Review of the Album "Medieval Rites" by French Heavy Metal Band "Agressor"
A Photo of the Front Album Cover for Medieval Rites
About the Band Agressor
French thrash and death metal band Agressor (that’s the way the band’s name is spelled) has been around since 1986. They should have spelled the band's name the traditional way but maybe they wanted to make themselves stand out and be different. These guys are one of the first French heavy metal bands I heard and I was immediately impressed! Just like Finland’s Celestial Sorrow is a forgotten heavy metal band, many heavy metal fans particularly in North America will not know about Agressor from Southern France. Their influences vary.
Medieval Rites Is a Solid Song With Various Musical Influences
The first song which is the title track called Medieval Rites is totally influenced by 1996 Theatre of Tragedy. The song begins with the sound of a thunderstorm and the rain drops begin to fall creating an interesting musical atmosphere. The guitars and vocals on this 1999 album are performed by Alex Colin-Tocquaine. His vocals could be described as a mixture between David Vincent and David Sanchez Gonzalez. I could also hear an Eldritch influence as the progressive guitar is included in this first song. There is a very good melodic interlude in this song along with female chanting.
The song has lyrics reminiscent of the Middle Ages as horsemen chase down a knight who is then captured and burned. This first song has a very catchy mid-section interlude. I personally enjoy this album over the album Neverending Destiny.
I hear a female chanting voice in here and the acoustic guitar we hear was eventually stylistically an influence for bands such as Eldritch.
The Sorcerer Is One of This Band's Best Songs Ever
However, The Sorcerer is the very first song that I heard from these guys and it is one of their best songs ever. The song is about what happens one night with the rising of the moon to full status. The sorcerer appears and he has much wisdom but he uses this knowledge to spread witchcraft. Agressor became the first French band to be signed to an international record label. They are signed to the label Season of Mist.
About the First Instrumental Song: The Woodguy VS. the Black Beast
There are three instrumental songs on this album, the first of which is called The Woodguy vs. The Black Beast. The song is a simple acoustic guitar kind of song but it shows that these guys want to have variety in their songs which is one of the qualities of an elite band. I see an influence of Blind Guardian as well in this song. If you are able to notice that this influence goes back to Tales from the Twilight World, you have a great ear for musical notations and knowledge.
"The Woodguy vs. The Black Beast"
Medieval Rites Songs 6-9
The song called Wandering Soul has some weird sounds in the beginning that make the song sound like the third song in the album called Cybergore. The song is about someone that feels much despair and loneliness in his soul. This album however has a cover of the King Diamond song called Welcome Home which is lackluster and the album also suffers from a bit too much generic death metal riffing and growls.
How Is the Rest of the Album Medieval Rites?
Tye Melane-Melda is a song in this album that is very short describing someone that feels loneliness in his heart and that his heart bleeds. He feels lost and does not seem to care about it as he has lost his ability to love. The second instrumental song in this album is called On Dolinde and it sounds a bit like the folkloric kind of song with the slow, dance kind of beats. It is possible to dance in a group with this song and use slow to moderate footsteps. The song called God From the Sky is a song that kind of criticizes the rise of technology because this rise in the technology will change the way that humans live and some people are resistant to change. At Night is the third and last instrumental songs of this album and it follows pretty much the same style as the first two instrumental songs using acoustic guitar but it also has flute along with a few funny bouncing sounds plus the sound of running water in a river. In spite of the weaknesses mentioned, Medieval Rites is a solid album from this French band from Provence. The final score will be 81 points out of 100.
Rate the band Agressor's Album Medieval Rites
© 2017 Ara Vahanian