Agressor – Neverending Destiny (1990)

Straddling the no-mans-land between past and present, Agressor’s full-length debut offers a high-octane mixture of late-period speed metal and death metal technique, coupled with pulpy occult/sci-fi lyrics in the vein of Nocturnus, Voivod and Obliveon.

The guitarwork of guitarist/vocalist and main composer Alex Colin-Tocquaine is clearly the focal point of Neverending Destiny. Emphasizing speed is hardly a novelty, but the riffcraft — surprisingly varied for the genre — and mastery of texture and technique remains invigorating throughout the album. References to the ever-expanding book of metal riffology are extensive, with galloping 8th/16th note groupings and speed metal triplets lining up next to death metal-tinged single note picking as well as more unorthodox Voivod-ian chordings.

Rapid, open string pedal point riffs racing off towards vaguely melodic cadences betrays a grounding in the Teutonic school of underground metal, but gains a decidedly frenzied and determined character thanks to a higher degree of control in violent intensity. Songs lift off as stretches of choppy speed metal lead into liquid, tremolo-picked melodic sequences, effectively enacting dramatic change through manipulation of texture. Vocals and drums remain de-emphasized, but are no less important in their complementary roles. The former works as a hoarse counterpoint while the latter provides a checkered map in which the guitars can reign free, forming tangents and crossing lines at will.

At its best, this is music overflowing with propulsive energy. Unfortunately, most of it is lost due to lack of direction in the songwriting department. Riffs work reasonably well together, but ultimately lose their impetus inside looping verse/chorus-structures. As a result, much of the care gone into making songs distinguishable from each other is nullified, making Neverending Destiny a more monotonous experience than its promising elements would indicate.

While similar in style to their countrymen in Massacra, Agressor’s reluctance to expand their song-structures marks them as a thing of the past, leaving the listener with an impression of unfulfilled potential. As such, listening to Neverending Destiny is like watching a well-adapted predator hunting imagined prey inside a hamster wheel.

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19 thoughts on “Agressor – Neverending Destiny (1990)”

  1. charlie hebdo says:

    So is this death metal or speed metal? I am confused.

    Somewhere on the Anus Prozak reviewed this as death metal and gave it quite a good review.

    1. Varg's Lada says:

      Much better than Arghoshit, that’s for sure, unless you are really obsessed with hating negros.

      1. Victor Van Varg says:

        That’s for sure.

    2. Spinal says:

      Their second album (reviewed by Mr Prozak) saw some changes and is arguably a more deathy (and arguably better) release in general. As for Neverending Destiny, it belongs together with similar “threshold”-releases of the era (Sadus is what comes to mind right now) and also similar to Kreator’s Pleasure to Kill. It’s not a bad album and I’ve enjoyed it on many occasions, but it will forever lurk in the shadow of Massacra.

      1. Rainer Weikusat says:

        I’ve been listening to the Massacra album a couple of times again (“for the first time in 27 years”) and I even understand why our valued editor (Germans are not for adressing people informally) likes it because it’s the kind of fiddly, intellectual stuff he happens to like, and certainly 500,000 times better than ascending serpents can ever hope to become, but this starts of strong for the first 3 tracks or so, and then settles into what $metalsucks_person once aptly described as “mid-album pace”, IOW, filler tracks, and stays this way until before the end of it.

        1. neutronhammer says:

          Wo in Deutschland wohnst du?

          1. Rainer Weikusat says:

            Nirgends.

            Uebrigens sollte man das bisherigen Postings entnehmen koennen (aber dann muesste man ja wieder den tatsaechlichen Inhalt als tatsaechlichen Inhalt nehmen und nicht nur als Blaupause fuer pseudo-freudsches Zwischen-den-Zeilen-Herumahnen benutzen), es ist hier vollkommen unwichtig und geht ausserdem niemanden etwas an.

            1. hey shut the fuck up you autistic nazi

              1. Gorgowocoa says:

                Right. This guy’s shit is so bigoted and thinly veiled it’s astonishing. Glad I’m not the only one noticing this

                1. Rainer Weikusat says:

                  The reason why I consistently fail to ‘impress’ you is not because I’d really like to but am too stupid to understand that it’ll never work this way.

                  It’s because I’m not trying.

                  You are not the center of the universe.

                  HTH.

  2. Count Ringworm says:

    While you’re busy revisting mediocre blasts-from-the-past, how about giving Adramalech – Psychotasia & Death – Human their due process?

    1. Spinal says:

      I wouldn’t call Psychostasia mediocre, it still gets plenty of airtime over here. Death bores me too much to even bother.

      1. Barf Blower McGurniky says:

        These contrarian faggots try way too hard around here. “oh yeah, you think you found the good stuff, oh nooo it’s just obscure not actually goooood” I haven’t seen anyone here give a big Brett breakdown of how and why and I wouldn’t care for it either. If you’re not listening to plastic death or black or really crummy trendy scene band of the week Hells Headbangers shit, you probably have a good head on whats good and can figure it out for yourself like a big boy (or big girl if you’ve a stinking shit smelling cunt, did you know negroid women can smell menstrual blood and it ignites feral murderous impulses to defend the monkey sucklings?) Also black negroids into metal are usually really cool people and usually naturally in physically fit condition, I see negroids in the hood that eat nothing but Doritos, grape drink, snack cakes and KFC and they’re fucking ripped, how come the white mane so wimpy, why he gotta work so hard to be swole yo?

        1. Because the white man did a good job breeding them for hard labor. Take notice of how the fellers native to the African continent aren’t nearly as big.

          1. Barf Blower McGurniky says:

            Then the lower classes, I mean damn near every fucking person in the USA should be forced into labor at gunpoint, in a few years we will be natural born uberdudes. Look at whats happening now, too sickly to survive a toilet paper shortage.

  3. reply with your dads email address says:

    having a verse chorus song structure isn’t necessarily bad in the same way having a complex song structure isn’t necessarily good. The thing about verse-chorus is that there isn’t a lot of room to develop or expand when working with only 2 musical ideas so there is usually a very easily graspable and obvious relation between the two. That is not always the case. And even then, sometimes the obvious is exactly what a composition calls for.

    1. Spinal says:

      I agree, but in this particular case the songs would probably benefit from a less rigid approach.

    2. Rainer Weikusat says:

      »Good« and »bad« are ill-defined terms in this context: Traditional song structure restricts musical pieces to being traditional songs. That neither good nor bad in the sense that a triangle isn’t a worse instrument than a piano just because it’s a lot less complicated. OTOH, there’s a lot of music which has been written for pianos which can’t be played with a triangle. Likewise, while using a more free-form structure doesn’t necessarily mean the result will be more listenworthy than a verse-chorus-verse song, it just enables composing tracks which are more rewarding to listen to for people who prefer them than a traditional song could ever be.

  4. Morbideathscream says:

    I always liked Neverending Destiny, I’ve always been a sucker for mindless death/speed metal. But yeah, not quite as good as the first 2 Massacra albums. What else I really like from that same era in France is Mutilated’s Psychodeath Lunatics demo.

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