"Sights of Suffering"

By Dr. Abner Mality

In Chile, they still bow to elder gods. This dry, skinny country is the undisputed capital of spiked wristbands and bulletbelts and in recent years it has exploded as the home of many goat-worshipping metal bands. Brazil has been surpassed! But before almost of these bands there was Atomic Aggressor.

These guys date back to the late 80's and they have held fast for all these decades against every trend in metal. To them, Destruction's "Death Sentence" is something fresh. And this fanatical devotion to the grisly past of thrash and death metal permeates every second of "Sights of Suffering".  Possessed, Razor and Sodom seem to be the main inspirations here and A.A. pay homage to these old gods with fidelity. What I like about their approach is that the riffs are all distinct and discrete. They play with some control and restraint....this is not war metal garbage that sounds like a vacuum cleaner exploding. Of course, there's a lot of speed and couldn't there be?....but it's all harnessed to a strong framework. This is either death-inspired thrash or thrashy death metal, take your pick. It doesn't matter. The grim and gravelly vocals are very authentic as well.

For nostalgic headbanging pleasure, the picks here are "Faceless Torment", "Unbodied Rites" and the rather epic "I Beheld". If possible, try to grab the CD with the bonus track "Twilight Spectres"....hard to believe that was left off the record.

Yes, boss, plenty of 80's goat-worshippers around these days, but few with the authentic vigor of Atomic Aggressor. Viva Chile!