Field of Nightmares

Released on 2021-05-28
Just as I was thinking that the band’s second creative period would be one endless field of missed opportunities, they smack this 4-tracker (a short intro and outro notwithstanding), on my father’s birthday of all days, enhancing the festive setting severalfold, compelling me to utter their name reverentially alongside luminaries from their homeland…

something I never thought I would do; their debut from the distant past was a rough-around-the-edges affair, surely aggressive, also chaotically complex, but not striking by any standards, both past and contemporary. The posthumously released “Forgotten Skeleton”, intended as the band’s actual first coming, was a similar fare, a bit better structured… but then came the new material, some 14 years later, these albums scattered anything-goes affairs that did little to excite the new millennium audience. It seemed like the old school canons wouldn’t receive the requisite aggressive baptism from this batch, not to mention any more visionary, creative flights of the imagination.

Well, it had to be the short format to save this ship from sinking… please, hail these 20-min of really impressive classic death/thrash asskickery, delivered straight to your door by Mr. Denis Barthe, the band mainman and founder, who here also takes over the mike, leaving the drums and the other guitar to two new recruits. Whether miraculously inspired or simply not having enough room to diversify his palette in a manner similar to the preceding two recordings, the man fires on full-throttle, serving a “Poisonous Potion” first, a vitriolic headbanging riff-fest that alone justifies the band name in this or in any other life. With the mosh pit handsomely stirred with this one, the guys complicate the environment with “Satanic Angel Holy Devil”, a great multi-layered progressive saga with tight technical riffs looking for wider exposure amidst the constant speedy barrage. The entangled arrangements are preserved every bit of the way on “Possessed by Dawn”, a more sophisticated but equally as intense proposition with spell-binding tech-thrash breaks, blazing lead sections, and an arresting gloomy doomy epitaph. A similar formula applied on “Dripping Flesh”, with some more light-hearted speed metal thrown in to alleviate the tension from the several fever-ish intricate vortexes and the dynamic thrashing skirmishes, a rousing piece that wraps on this highly entertaining shorter with aplomb and dignity.

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this brief gust of greatness from the band; I thought that they had already settled for their not very serious brand of varied metallisms, after two whole full-lengths woven of the same stuff, and that they would leave both the aggression and the originality to their colleagues… nope, nothing of the kind, Barthe and Co. are just warming up, they surely have more skeletons to exorcise, and this short therapy is hopefully a sign that the best for this bunch is yet to come. Cause this is hands-down Barthe’s finest hour, also production-wise; and probably even in the vocal department, the man exuding bile and spite in spades with his effective rapid-fire, semi-declamatory timbre… this isn’t exactly a field of nightmares; this is a small lawn of them, a labor of love that is bound to reap the winds on future endeavors… as long as those keep the aggression and the complexity walking hand-in-hand, in a tight inseparable bond, no fractures and no cracks would be able to stop them from giving us the long-coveted full treatment.


From The Frozen Vaults

Released on 2020-07-24
Tracklist

Demo 1 (1985)

A1 Blaspheming At The Altar
A2 Evil Pox
A3 Metal Slaughter
A4 Torment Or Death

Demo 2 (Promo Tape, 1985)

A5 Evil Pox
B1 Metal Slaughter
B2 Torment Or Death

Demo 3 (1986)

B3 Mutilator / Beware Of The Scarecrow
B4 Forsaken Survival
B5 Bloody Massacre Carnival

Live in Quebec City 26/4/1986
CD-1 The Exorcist (Intro) 2:04
CD-2 Evil Pox 3:51
CD-3 Frozen Aggressor 4:36
CD-4 Possessed By Dawn 10:18
CD-5 Circle Of The Tyrants Written-By – Celtic Frost 4:18
CD-6 No Sympathy Written-By – Nasty Savage 4:01
CD-7 Forsaken Survival 3:58
CD-8 Metal Slaughter 3:43
CD-9 Blaspheming at the Altar 2:29
CD-10 Fight Till Death Written-By – Slayer 3:14
CD-11 Brain Damage 4:12
CD-12 Torment or Death 3:20
CD-13 Exodus Attack Written-By – Exodus 3:41
CD-14 The Final Command Written-By – Slayer 2:13


Feels Like Punk, Sounds Like Thrash

Released on 2018-05-25
I don’t like the title of this one at all. Feels Like Punk, Sounds Like Thrash is far too cheesy a title for my liking but even so, the fourth album from Canadian thrash stalwarts Aggression should be a welcome addition to any record collection.

In 2016, the guys released their first record (Fragmented Spirit Devils) since 2004’s previously unreleased Forgotten Skeleton (originally due in 1986), but before that you’d have to delve into the foggy depths of the 80s for debut platter The Full Treatment (1987).

Only axeman Denis “Sasquatch” Barthe survives from the halcyon day, or even from 2006 for that matter, with drummer Ryan Murray Idris and guitarist Dave Watson joining the band in 2014 alongside vocalist Brian Langley. Bassist Jon Power was an even later addition, meanwhile, joining in 2016. With a band so seemingly long in the tooth, so to speak, it’s nevertheless only natural that original members come and go. However, the main thing here is that the sound still kills.

