Transgressive - Extreme Transgression review
|Release date:||March 2023|
01. Thirteen Twelve
02. Extreme Transgression
03. Built On Genocide
04. Assimilation Of Civilization
05. Landlord Liquifier
06. We Protect Us
07. Feet To The Fire
09. Unheard Voices
10. Bury Me In Rainbow Flags
11. Victims Of Conception
Warning: political thrash metal ahead!
Politics in music is somewhat of a contentious topic. I have talked about that before. But thrash metal, partly because of its shared lineage with punk rock, has always been prone to being political, and usually very anti-authoritarian. Whether that lead to the message leaning more left or more right, or being very ambiguously and sticking just to "government bad", that's still a long history of thrash metal being political. So Transgressive doesn't come just out of nowhere, but there is still something... transgressive about Transgressive, in that the politics are so upfront and unambiguous that it still feels shocking. I mean, somehow the concept of thrash metal about trans rights still takes a bit to swallow, but it does get easier to swallow when it's accompanied by some of the best thrash riffs you'll hear all year.
We've actually covered both of their EPs in our Clandestine Cuts series, so a debut full length was actually pretty anticipated around here. For those who didn't follow the series, Transgressive is the project of Alicia Cordisco, and who was a guitarist/vocalist in power metal band Judicator, and has also been making thrashy power as Project: Roenwolfe. The previous two EPs focused a lot more on reproductive rights, since that was the biggest topic at the time. Now, more and more and more and more and more it becomes clear why Alicia would focus a bit more on the political attacks on her and others' trans identity.
That's not the entirety of what Extreme Transgression is about, in fact most of Extreme Transgression is not about trans rights but anti-authoritarian in general, with a very vey clear leftist take on it. And generally, even if its heart is in the right place, an album with such a clear political focus can lean too much on that and make you feel like you're supposed to like it simply because you agree with its politics. Extreme Transgression is still essentially a thrash metal album that can easily be listened to while completely ignoring the lyrical side of it, even if the vocals, raspy as they are, are still very much comprehensible all of the time. Structurally, the album doesn't differ much from thrash metal in a way that would emphasize its lyrical content at the expense of its musical impact. So folks with aversion to leftist politics can rest assured that they'll still get a lot of enjoyment from listening to it. If we had to listen to Grand Belial's Key and Arghoslent because "but muh riffs", they can listen to Transgressive too.
There are a few nuances to the music itself that still separate it from the dime a dozen thrash metal. You still have some traces of the US power metal of Judicator, like in the very melodic solo of "Stonewall", while also there's plenty of melodeath influences, like the harsh vocals of "We Protect Us" courtesy of Soulmass' Lux Edwards, or "Bury Me in Rainbow Flags" having riffing that wouldn't feel out of place on an At The Gates record. The production makes the sound sharp and impactful, makes the anger in the vocals tangible, makes the riffs flow, and the bass gets plenty of moments to shine. The drums, though programmed, don't sound overtly so and never in a distracting way.
Politics aside, it's hard to imagine a more scorching thrash metal album would coming this year. I'm always looking to be proved wrong, but even as someone that has reached a saturation point with thrash metal, Extreme Transgression was extremely entertaining.
||Written on 19.03.2023 by|
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|A Real Mönkey
|A Real Mönkey
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