Agressor Deathreat

Refusing to relent, French death metal legends Agressor unleash an endless stream of tried and true guts, glory and guttural bellowing on fifth effort Deathreat, their first with Season Of Mist. While some may call it predictable, kinder souls would refer to this newest chunk of brimstone and fire as "traditional” Agressor: unsurprising and comfortable as it mirrors the hyperactive vigour and exuberance of early Entombed and other primordial Scandinavian death metal acts. Switching gears occasionally, things take an almost Obituary-esque turn on occasion but those moments are pretty infrequent. The songs are lumbering, thick and beastly, proving that titles such as "Nightmare Comes By,” "Warrior Heart” and "War In Heaven” sound far less commanding than their music. Still, there’s an inescapable air of sluggishness that permeates Deathreat. Perhaps it’s the habitual attack, as singer/guitarist Alex Colin-Tocquaine is the only constant member, failing to maintain a solid line-up for more than an album. That could also explain some of the lack of invigorating elements; the album sticks almost too closely to the sound and style they’ve been hocking for almost two decades, resulting in an album that has just enough gusto to be interesting yet foretells of the stagnation to come if stable band-mates aren’t acquired and allowed to vary things up. (Season of Mist)