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Russian aggression unleashed - 100%

Vortic, December 30th, 2017

The fall of the Iron Curtain saw the rise of many extreme metal bands from the Eastern Block. Many remain buried, waiting to be found. Aspid's Extravasation is a relic that has been discovered by the Internet. It is an excellent example of aggressive thrash metal, but not just your generic "0000" and blast beats, but one that is meticulously composed and still captivating, even after barely the first listen.

The first thing I would like to address is, of course, the guitars - the most essential part of any thrash record. The guitar tone is very rasp and overdriven, a defining characteristic of thrash metal. The riffs are intricate, most are fast yet still in time (Towards one Goal), with Give Me containing amazing slow riffs. Odd-time signatures are present, yet not overwhelming and used exactly where they should be. Syncopated 4/4 riffs are also very well implemented (It came (Aspid)). The solos are also absolute "tHrash", making Aleksander Sidorchik not only a great songwriter, but also a great lead. Next we have the drums. At first they seem rather generic, but after 2-3 listens you begin to appreciate that part of the album as well. The drummer, Vasiliy Shapovalov, keeps time and uses fills exactly when needed. His double bass is also very good (Hey You and Comatose State). Blast beats can be heard only on one track of this album and that is Where The Night and they are excellently executed, adding to the fierce atmosphere of the record. The bass is well mixed and Vladimir Pyzhenkov shows us that the stereotype of bad bassists is not that, well, stereotypical. Towards One Goal, Where The Night and the title track contain bass parts than are worthy of comparison to those of bass legends like Cliff Burton and Steve Harris. And, finally, we get to the vocals. Furious, at moments harsh, at others - high pitched, Vitaliy Kholopov delivers a great blend of both. Where The Night contains his best scream, while Give Me is a track that reaches death metal levels of harsh vocals.

Now, these four things wouldn't mean a thing if they didn't go well together, would they? The good news are - they do. And this is my point when it comes to composition. None of the insturments prevails, none of the musicians is lacking in performance. Everything is exactly how it should be for a thrash record, and even more - the fact that it is technical makes the whole thing even better. Everything is taken into account, even the intro, which is a synth track that introduces us to the album's atmosphere and further proves my point of expert instrumentation. Production-wise it is what one would expect from an early 90's thrash gem - not the cleanest production, but that just improves the album's sense of fury and darkness. The lyrics are also very typical, yet still well written. Aggression, social injustice, Towards One Goal even reffers to the fall of the Iron Curtain, as far as I understand.

In conclusion, I am saddened by the fact such an amazing record has remained buried in the depths of time. It is a masterpiece of aggression and technicality, the instrumentation is superb and the overall mood of the album is dark, furious, and menacing. Extravasation lacks a single bad moment, you are captivated by the whole experience and, in the end, you are left longing for more, only to realise this is Aspid's only release. I do hope that, with time, this album receives the attention it deserves.