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lunedì 4 maggio 2015

No Return - Fearless Walk to Rise

#FOR FANS OF: Death/Thrash Metal, Loudblast, Vader
Making it to album number nine here, these French Death/Thrashers are certainly well aware of their place and legacy being one of the forerunners of the scene in general as well as being one of the first extreme metal bands to emerge from the country. As befits their legacy at this point, the band simply offers yet another crushing version of their signature sound here as the merging between the two genres is clear and straightforward. Plenty of energetic Thrash-based riffing, dark chords and the occasional interjection of melody seem to be the order of attack here, and this ends up creating rousing, up-tempo tracks with strong riffing and tight rhythms that remain a hallmark of both genres. The keyboard melodies featured are a lot more atmospheric than the other melodies as those are based more on the guitar prowess displayed throughout here. The problem with all this is the fact that it all tends to feel routine as if there’s nothing out-and-out dynamic about the material. Rarely does it ever feel like they’re about to wallop you over the head with their charging attack, instead staying a bit more low-key which ends up making this feel a lot less vicious and intense. It’s well-played and certainly never gets flat-out boring, which is a testament to their veteran instincts but this could certainly stand a few more killer, go-for-the-throat type of tracks. Instrumental intro ‘Ascent’ features moody atmospherics and dynamic drumming marching through grandiose arrangements that set the stage perfectly for proper first track ‘Stronger Than Ever,’ which features crushing drum-blasts and scorching melodic riffing turning into tight, mid-tempo patterns and hammering drumming through the frantic thrash chugging with atmospheric interjections of melody for an impressive first offering. ‘Submission Fails’ brings along a few more dissonant riffs into the mix but still features enough crushing leads, frenzied double-bass blasts and some nice melodies enjoyably crushing effort. The scorching ‘Sounds of Yesterday’ blasts into tight, crunchy riffing and blazing drumming through up-tempo, ravenous paces with a series of swirling keyboard melodies spiced up among the barreling riff-work for a true album highlight, as well as containing what is probably their best soloing on the album. ‘Paint Your World’ is another pretty heavily-leaning atmospheric melody-driven effort but drives hard riffs and plenty of tight drum-work into another strong back-to-back track. Opting out of the straightforward thrashers, ‘Face My Dark’ is the album’s most melody-heavy offering which tends to run throughout the whole track and taking a few minor interjections for some intense riffing but mostly that just falls away for the melodies for a strangely decent if unspectacular effort. ‘Bloodbath Legacy’ runs a little more intensely with a stronger series of riffs and plenty of dynamic drumming that keeps the energy up throughout the momentary melodic interjections for a much stronger and enjoyable thrasher. Going into longer territories, ‘Sworn to Be’ uses steady, melodic riffing among the tighter rhythms swirling around the raging rhythms and tight riffing carrying the melodic leads along for an enjoyable offering that never really gives off any sense of its true length. Holding back on the melodies altogether, ‘Fearless’ features raging frenzied riffing and pummeling drumming plow through up-tempo sections blazing with furious riffing and dexterous drum-work that continue on throughout here with minimal interjections for the album’s best effort. Lastly, ‘Hold My Crow’ brings strong crunchy melodies and pounding drum-work along a steady mid-tempo pace with strong melodies throughout as the crushing rhythms carry this one through for a strong lasting impression here. Still a good album, but one that could’ve gone a little darker and more intent on dishing out the intensity. (Don Anelli)

(Mighty Music - 2015)
Score: 80