After the positive reaction I had to Who Dominates Who?, a tautly executed, well enough written thrash experience, I had hopes that Accu§er might truly hit their stride and carve a spot for themselves among the German elites. That was until I heard Double Talk, an extremely frustrating record which squanders what clinical tech riffing it can muster on some hideous choices, bad lyrics, and far less appealing vocals than the first two full-lengths. The core of the band's sound continues to shift away from the debut, and Double Talk represents the breaking of a levee, the slide into a disastrous spiral of mediocrity, as the thrashing landscape behind them begins to itself shift into the wasteland of the 90s.
One needs to venture no further than the first track here to hear the missteps. "Double Talk" is a banal, average thrasher with tight riffs but overbearing vocals that feel too sloppy and loud in the mix. Eberhard Weyel hasn't changed much from the last album, but there's just too much swagger in there and it sounds like he's about to be sick for half the track. "The Freeze" features some decent, descending muted melodies, but the rest of the track is a very lackluster attempt at the Bay Area style of Testament, Forbidden, etc. But these are not even the biggest offenders. "Flag Waver" is horrendous, with terrible lyrics that begin like a rant about the stereotype of the Republican presidential war monger, then devolves into more of a shitty commentary on Americans in general...
Capitalism... Chauvinism... Imperialism...
Consumerism... Paranoia... Patriotism...
Only a hypocrite can sell the American dream
Not that I'm prone to getting butt hurt over criticism of my country. Believe me, I'm a card carrying anti-establishmentarian myself, but married with the pathetic vocals, and shitty decisions like the funk breakdown before the 3 minute mark, it's a little hard to take Accu§er seriously. Another danging turd here is the last of the album's new studio tracks, "Alcowhore", an ode to the beer and booze that becomes intensely laughable with the meter of the lyrics over the music.
Please hear my call, 'Demon Alcohol'
You brought me down and left me alone
Look what you have done, 'whore alcohol'
Is this reality? is it me?
By the devil's beard, man, what are you jabbering on about? Tankard would like to have some words with you, my friend. Some commandments, even. What's really tragic here is that there are at least 3-4 really good riffs in this song, but they're trashed by the words. A few other inconsistent picks like "Money" and "Why Me" simply serve to seal the fate of this effort, and I find it telling that the best tracks are unanimously the CD bonus tracks, which are simply revisions from their debut album The Conviction: the 10+ minute "Accuser", "The Conviction" itself, and "Sadistic Terror", which has a pretty similar riff to Destruction's "Curse the Gods". None of these are necessarily spectacular, but they're at least focused down and aren't nearly as embarrassing as a few of the newer tracks. Put bluntly, this is one of the worst albums this German band has ever released.
Verdict: Fail [3.5/10] (I am a top gun fighter, the American dream....)