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Review: Aggressor - Pure Canadian Aggression
Pure Canadian Aggression

Label: Independent
Year released: 2007
Duration: 21:57
Tracks: 6
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: August 20, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Pure Canadian Aggression

Rated 3.9/5 (78%) (10 Votes)

Aggressor is a local (Ottawa, Canada) Thrash band that I finally got a chance to check out live a couple of weeks ago.  The old school thrasher in me quickly became addicted to this demo CD.  Aggressor can be likened to the Bay Area Thrash bunch in that they play a catchy, sometimes sing-along style of somewhat "clean" Thrash.  Tracks like "Mission to Mosh", "Cyanide Children" and "Torturous Ways" are so damn catchy that I've been replaying them in my head ever since I first heard them.  Aggressor mix fast, galloping razor-sharp riffs with just enough groove to give this a bit of a catchy sound, without it being a turn-off for those who can't stand groovy Thrash.  Little flashes of melody are inserted here and there, almost always unexpected, not unlike what Metallica did back when they played metal (which was a couple of years before the members of Aggressor were born... Been a while. :))

While I found the guitar playing cool as fuck - be it the riffs or some of the high-octane, air guitar-inducing solos, the drums aren't left behind either, leaving the guitars alone when necessary but quickly taking back their place on the throne with some heavy and thunderous parts, when we're not treated to some high speed drum attack.  The vocals are clean but a little harsh and just aggressive enough.  At times the vocals reminded me a little bit of Testament, with a slightly lower pitch and somewhat gruffier - no growling here whatsoever, the guy sings, and does a good job handling even a few higher pitch screams.

This demo is a damn good mix of mostly old school 80s Thrash with a few early 90s influences thrown in, and Aggressor have the distinction of not sounding much like a copy of their influences.  Unfortunately the sound here is a little muffled and low, and takes something away from what is otherwise good production - nothing catastrophic, but still hard to ignore (especially if you forget to turn the volume back down a bit when you put another CD in - trust my blasted eardrums on that one.)  But then again, such minor hiccups are to be expected from demo releases.  From what I've seen in the local scene, these guys here are pretty serious about pushing Aggressor to bigger things, so Thrash fans reading this might want to keep an eye out for upcoming material, hopefully just as good if not better than what is showcased here. In the meantime, there's plenty of air-guitaring and headbanging for you here — don't let the short length fool you.

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