion gig at T. Billy Buffet’s, St. Louis, on April 18, 2010.

On April 23, 2010, Anacrusis gave a performance at Germany’s Keep It True XIII festival at Tauberfrankenhalle in Lauda-Königshofen. Later that year, the band announced they had decided to play more shows.

During the year 2010 the band worked on some new material, but by now just one new song “This Killer in my House” was released on the “Silver Ag47 – Best of Anacrusis” CD.

On February 26, 2011, the band played a headliner show at the Firebird in St. Louis.

On June 12, 2011, Anacrusis played at “Rock Hard Festival” in Germany. The whole festival was filmed by German TV – WDR Rockpalast -, to be broadcast on German television.

The band played at Skullfest, St. Louis, on June 24–25, 2011, and Alcatraz festival in Belgium, on August 27, 2011.

Anacrusis reunion

Reunion photo

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