Review: Besieged – Aggressor

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Written by Brett Kihlmire

For me nothing beats a good thrash metal album, but when I think thrash I’m usually thinking German or America. Fortunately, our cousins in the UK can throw down pretty hard. Enter Besieged.

Opening their Aggressor EP with an intro was kind of a gamble, but as you’re greeted with silence you get an ominous feeling. The distant cry of a jet can be faintly heard before it cuts across the scene and drops a bomb followed immediately by some rumbling drums and gnarly riffing. Though there was an abrupt end to this short intro, ‘Flash, Heat, Sound’ definitely paves the way. Also, I think the abrupt cut was caused by listening to separate files on YouTube.

‘Besieged’ picks right up where the intro left off. Gnarly riffs and pounding drums force you to bang your head while the snarling vocals of Barney (no last name available) gives this a strong old school thrash sound with lyrics focused on war and its aftermath. Some great riffs, awesome rhythms, and a killer solo later, the track ends with an explosion. So far so good.

Any reference to Judge Dredd is the key to this metalhead’s heart and ‘Bloodbath on Floor 16’ wins me over with the voice of Ma-Ma of Dredd ordering the death of two judges. Right there I knew this was going to be an ass kicker and I wasn’t let down. This track is unrelentingly brutal with heavy riffing, strong rhythms, and a nice touch of hardcore punk influences. Overall, this song captures the stress and anxiety Judges Dredd and Anderson lived through while battling a blood thirsty gang in Peach Trees.

Building on the post-apocalyptic theme, ‘Aggressor’ opens with the crackling of a Geiger counter. Melodic guitars mix things up before diving into chunky riffs and blast beats. The leads soon return with some nice licks behind them as Barney snarls out the story of a brutally efficient warrior. I have to say, I’m really digging the evolution of the album so far, especially the increased emphasis on the lead guitar. That solo was simply awesome!

I can sense some Fallout inspiration here and now I’m really excited. ‘Born in the Vault’ starts slow with a bass heavy section before diving into a wicked fast riff and drum beat. The hardcore and thrash elements collide here with some tasty riffs, brutal beats, well-executed breakdowns, and some supremely shreddy leads. What really stands out are the lyrics; the post-apocalyptic theme is really driven home here. My only complaint is that this track is only two minutes long!

With some sweet leads and a powerful hum of the rhythm guitar, ‘The Oathbreaker’ starts off as if it’s going to go old school Metallica, but then it explodes into breakneck speed and cranks the ferocity to ten. With its heavier than all rhythms, borderline death growl vocals, villainous lyrics, and sharp leads this track is hands down the best on the entire album.

I have to hand it to Besieged. This was an ass kicker through and through. Clearly inspired by post-apocalyptic media, this album captured the essence of the genre well with an awesome thrash metal sound. I can’t wait to hear what’s next from them. 9/10

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