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No Return - Requiem Award winner

No Return
Requiem
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 01 November 2022, 1:58 PM

The massive musical onslaught imposed by Death Metal is always something that hooks Metal fans. But in some moment back in the early years of the 90’s, some bands started to use a melodic outfit to sharp things (acts as AT THE GATES, IN FLAMES, DARK TRANQUILLITY, EDGE OF SANITY and some others can be said as pioneers of the genre that would be called Melodic Death Metal in the future). Today, what is called ‘Melodic Death Metal’ has an ample range of musical choices that the musicians can choose as they like. And NO RETURN, a quintet that hails from France, comes again with its latest release, “Requiem”.

In the reality, the veteran quintet (they’ve been on the road for 33 years) makes a mix between melodic aspects of Thrash Metal with the brutality of Death Metal, what means it’s really abrasive and aggressive in a savage outburst of energy (it could light the entire city of Paris if sound could be turned into light), but always guided by an excellent melodic outfit (especially during the guitar solos). It’s different from others, so it mains that these guys aren’t resting in their own ‘comfort zone’, but are here to explode ears and conquer more and more fans. It’s really an amazing release, but for those that know the band, it’s not a surprise. And it’s great to see that the vocalist Steeve is back with his grunts and screams.

The band hired Olivier Didillon to work with them in the studio (he signs the recordings, mixing and mastering of the album), and he make an astonishing work. It’s brutal and aggressive (the tunes used for the drums are great), but always keeping things defined in a modern form, what boosts the understanding of what is being expressed. But beware of the ears! 10 sound apocalypses are unleashed on “Requiem”, and no one can deny their talent. They’re restless, aggressive and ready to turn brains into dust!

“The Only One” is a song full of many contrasts between aggressiveness and melodies, with many hooking parts, and the shifts between snarls, screams, grunts and normal tunes of voice fits in the instrumental sheath. The same happens in “Killing Machines”, another violent act of the quintet, based upon a rhythmic slaughter supported by bass guitar and drums (the changes of tempos are perfect). Drinking in the source of classic Melodic Thrash/Death Metal, “Affliction” is full of aggressive hooks, with perfect guitar riffs and solos. “No Apologies” does the same thing, but with a clear turn into Thrash Metal elements (but be prepared for an amazing sets of blast beats).

Using a better set of melodies in many moments (what boosts the catchy feeling), “Nobody Cares About You” is that kind of song that make things violent in a live show. And on “Unscarred”, even under such musical violence, the early elements of Hardcore/Punk Rock inherited by the genres are clear (especially on the guitars). “Survival Instinct” and “Lies” have balanced influences of Thrash Metal and Death Metal, always tempered by excellent melodies (and once more, the vocals are perfect for both songs).

Some slow parts introduce “The Podium of Truths”, but the tempos changes between fast and ferocious blast beats with some slow touches here and there (the band does not live of ‘one tempo’ only), and “The Black Wolfs Kingdom” shares the same features, with a massive weight that can hurt the ears and necks for sure. To hear a veteran act doing such great work as presented on “Requiem” is amazing. And the guys of NO RETURN seem to be here to defy themselves in a constant unrest that ensures the fans always great music!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Only One
2. Killing Machines
3. Affliction
4. No Apologies
5. Nobody Cares About You
6. Unscarred
7. Survival Instinct
8. Lies
9. The Podium of Truths
10. The Black Wolfs Kingdom
Lineup:
Steeve “Zuul” Petit - Vocals
Alain Clément - Guitars
Geoffroy Lebon - Guitars
David Barbosa - Bass
Joël Barbosa - Drums
Record Label: Mighty Music
     


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