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Review: Relentless Aggression - A Shadow of All Things Broken
Relentless Aggression
A Shadow of All Things Broken

Label: Independent
Year released: 2021
Duration: 37:10
Tracks: 10
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: February 12, 2021
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
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Rated 3.79/5 (75.79%) (19 Votes)

Another day, another Thrash act from the '80s taking another stab at it. Relentless Aggression started out as Hell Awaits and earned a little fanfare from shows they played, and even played at Thrashfestival in Bergen in 1990 under the name From Beyond. They broke up shortly after without recording anything, with drummer Erik Brødreskift going on to play in big name acts like Immortal and Gorgoroth and guitarist/bassist Finn Solemdal playing in a number of different groups afterwards. There isn't too much information on the group outside of that, but they reformed in 2018 and have been releasing recorded versions of their old songs, and now we have their full-length debut with A Shadow of All Things Broken, which is about as old-fashioned as you'd expect from their history while also managing to be pretty good.

Despite an awful album cover and logo that suggests they're playing some kind of Hardcore, Relentless Aggression actually work in a vein of retro Thrash that's somewhere between Ride the Lightning and Hell Awaits. I was expecting something more straightforward and aggressive, but this is actually a fairly complex and moody album as far as Thrash goes, with dense arrangements that often work at a studied mid-pace and razor-sharp musicianship that's more epic and emotional than Thrash usually bothers with. They do speed up on tracks like "Time to Die" and "Scorched Earth", but while they're good at it, these songs are less individual and interesting than more progressive numbers like "End of Religion" and the excellent "My Wrath Prevails", which sport a solid grasp of mood and some stunning guitar work.

All that said, much of this album kind of blends together, with many of the songs not holding together as a distinct whole and often being kind of stodgy. This isn't helped by the vocals of Yngve Eide who, on the one hand, is kind of impressive for sounding like a young punk from the '80s yelling into a microphone at their age, but on the other sounds like a young punk from the '80s yelling into a microphone as they try to sound like a mix between Tom Arraya and James Hetfield, complete with iffy vocal lines that tend to go over the music rather than with it. Still, as far as Thrash revival acts go, Relentless Aggression at least have an identity of their own, and when they're on the money they prove that they could have become an underground darling if they lived long enough the first time while also displaying the promise to do so the second time around if they tighten themselves up a bit. A band worth reviving.

More about Relentless Aggression...
Review: A Shadow of All Things Broken (reviewed by Micah.Ram)
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