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Agressor - Symposium of Rebirth (Reissue)

Symposium of Rebirth
by Kayla Hutton at 05 May 2018, 7:01 AM

French death metallers AGRESSOR will be reissuing their third studio release “Symposium of Rebirth, via Season of Mist on June 8th, 2018. This double disc has the original recording as well as a remastered version. AGRESSOR began in 1986. They have a reputation for being one of the most influential bands of their country. So the story goes these guys are the first French extreme metal band. Releasing the first thrash metal album to come out of France in 1988, and being the first band to have signed with an international label in 1989. Between all the cassette demos, splits, and album releases they have roughly 8 official studio releases under their belt. "Symposium of Rebirth" was originally released in 1994. A little on the experimental side“Symposium of Rebirth”features the Lyon Opera Chorus and has a guest appearance from Barney Greenway, singer of NAPALM DEATH on“After World Obliteration” by TERRORIZER. There are also covers of the music from the film "Conan the Barbarian."

Barabbas”has Spanish style acoustic breaks throughout the song. I do enjoy the unexpected. While in the midst of thrashing about or maybe during an intro or midsection you would expect to hear an acoustic part. Nope, this is totally out of character of the song and it's friggin' great. Only at the end is it incorporated with the heaviness of the rest of the song boasting some impressive Flamenco style scales. The only downfall is when the singer is joined by a female vocalist in attempts to be perhaps operatic?(Lyon Opera Chorus) I could've done without that. It's very out of place and instantly reminded me of the Family Guy episode when Lois and Peter start smoking pot and perform as "Handful of Peter." To them, it sounded great. In real life, they were squawking and making "KAH" sounds, and it was just disastrous.

Apocalyptic Prophecies”has a little old METALLICA influence in the guitar part. Offering a different approach to death metal AGRESSOR isn't full of chugs and blasts. There are a lot of note progressions and blasts are used as fills only. There is more tom work going on as well. This is a drummer making actual use of his full kit as a percussive instrument, not just hitting objects of noise. The acoustic guitar parts provide a sense of culture and era, thus giving a unique stamp to their sound. “Someone to Eat” caught my attention on the title alone. It begins with a full band dynamic and drops to only hi-hat counts, and does this about 4 times. The solo work is a little SLAYER-esque yet at times I get a“rock”style of play ability, just sped up.

The songs are structured in an older death/thrash way. Offering various transitions and multiple parts throughout. AGRESSOR offers brutal heaviness that never gets dull or stale. There is either a change, transition, or something out of the blue always happening which as a listener kept me really engaged. In the age of re-issue and remaster, it is albums like this that deserve to be celebrated. Mostly due to their influence or how they proved to be ahead of their time. It opens the door for those who either forgot or those who didn't get to experience it when it happened. "Symposium of Rebirth" is a great lesson in the origination and transformation of death metal.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Theology – Civilization – Wheel of Pain
2. Rebirth
3. Barabbas
4. Overloaded
5. Apocalyptic Prophecies – Erga Meam Salutem
6. Negative Zone
7. Vanguard of Naught
8. Abhuman Dreadnought
9. Torture
10. Dor-Firn-I-Guinar
11. After World Obliteration
12. Someone to Eat
13. The Word of Dog
14. Torture (demo version)
15. Barabbas (2005 version)
16. Radio Advert

1. Barabbas
2. Rebirth
3. Negative Zone
4. Apocalyptic Prophecies
5. Overloaded
6. Theology – Civilization – Wheel of Pain
7. Abhuman Dreadnought
8. Torture
9. Dor-Firn-I-Guinar
10. After World Obliteration
11. Apocalyptic Prophecies (rough mix)
12. Negative Zone (rough mix)
13. Dor-Firn-I-Guinar (guitar only)
14. Theology (MIDI version)
Alex Colin-Tocquaine - Guitar/Vocals
Joël Guigou - Bass
Kevin Verlay - Guitar
Kevin Paradis - Drums
Record Label: Season of Mist


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