Feels Like Punk, Sounds Like Thrash shoots out nine tracks that thankfully live up to expectation, especially if, like me, you enjoy blistering, cutting thrash metal. After a short instrumental (‘Avalanche’), the fury comes thick and fast as the strangely titled ‘Attack Of The Ice Lizards’ comes fizzing in on raw, energetic chords and an expected 80s style of seething catchiness.

It is thrash metal played simply but with a knowing, and what really adds extra beef are the almost deathly vocal grunts and rasps which will no doubt set Aggression apart from the flurry of pretenders to the throne. The tone of Langley’s voice will come as a surprise to many; his gruff slurps of snarling menace are so grizzly that an extra dimension to Aggression’s sound is immediately apparent as the double axe attack grates and gouges with utter compelling malevolence.

‘Jehovah’s Evil Curse’ enters on a steady rhythm with commanding percussive beastliness and dark twisting riffage, and that sinister tempo remains. A bizarre yet fruitful combination of doomy spirals and then with nary a vocal in sight, at the 1:37 mark a sudden kneejerk reaction takes place as Aggression suddenly come hammering with such throttle that those halcyon days of The Full Treatment – and more so the recent Fragmented Spirit Devils opus – seem very much in the dark, forgotten past. This is one hell of a scathing track; the guttural growls and meaty chops suggest a cutting edge but pulverising act keen to move into the now, rather than dredge up a retro edge from their cult lineage.

Frantic guitar blitzes attack the listener as ‘Tales Of Terror’ comes with a punky edge, particularly with that no frills spitting chorus. While it’s essentially hurried, aggressive thrash, the versatility Brian Langley offers is astounding; one moment barking with hideous fashion, and the next giving Bad Brains’ legendary vocalist H.R. a run for his money.

‘Stench Of Your Mediocre Existence’ comes trouncing like a crusty, frothing crossover heap of rancid pace, while ‘Riding With The Living Dead’ gallops with hectic notions as a wailing lead fizzes with dastardly aplomb. However, ‘Riding With The Living Dead’ is also one of the album’s more melodious moments, the vocals less fractious by design as the guitars scurry, and yet the gruesome slurps return with ‘Torturing The Deceased’ and are also tarnished with a devilish squawk too.

Aggression really does live up to their name, coating those surging slabs of percussion and bass with unhealthy, fiery chord structures which scorch the face. ‘Once Upon A Time In Hell’ begins like some 80s traditional metal gem before a punky sprint ensues, but the melody is still present, especially with the unconventional vocal attributes which even express an unearthly wail.

By the time the nasty, speeding and brilliantly titled ‘A River Of Piss And Vinegar’ comes hurtling like bullets laced with a myriad of obscenities, it’s clear that Aggression are trying to fit as much energy and attitude into this release, as if suddenly aware of a lack of time.

Fully armed to the teeth like old punks swigging beer and yet influenced by numerous extreme metal styles, they’ve created an apocalyptic lump of engaging yet volatile metal that bubbles with spit and fumes with impatience. Long live the 80s indeed, but Feels Like Punk, Sounds Like Thrash is very much a modern venting of anger.

Song List

1 Avalanche
2 Attack Of The Ice Lizards
3 Jehovah's Evil Curse
4 Tales Of Terror
5 Stench Of Your Mediocre Existence
6 Riding With The Living Dead
7 Torturing The Deceased
8 Once Upon A Time In Hell
9 River Full Of Piss And Vinegar


Fragmented Spirit Devils

Released on 2016-11-10
It’s good to hear these guys back, I liked their debut “The Full Treatment” although I didn’t realise it was released near 29 years ago! This Canadian thrash group now engage a touch of death metal influences into their music, but only marginally, like on ‘Unleashing The Ghost’. For the most part of the release, this is a cool in depth thrash record. The more melodic of the thrashers and more riff orientated come to light with two tracks in particular, namely ‘Furnace Creek’ and ‘Dark Shadow Crossing’. Now I cannot find any reference to any guest slots, but the centre vocal section and the chorus of the latter sound like Dave Mustaine. A nice touch, maybe I’m picking that up wrong, but hey, that’s what it sounds like to me! Of the rest of this anti church thrasher, there are plenty of plus points. No tracks sound like a filer and all have a respectful place on the release. ‘Evil Pox’ is an older track re-recorded, you can also tell that by the guitar arrangement, and the track ‘Strangulation Ejaculation’ really hits the spot. Their Nazareth cover actually sounds more Motorhead in places, perhaps the speed element and the way its recorded, but still a good track all the same.

All in all, Aggression have an album that sits between classic thrash (the faster early US variant) with some more modern death metal riffs and drum signatures. A solid release and very enjoyable overall, plus a welcomed return to the scene.

Tracklist

1 At Play In The Fields Of Satan 1:24
2 Chapel Of Horrors 5:41
3 Unleashing The Ghost 4:29
4 Insanity Without Indulgence 2:03
5 Halo Of Maggots 3:09
6 Furnace Creek 6:35
7 Dark Shadow Crossing 4:13
8 Strangulation Ejaculation 5:40
9 Evil Pox 2016 4:04
10 Razamanaz (featuring Manny Charlton of Nazareth)


Fractured Psyche Demons

Released on 2015-09-15
Aggression are a band from Quebec, Canada that h as been around for more than 30 years and plays a very aggressive form of thrash metal almost bordering on death metal and this is a review of their 2015 album "Fractured Psyche Demons" which was released by Galy Records.

