|Review: Agressor - Medieval Rites|
Label: Season Of Mist
Year released: 1999
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: April 25, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (6 Votes)
Agressor are a mainstay of the French scene, in that they have been around forever and a day. They started out more thrash, but this disc is definitely Death, though a more experimental and musically accomplished breed than is the norm.
This album kicks ass. Period, and I found it hard to believe it came out almost five years ago and didn't make more of a splash. Agressor start with a riffy, Celtic Frost style and layer it over with some keys, some strings, and a screaming Hell of ferocious death metal vocals that put David Vincent to shame. There are even some horn blasts here and there, just to keep you guessing. The album opener and title cut is a sprawling, six-minute-plus workout of atmosphere, savage vocals, and heavy, brass-balled riffing. There are no bad songs on this disc at all, though a lot of them are shorter than I would like. "(I Am The) Spirit of Evil" is a killer tune, but it's only 2 minutes long. Other short tunes are instrumental, like "On Dolinde" and the weirdly-named "The Woodguy and the Black Beast". The rest of this thing just won't stop killing: "The Sorcerer", "God From the Sky", "Tribal Dance" – all murderous cuts of metal mayhem. "Welcome Home" is a cover of the King Diamond song off "Them", and even though the vocals here are harsh, it comes off surprisingly well.
The package is one of the nicest digipacks I have ever seen. It's got a matte-finished cover with the logo embossed in glossy ink, plus some nice band pics. (Just the two guys, and they look very unhappy). The lyrics are OK, but there is an obvious language barrier here. This may be just me, but the thing behind their logo looks sort of like Chthulu as a Pokemon.
So for some Morbid Angel-styled Death Metal with a kick of Thrash mixed in for good measure, this is a killer disc. Agressor are apparently still active, as they released an EP last year, but this was their last full-length, and it was released almost five years back. I have no idea what could be taking them so long, but I hope they get it in gear soon and put together another album as good as this one. If you run across this album, don't hesitate to pick it up.
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