Review Summary: What's better than thrash? Thrash with progressive influences.
When we ponder music in general it's easy to conclude that most people enjoy anything that is cohesive and executed correctly. I know I do, and ARG's second LP One World Without the End
fits these catagories very well. Although we have both progressive and thrash techniques utilized together neither extreme seems to deter the other. At times song structures will be pure thrash or a combination of the two. Regardless thrash is the predominating factor here.
ARG are from Finland and were formed in 1987 so their contribution to music was executed during the heights of many old school thrash and metal bands. Their sound can be best likened to mix of Kreator, Destruction, Atheist, and Death. The vocals and alternate pickings styles are really reminiscent of Chuck Schuldiner's earlier styles of his career. Some of the faster riffing styles sound like they could have came off Kreator's Pleasure to Kill
and Destruction's Infernal Overkill
. I had to throw Atheist into the equations because some of the riffs have a jazzy feel to them as well as the riff transitions and blending styles. Take for instance the ending moments of "Died For What". We have vocalist Tepa throwing some nice death-shrieks over an odd-timed melodic combo of tremolos and alternate pickings.
The progressive influences shine right from the first track "Last Dawn of Humanity" with clean guitar that repeat themselves as layers of string synths join in. The clean intro transitions half way through with a new riff that is clearly middle eastern inspired. Even the way tracks begin and transition, progressive elements are there. Rather than being thrown straight into an assault of riffs ARG allows them to build on your ears in a tasteful manner where you might here a song starting with one instrument or sound-skit before the full song feel kicks in. Good examples of progressive tendencies are found on "In the Depths of Sanity" and "One World Without the End". The first is more thrash oriented with a skit intro that changes textures as the song progressive through cohesive riffs. The latter is a 12 minute epic that begins and ends with a common theme; encasing modes and prefects domestic to its introduction but creative and fluid enough to fit within the albums feel.
The audible bass lines of Jars Kelloniem are a tasty treat to this albums old school production style of well leveled instruments and clear frequencies. His bass approach can be heard all throughout One World Without the End
. Jars generally follows the suite of the guitars and can be heard standing out on clean sections and riff transitions that use only the bass as a bridge. Drummer Pasi Takkula is one solid drummer and really brings all the riffs and transitions together with well fitting fills and adding that final piece of relativity with his odd-timed riffs that work hand in hand with the guitars.
With so many tasty songs to choose from, One World Without the End
sits well with some of the most cohesive thrash albums from the old school era. ARG a good demonstration that there are many good unheard of thrash albums out there that are just as good, if not better, than some of the well known thrash bands of past years. I encourage anyone who is interested in hearing thrash from a slightly different progressive feel to give this a try. It has inspired me to both write and search for music that has unique features that are about the music and not about fitting in with the world’s scene. I hope you appreciate One World Without the End
as much as I do.