A very heavy thrash metal sound starts off the album along with some blast beats a few seconds later and melodic guitar leads also make their presence known on the recording and the vocals are very rough while also having a small amount of melody and a touch of death metal to them and all of the musicla instruments have a very powerful sound to them.

All of the music has a very vintage 80's metal sound to it and can easily be mistaken as an album they recorded and released back then and the riffs also mix in a great amount of melody and throughout the recording you can also hear a great mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts and one track also brings in a brief use of bass guitar leads and the whole album also remains very heavy from beginning to ending of the recording.

Aggression remains true to the thrash metal style that h ad established in the 80's while also mixing in a touch of death metal at time to create a very heavy album, the production sounds very old school yet professional while the lyrics cover heavy metal, anti religion, horror, death and violence themes.

In my opinion Aggression are a very great sounding heavy and aggressive thrash metal band and if you are a fan of this musical genre, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE 'Defenders Of The Old" "Metal Slaughter" "Blaspheming At The Altar" and "Torment Or Death". 8 out of 10.

Tracklist
1 Defenders Of The Old
2 Cut Your Sins Off
3 Sick And Disturbed
4 Metal Slaughter (2015 version)
5 Mutilator/Beware Of The Scarecrow
6 Forsaken Survival
7 Bloody Massacre Carnival
8 Blaspheming At The Altar
9 Evil Pox
10 Metal Slaughter
11 Torment Or Death

Songs 1 to 4 = 2015 studio tracks
Songs 5 to 7 = Unreleased from 1986 Mutilator demo
Songs 8 to 11 = Unreleased from the 1985 demo


The Full Treatment

Released on 1987-06-01
Contrary to other Quebec bands, Aggression played a more straightforward death/thrash kind of metal that kills so much. This record is full of good surprises, awesome riffs and great ideas. The production is near perfect for a thrash record (the bass isn't loud enough for my taste), but the guitars roar like buzzsaws, the drumming is excellent, and the street-like vocals (something like a deathly version of McLaren, without the spine-snapping screams and a French accent).

The only downfall of the album is the third track, Green Goblin, which is something really fucked up. Except that silly track, all the other songs on the album are pretty much fucking killer. Ultra-catchy riffs, tight and precise drumming, and great vocal lines to sing along to. Obvious highlights would be Frozen Aggressor, One for the Woods and By the Reaping Hook, but in any case the album destroys and desecrates you with surprising songs and awesome riffs.

Though all its greatness, a lot of people into real metal seem to forget this highly-overlooked classic. If you can get it in any format, do not hesitate. You will not be disappointed. Of course I'm not talking about goths, nu-metallers or mallcore rats.

TRACKLIST
1. Forsaken Survival
2. Frozen Aggressor
3. Green Goblin
4. One for the Woods
5. Dripping Flesh
6. By the Reaping Hook
7. Rotten by Torture
8. Demolition
9. The Final Massacre


Forgotten Skeleton

Released on 1986-06-06
Aggression is an obscure thrash band from Canada that never quite gained any of the attention they deserved. They only had a limited amount of material under their belts by the time they broke up , which is why many of the same songs appeared on different records. Anyway, on to the review. Forgotten Skeleton is by no means a bad album. In fact, it is fairly competent thrash played in the old-school, not at all unlike any other album that was recorded at this time. This is, however, just where this album falls short. Although the songs aren't bad and all the guys seem like good players, the album can seem a bit boring some of the time. It is pretty predictable, straight-ahead thrash with no surprises; these guys weren't out to break any new ground. I know they were a small-time band and I don't mean to rag on them, but the production here bothered me. The bass is practically nonexistent and the guitar and drums sound very thin and one-dimensional. The vocalist is also kind of half-assed, sounding like they kind of focused on the music and neglected the lyrical part (which isn't necessarily all bad). He is just very uninspired and doesn't carry any of the record's weight. Although I bashed this album a lot, there are a lot of things I liked about it. Although the music might not be the most original ever, it is some solid thrash and is fun to listen to. It definitely has its moments of awesomeness, too, don't get me wrong. The opening instrumental fucking kills, and the track Frozen Aggressor really blows the rest of the tracks out of the water. That song is a masterpiece and I would definitely listen to it over many other songs from bigger bands at the time. All in all, if you're a thrash enthusiast you will probably enjoy this. If you aren't, you can live without this. If anything, get it for Frozen Aggressor.

Highlights: Frozen Aggressor, Forgotten Skeleton

TRACKLIST
1. Forgotten Skeleton
2. By the Reaping Hook
3. Rotten by Torture
4. Frozen Aggressor
5. Green Goblin
6. Forsaken Survival
7. Mutilator - Beware of the Scarecrow
8. Kachina Dolls
9. Bloody Massacre Carnival
10. Demolition
11. The Final Massacre