With Saxon, sex, and mescaline listed as their influences, you know Aggression has to be good. If you like Venom, Cryptic Slaughter, and Morbid Angel, you’ll likely love Aggression. But…if you know of Venom, Cryptic Slaughter, and Morbid Angel, you likely already know about Canada’s Aggression.
I was recently listening to “Fragmented Spirit Devils,” their November 10, 2016 release via Extreme Management Group, Inc. I’m taken by the fact that: 1) the music is frantically good, 2) the vocals sound a bit like Lemmy did a duet with Satan himself. While they have been around since 1985, albeit for a bit under the names Asylum and Aggression, A.D, they feel like a brand-new band with this release.
Though they became quite popular in Quebec and Canada in the mid to late 1980s, with only three demos (“Demo 1” in 1985, “Live ’86” in 1986, and “Demo II” in 1986), they went on to release only one full length album, “The Full treatment,” in 1987 before a huge dry spell that lasted years. Allegedly drugs and alcohol pretty much killed the band in 1989, but they gave it another shot with 2004’s “Forgotten Skeleton” (which was actually written and should have been released in 1986) before they called it quits for a bit in 2006.
This band should have made it in the 80s to the level of Anthrax, Annihilator, Armored Saint, Slayer, etc. But, as sometimes happens (be it timing, or fickleness of fans) it wasn’t to be for them for some reason. Back in the 80s, they shared the stage with notable bands such as: Anvil, Celtic Frost, Voivod, Agnostic Front, and DRI, just to name a few. The buzz that surrounded them quickly made it to the states, and it appeared they were on their way.
In 2014, Denis “Sasquach” Barthe regrouped, put a new band together, and landed a spot on the compilation, “Fractured Psyche Demons” in 2015. That must have sparked something, because Aggression’s 2016 release, “Fragmented Spirit Devils” is amazing; by far their best work to date.
Aggression is fast, creative, exciting, heavy, groovy, complex, complicated, and just plain fantastic. Extreme Management Group, Inc., was very smart to sign this band alongside heavy hitters such as: Suffocation, Cattle Decapitation, Cryptic Slaughter, Threat Signal, etc. There is no doubt in my mind that Aggression is about to make it big. I can’t wait to see what they do next.
I don’t know how Denis 'Sasquatch' Barthe did it, but he was definitely successful in giving mouth to mouth to a dying Aggression, nursing it to life, and finding its’ fountain of youth. They are more than relevant today, and I am confident they are going to catch on big-time, this time. - Written by: Susan Dusse
Denis “Sasquatch” Barthe - Guitars (1985-1989, 2005-2006, 2015- current)
Ryan Murray Idris - Drums (2014 – current)
Dave Watson – Guitars (2014 – current)
Brian Langley – Vocals (2014 – current)
Martin Meyer – Bass (2015 – current)
You can catch them around British Columbia (they recently opened up for Incantation and Marduk) and they will play festivals around Canada this summer.
Do yourself a favor, check out the revitalized Aggression now.