A Perfect Murder War Of Aggression

A Perfect Murder may be considered hardcore but they’re the best Pantera-influenced act since, well, they’re actually better than Pantera on War Of Aggression. Yes, I said it; they’re better because they’re hungry and still more excited to hear a loud amplifier than get stupid wasted and videotape their numbskull antics. The album’s ample use of meticulous riffing, dive-bomb solos and otherworldly howls is outrageous. And those rhythms! Switching from mid-tempo grind to full-on blasting feels like an out-of-control locomotive about to hit a bridge wired with a ton of explosives. Just before impact though, everything gives out and a massive breakdown ensues that would give S.O.D. a fit of moshing madness. Singer Kevin Randel is dead-on with his Philip Anselmo impersonation — shrill screams and rumbling, guttural bellows — but since the "cowboy from hell” isn’t really up to much these days, other than being a human pincushion, it’s entirely welcomed. At times though, A Perfect Murder should corral the unintended imitation; they aren’t infallible. "In Hell” is so similar to "Five Minutes Alone” that it grinds fenders, and while the acoustics on "Fortunate Son” are a dynamic shift, they should stick to the squeals and double bass. (Victory)