Aggravator – Sterile Existence (2016) Running Time 31:31
Release Date 19-09-2016 Dead Center Productions
Album Review by Rick Tilley
Aggravator’s third album ‘Sterile Existence’ (released in September 2016) doesn’t hang around over the course of its thirty one minutes so I’ll not hang around too much with the review either. Formed in 2008 and residing in San Antonio, Texas, Aggravator are old school Thrash Metalheads and have produced a somewhat unoriginal album…BUT, before you all shout at me I’ll say that it doesn’t matter one little bit how original it is because it’s bloody enjoyable and this four piece are obviously more than competent musicians, having a great time gigging around the world ripping your heads off in the process!
‘Decapitators Temple’ starts the album off, with guitars and bass set to ‘eerie calm’, before kicking in with a thunderous riff and barrage of drums. It’ll have fans of classic Thrash bouncing around the place with the horns raised. It’s then that the vocals of Derek Jones start and they give Aggravator a slightly different feel. Jones has a harsher voice than your usual Thrash vocalist and it gives the band a more Death or early Black Metal feel, but it works perfectly. He also plays rhythm guitar and along with lead guitarist Jesse Lopez delivers a razor sharp performance. You can also say the same for drummer Mike Cortes who was obviously born with three arms and rolls around the kit at fantastic speed, reminiscent of Dave Lombardo. Thanks to the production, there is however, one person who stands out and that is bassist Tristan Hernandez. Throughout ‘Sterile Existence’, not content to follow the guitars, he plays some wonderful bass lines and it makes a pleasant change to hear the bass focussed on so much!
After Decapitators Temple comes to a close you get a further eight tracks of classic Thrash Metal played at medium or super speed and if you need comparisons then Destructor, Testament, Morbid Angel , Kreator, Slayer and Exumer spring to mind. Vocally you can also add in little bits of Venom and early Celtic Frost. ‘Transhuman Incorporeal’, ‘Abhorrent Point Of View’ and ‘Hacked Human Debris’ fly by in a blaze and stomp of napalm fuelled energy and it’s all pretty damn good.
As previously mentioned it won’t win any awards for originality but let’s face it, if you’re a Thrash fan or like any of the above named bands then that isn’t going to bother you. This does exactly what you want it to do and I’ll definitely be checking out Aggravator’s previous releases. I also hope I get to see them live at some point because I imagine it’ll be a chance to have a damn good mosh!
- 1. Decapitators Temple
- 2. Transhuman Incorporeal
- 3. High Impact Homicides
- 4. Subconscious Blind
- 5. Abhorrent Point Of View
- 6. Hacked Human Debris
- 7. Sterile Existence
- 8. Future Re-phased
- 9. Target Obliteration
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClAv_i1GX2c (Decapitators Temple)
This review was originally written by Rick Tilley for MGTV