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Review of the Album Sterile Existence by American Thrash Metal Band Aggravator

Updated on April 29, 2020
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

This photo symbolizes the fact that the album Sterile Existence is a decent album. Good start for the band Aggravator.
This photo symbolizes the fact that the album Sterile Existence is a decent album. Good start for the band Aggravator. | Source

A Little Bit About the Band Aggravator

Aggravator is a band the most fans of the thrash metal genre probably are not aware of and even I didn't hear about these guys until maybe two weeks ago. Aggravator was formed in San Antonio, Texas back in 2008 and their second studio album called Sterile Existence was released in 2016. At first this album is tough to catch onto and appreciate because of the low growls of the vocalist and hearing these vocals often enough should remind metal fans of the vocalist Jeff Walker of the band Carcass. The style of this album and the band is a mix of Kreator, Slayer, and a touch of the band Carcass because of the vocals.

The Best Song In This Album Sterile Existence Is

This album starts off with a song called Decapiters Temple which starts out softly and then all of a sudden, the thrash metal begins and here is a song that is sure to let you know that these guys are all about playing with speed and aggression but isn't that what thrash metal really is about? It was like that in the early days before thrash metal became more melodic with bands such as Kreator. The lyrics and some of the song titles are similar to death metal band Cannibal Corpse and I know that some of you may dread the thought of listening to such lyrical content. However, the music is good enough and not too evil sounding so most of you should be able to handle this album. Anyway, this first song is like vintage Slayer as they were back in 1986. I think that we can tell that this song starts with the same type of riffing that we heard in the classic song Angel of Death.

Further Perspective About the Band Aggravator As It Relates to the American Metal Scene

As usual, it is not that I think American metal has declined but it has changed since the early 1980s and the thrash metal movement that began. Nowadays, there is an emphasis on using lower growls in some of the thrash metal bands and there is also a rebirth in crossover thrash as well. At this point, it becomes kind of redundant to keep on making these references to American band Slayer but they have influenced so many bands including the one we are writing about now. “Abhorrent Point of View” sounds like the song Ghosts of War which was written back in 1988. The beginning riff really does sound like that song.

"Decapiters Temple"

Final Thoughts About the Album Sterile Existence

Other than the Slayer influenced riffs and sometimes questionable song titles, San Antonio's Aggravator doesn't really offer thrash metal that is unique, groundbreaking or something really spectacular but it is decent enough to not drive you crazy or make you think that this is boring music. There has to be more musical variety on this release for it to have gotten a better score but the less than stellar or lack of lyrical variety combined with the same style of riffing through the album can make it sound not inspiring enough. The strongest songs in the album Sterile Existence are the first three. For the Texas thrash metal scene, Aggravator is a decent addition but they have to be able to include more instances of creative riffing in their songs.

After two listens to this album all the way through, Sterile Existence gets 75 out of 100 points for a C grade.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian


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