No Return - _Self Mutilation_
(Listenable, 2001)
by: Matthias Noll (7 out of 10)
Post Bay Area, innovation-free but enthusiastically delivered, brutal thrash metal is what No Return from France play on _Self Mutilation_. Think _Beneath the Remains_ without uber-songs like "Inner Self", Demolition Hammer's _Epidemic of Violence_ onslaught or Channel Zero's self-titled debut (both highly recommended) and you're on the right track. The Sepultura comparison is especially valid because of the vocals, which have much in common with Max Cavalera on _BtR_ and _Arise_, even though they are a bit more monotonous. I always had a weak spot for Bay Area thrash metal riffing, and _Self Mutilation_ surprisingly often manages to transfer the good old days when Exodus reigned supreme into a modern day context. Around the retro backbone, things got beefed up by a decent, modern sounding production with triggered drums, a couple of death metal elements and the up-to-date speed and aggression with which the songs get delivered. Although the addition of samples and rhythmic synthesizers on a couple of tracks sounds somewhat out of place and without proper embedding into the overall sound of _Self Mutilation_, this is a very enjoyable record which gives me more pleasure for money than a lot of other stuff I've heard recently.

(article published 12/8/2001)

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