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No Return - Contamination Rises (Reissue)

No Return
Contamination Rises (Reissue)
by Matt Coe at 18 February 2014, 3:24 PM

Second albums usually establish whether a band will be able to sustain a healthy career or forever be banished into the catacombs of bargain bins everywhere. France’s NO RETURN would originally release “Contamination Rises” in 1992, at a time when Thrash Metal was in a state of flux as a lot of the older bands seemed to repeat a lot of familiar ideas or grab the proverbial ‘major label’ ring in an attempt to widen their appeal through watering down their sound, creating ballads and adding fringe elements that made no sense (remember horns on EXODUS’ “Force of Habit” record?).

Recording and mixing this album at the hot death metal studio of the time (Morrisound in Tampa, Florida), the 12 songs that comprise “Contamination Rises” still contain rich speed and riff/drum syncopation that will lead people down the path that NO RETURN were certainly the French answer to “Beneath the Remains” period SEPULTURA – along with a touch of death blasting elements and a 360 degree vocal delivery change for Alain Clement as he barks with more of a Barney Greenway / NAPALM DEATH roar. Songs like “Uncontrolled Situation” and “Perversion” feature the right balance of unwavering thrash attack and the small semblance of Death crossover as you could sense that the band began their deeper influence into the work of DEATH and OBITUARY.

Adding in two more bonus tracks from a live show in 2013, the newest singer Mick Caesare has more of Alain’s penchant from the debut album to mirror Mille / KREATOR than the deeper death growls contained on “Contamination Rises”. It’s another case of guitars, drums, and vocals taking over sonically, so be prepared to hear little to no low end – almost as if you were being assaulted through sheer volume and power.

For some reason “Psychological Torment” resonates with me a little more. Probably it is due to the youthful exuberance- and definitely I feel that the vocal delivery took a couple of steps back in comparison. So if you can handle the fact that NO RETURN were still struggling to shed their obvious influences, this isn’t a bad slice of early 90’s Death / Thrash history.

3 Star Rating

1. Damnation
2. Memories
3. Raving Lunatic
4. Uncontrolled Situation
5. Trash World
6. Sacred Bones
7. World Of Impurities
8. Civil War
9. Perversion
10. Sorrow
11. Mass Grave
12. Revolt of the Hanged
13. Civil War (live)
14. Fanatic Mind (live)
Philippe Ordon – Vocals
Eric le Baron – Guitars
Alain Clement – Guitars
Laurent Janaut – Bass
Didier le Baron – Drums
Record Label: Great Dane Records


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