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Aggression – Field Of Nightmares

Aggression
Field Of Nightmares
by Oli Gonzalez at 27 December 2021, 5:58 AM

AGGRESSION. I’m surprised I’ve never heard of this band to be frank, seeing as they been on festival line ups with some huge names from the thrash metal movement of the 1980s. The band sadly disbanded in 1989 but fully reunited in 2014. Their latest effort “Field of Nightmares” represents the fifth album for the band overall in what is a new era and incarnation for AGGRESSION.

“Filtering Doom”. I had to question whether I was listening to a cut scene from a video game, or horror movie scene! The thunder and rain sound effects, the orchestral strings, the muffled sounds of victims screams. It all conjures the image of some kind of torture chamber.  A very out of the ordinary intro, but it’s got my attention so it’s done it’s job.
“Poisonous potion” opens with a brief yet sharp drum fill before we get into the nuts and bolts of the song. Throughout, I’m getting a low-fi old school thrash metal groove with all 4 instruments locking in to create a thrash metal wall of sound. All other instruments get the opportunity to express themselves whether it’s the soaring lead guitar melody, bass solo, or the drummer’s impressive high speed assault on the kick drum.

If the previous song was straight up thrash, “Santanic Angel Holy Angel” seemingly draws influences from melodic death metal. There’s more of a bouncier rhythm and groove throughout, similar to what you’d hear in an AT THE GATES song. Also, the production seems to be of a higher quality in the song.  “Possessed By Dawn” opens with a thunderous bass solo. Kyle clearly has some skilled chops! He makes a return in the mid-point of the song to lock in beautifully with the lead guitarist. It must take some real skill and discipline to play in harmony and with such accuracy at this pace!

“Dripping Flesh” for me is a throwback to an earlier era of SEPULTURA. Especially with Denis’s almost spoken/rap style vocal. The intermittent use of the vocal echo effect confirms this for me. The wah-wah pedal certainly gets a good workout during the guitar solos, again paying homage to Brazilian legends.“Gambolling With The Undead”, is the outro to the album. It’s almost as if we’re transported to the opening scene portrayed by “Filtering Doom”, and acts as a creative close to the album.

“Field of Nightmares” represents a throwback to an earlier era of metal. No bells or whistles, just straight up aggression (no pun intended) and low-fi production. It’s easy for thrash metal bands to become stale and repetitive, but AGGRESSION are clever in borrowing elements from other genres. With that being said, I can’t quite my finger on it but something just feels off with the album. I do wonder if the production feels rushed and not as refined as it could be. Also, I can see this album being very successful if it was released in the 1980s, when thrash metal was perhaps at its peak. It really is a homage to that era. Sadly, I do wonder if it would be as well received with a younger audience today, but I could be completely wrong! With this effort, it’s easy to see why AGGRESSION were building such a huge reputation back in the day. Efforts like this may resonate and reconnect with the older fans that they had claimed and act as a nostalgia trip for that fanbase.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Filtering Doom
2. Poisonous potion
3. Santanic Angel Holy Angel
4. Possessed By Dawn
5. Dripping Flesh
6. Gambolling With The Undead
Lineup:
Denis “Sasquatch” Barthe – Vocals/Guitar
Dave “Watts” Watson – Guitar
Kyle “Viking” Hagen – Bass
Ryan “Quatchi” Idris – Drums
Record Label: Xtreem Music
     


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