Mais non, faites pas votre Sandman, je ne vais pas vous parler de la bande son du dernier Call of Duty ! Non, là je vais vous parler d'un grand groupe plein d'avenir qui... attendez, je me trompe de chronique en fait. Ah merde, c'est de POLLUTION dont on parle aujourd'hui !
Reprenons je vous prie, parce qu'un groupe Serbe de Thrash old school, on y avait déjà eu droit, mais qui en plus à l'air pas mal à fond dans le trip écolo, c'est plutôt inédit. Malheureusement pour eux, et nous, contrairement à TOXIC TRACE (punaise mais c'est la mode là-bas les noms de groupes sur le sujet ?) POLLUTION n'est pas à classer dans le haut du panier de toutes les sorties dont nous inonde EBM Records (le fameux tsunami abordé dans la chro de leurs compatriotes) et comme il faut malheureusement choisir devant tant de propositions, nos amis du jour risquent fort de passer à la trappe. C'est bien dommage d'ailleurs parce que leur bon vieux Thrash a un petit goût de "revenez-y" pas déplaisant du tout, à condition de passer outre la voix bien en deçà du reste selon mon humble avis. Les 11 titres sont efficaces, et s'ils ne provoqueront pas d'érection soudaine chez les vieux roublards, ils leur tireront quelques sourires de satisfaction avec ces rythmiques saccadées et ces cavalcades endiablées à la double.
Certes il n'y a aucune prise de risque, mais c'est correctement réalisé et produit pour intéresser les fans en véritable manque qui auraient déjà épuisé le catalogue pourtant bien fourni du label.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words - and just the quickest of peaks at the cover artwork for Pollution's full-length debut CD should tell you all you need to know about what they sound like. Gasmask wearing soldiers and vicious German thrash go together like fish and chips, and while Pollution are from a few hundred miles down the road in Serbia it's clear where they draw the biggest portion of their influences from.
Unlike their countrymen Toxic Trace, whose debut I reviewed last month, they come across less like an on-the-nose disciple of a particular band and more like connoisseurs of the general Teutonic vibe. While Toxic Trace's love of all things Kreator is brazenly apparent, Pollution manage to sound both imminently familiar and at the same time a little hard to pin down.
Vocalist Branko Zoric must have listened to a lot of Destruction records over the years, admittedly, as while he isn't quite a dead ringer for Schmier, his ragged, snotty voice is definitely cut from the same cloth. But while the similarity in frontman is there, musically the comparison would be pretty superficial as the Serbs pack a lot less into their songs, keeping things nice and simple with none of their songs being particularly complicated.
Not to say that's a bad thing though - a lot of modern thrash (from both new bands and re-established veterans) ends up being overwrought and stretched out, with overly-long songs and CDs missing much of the punch that gave the style its vital spark in the first place. Pollution neatly avert this with 10 songs (and a brief intro) that total less than 40 minutes. The closing track “Open the void” is the black sheep, more expansive and melodic than the rest and the only one by some distance to exceed the 5-minute mark - it works nicely as a closer that shows a different side of the band, but the meat of the CD is made of short, savage thrash tunes that make their mark in concise fashion.
Pollution have the ability to grab a couple of neat riffs and tie them together to make effectively aggressive thrashers that get to the point with little messing about. There isn't a lot to discover about ‘Modern warfare' that you won't pick up on the first listen – the opposite of a “grower”, the CD instead wins you over straight away with its uncomplicated arrangements and gritty determination. The stripped-down production style is in line with this less-is-more attitude too – the guitars have a razor-sharp tone and everything is clear and audible, allowing you to hear every instrument loud and clear without the overly crunchy, muddled sound that afflicts a lot of the thrash released on bigger labels these days.
It isn't the fastest or most technical thrash you'll ever hear, and it may lack the depth to encourage a great deal of repeat listens, but ‘Modern warfare' is a nice antacid to some of the more sterile CDs being released in the style at the moment. A back-to-basics approach is often the wake up call you need to remind you why you fell in love with a style of music in the first place, and it's obvious that Pollution love listening to old-school thrash metal as much as they love playing it .
I think that for at least the last two years I have treated at least one with the eighties-virus-infected thrash band every month. This month the Serbian Pollution is one of the patients and the quartet has it badly. These gentlemen are infected with the American version of the virus, which is common in especially the Bay Area.
But how can you know if you're dealing with the American version? Well, you are rhythmically disordered and in general beat forwards tightly in mid-tempo. The main reason for this effect is Testament. One of the other characteristics of the virus is playing on an air guitar spontaneously and feel your whole body shake with it. Once in a while you have an aggressive outburst and beat around mercilessly. Don't panic, because this is a totally natural reaction, caused by increased Slayer-cells in your blood. The from New York emerging version (which is as aggressive, contagious and vital) Nuclear Assault neutralises the speed a little bit and causes mood changes. Next to that your voice will become a bit sore, which is also known as the Exodus/Baloff syndrome. And finally you know that you are infected with the American virus, when you feel you cervical muscles become loose and spontaneously shake your head up and down.
Is the virus dangerous? No, absolutely not! Can it be cured? No, also not. However, the virus is highly contagious, but the chance that you might get it from Pollution is not of great worry. Although they do show all the effects of the virus for 38 minutes, you get used to them after about fifteen minutes and a few attacks aside, you get through the time quite easily. The chance that you get the Pollution-contamination is obviously present, but not as strong as other patients like Mantic Ritual, Suicidal Angels or Warbringer.
It seems that EBM Records is in the middle of something call Thrash is Back series. This is their 2nd release for that. It's in essence exactly what the title says it is, thrash bands. Every band released in it is a new revival band rehashing the 80s.
This band LOVES Exodus. The vocals at times are almost exact. The music, as with almost every single thrash rehash band out today, is nothing you haven't heard before. It's well played, but by the end of the album I'd just rather listen to the bands they're emulating.
That's my biggest problem with majority of these rehash bands, they seem to pick certain bands to be influenced by and they're all but blatant in ripping off their sounds. It's one thing to love the classic thrash sound of the 80s, but try taking influence from it and updating it a bit. All this sounds like is something average that was forgotten about in the 80s, but I'm sure that's exactly what they're going for; in that sense they're a success.