So you say you wanna hear some Thrash Metal done right, do ya? Welp, as I’ve been saying for the past three years, look no further than SUICIDAL ANGELS. They’ve just released a brand new album Years of Aggression (out now, NoiseArt Records), and again they are putting on an absolute clinic in Thrash 101! As is always the case singer/guitarist Nick Melissourgos is full of piss and vinegar, and you can hear the venom racing through him as he barks out the lyrics. And of course guitarist Gus Drax basically shreds the paint off the walls every time he lets fly with one of his amazing solos. Orpheas Tzortzopoulos (drums) and Angel Lelikakis (bass) hold down the rhythm section, and you can hear how solid this lineup is once again.
Right out of the gate “Endless War” unleashes wave after wave of riffs, flying through the air like mortar shells. “Born of Hate” is not only one of the best songs on the record, but quite frankly one of the best thrashers I’ve heard all year. The band sounds one step away from breaking sticks and snapping strings, such is the intensity of this track. Around the two minute and change mark the solos cut through you like piano wire around the neck, and it is a musical gorefest. Title track “Years of Aggression” revs the engine a bit before heading out to the highway, keeping things moving along nicely.
“Bloody Ground” is very melodic while at the same time keeping things heavy, but believe me when I tell you that first 1:34 will have you on the hook and waiting to see what comes next. This right here is one of those songs that has punch, but is also catchy, always a winning combination. As far as all-out asskickers go “D.I.V.A.” fits that bill perfectly as the band swings the hammer down on your goddamn skull. By the way, good luck getting the hook of “From All the One” out of your head after you hear it. I especially love when it switches gears midway through.
“Order of Death” has a certain crunch to it that would not be out of place on any number of records from the Thrash masters of yesteryear, while “The Roof of Rats” is an explosive track from beginning to end, and it feels like we’re in a race car headed straight for the wall on a hairpin turn. Closer “The Sacred Dance With Chaos”…wow, what can I say about this one? Arguably the album’s best track, and also a perfect way to end this record. My buddy and I have been gushing back and forth over this one for a while now. It’s simply amazing. The groove, the feel, the music, and the vocals all come to life in such a way it is perfection.
So SUICIDAL ANGELS hit one out of the park with this one. All the songs hit hard, the hooks land where they should, and the playing, especially guitar-wise, is off the charts. I told you people at the beginning that these guys do Thrash Metal right, and I stand by that statement 100%. Years of Aggression is without a doubt destined for many people’s Best of 2019 lists, including my own. And it is now my favorite record from the boys. So do yourself a favor and grab your copy ASAP. Then get ready for some headbanging-related neck issues!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM