AGGRESSOR - Beyond All Reckoning CD Review
TITLE: Beyond all Reckoning
REVIEWED BY: Trystan MacDonald
The term “thrash metal” gets used a lot in the heavy metal world. It’s often recognized as a primary influence in a lot of the faster types of heavy metal. However, there is a huge difference between thrash influenced metal and true, pure thrash metal. “Beyond all Reckoning” is pure, classic thrash metal.
Aggressor’s debut album, “Beyond all Reckoning”, stays very true to the early sounds of the Bay Area Thrash. The album immediately kicks you in the teeth with the opening riff to “What is Me”. The opening song is a pretty accurate representation of the rest of the album; heavy riffs with catching choruses. Several of the songs on the album have parts that will instantly get crowds involved when played live, whether it’s singing or starting circle pits, or both. The album has a steady pace to it, but I find that once the sixth song comes on - “The Wanderer” - that’s when the album gets really heavy. That could be this writer’s personal opinion. But there is no denying that “The Wanderer”, “Unto the World”, and “I am the Locust” are perfect representations of classic thrash metal.
But the album isn’t all fast riffs and fast drums. “More to Discover”, the fourth song on the album, isn’t the only ballad on the album, but it is most certainly a powerful one. Brian Stephenson (lead singer and rhythm guitarist) might not register with the listener right away on this song, with his very subtle vocals, but it adds a certain atmosphere to the track. Lyrically, there’s a certain beauty in the song. After seeing Aggressor live several times, I had always known that Brian was a great front man, a superior one at that, but I had no idea he actually knew how to sing. Thrash has had a horrible habit of having great instrumentals and weak voices. It’s rather incredible to hear a voice that matches the same power that thrash guitar creates.
For a self-published album its production is incredibly good. “Beyond all Reckoning” has been a long time coming for Aggressor fans, but was certainly worth waiting for.
01. What Is Me
02. Justice Lost
03. Staring Down at You
04. More to Discover
06. The Wanderer
07. Unto the World
08. I Am the Locust
09. Redemption (First Eyes Awake)