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01. One Voice
03. Rockets with a Message
04. Your Game
05. Generation Fuck
06. As the Blood Runs Cold
07. Strong 'n Cute
09. Kid's World
Metal isn't a genre that's well known for its finesse. I wish I had a dime every time I read the words "This album hits with all the subtlety of a [sledgehammer/cinderblock/jackhammer] to the face" in a metal review. And I'm pretty sure this is the kind of praise Belgium's Nasty were looking for when they wrote "Aggression." It's a shame they don't really deserve it.
Nasty's major failing is their choice of genre. Meshing tough-guy hardcore with some death metal vocals isn't new ground by any stretch of the imagination, and ultimately Nasty spends the entire album trying to sound as heavy as possible. And yeah, they try. They try really fucking hard. But, no matter how often you do it, slowing down the track to a snail's pace and then palm muting like your right hand just fell asleep will never become the epitome of heaviness. It just makes you sound like you don't know how to play your instruments, and if this is your approach to every track, it comes across like you also haven't got that many songwriting ideas at your disposal.
Instrumentally, "Aggression" is just as described above: Georgy Krupa chugs with such ferocity I wonder if he's ever accused his guitar of sleeping with his girlfriend.Drummer Christian Fritz does a pretty decent job of flouncing along with each track, offering as much variation on the same chugging gallop as he can, while Ludovic Gotal's basswork seems to be there just to give the double bass kick a bit of extra oomph.Matthias Tarnath snarls, rasps and growls his way through the muck, managing a few impressive moments, but is completely hampered by his nearly self-parodic tough-guy posturing.
And while "Aggression" is little more than the same tired approach to sounding as faux-heavy as possible, the band has a small leg up on their peers in terms of vocal delivery. Cringeworthy fake death vocals abound, but every now and then the band bumps their head and remembers the "core" in deathcore. In these instances, they bring in a pinch vocalist to handle some of the duties, and, against all odds, manage to pull off a few compelling moments before sinking back into the overblown silliness of deathcore posturing. (Primarily on "As the Blood Runs Cold" and "Rockets with a Message")
It might be a little unfair to fault a band for choosing a specific genre, but there's little to be done with self-aggrandizing hardcore that hasn't already been done by Hatebreed, Throwdown, et al. And melding it with some half-hearted death metal dabbling just doesn't help Nasty establish any identity beyond another trendy deathcore band.
Bottom Line: Hampered by a completely static approach to songwriting and some downright lazy instrumental work, "Aggression" is a sub-par release, even for a deathcore record. And I mean, really, what more can I possibly say about a band whose debut album's cover art was a blood-covered microphone with brass knuckles attached to it The members of the population who haven't been recently lobotomized will probably stay away (save for morbid curiosity), and fans of "beatdown hardcore" are already texting their crews to come beat me up.
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