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NO RETURN
NO RETURN
Psychological Contamination
(Great Dane Records)
97:45min

One of the finest, yet probably underrated, French Metal exports in my opinion, has been this French act known as NO RETURN that has been around since 1984 (as EVIL POWER) but changed their name to the current moniker in 1989. NO RETURN's first 2 albums have also been more or less hard to find as they both were released on the small French label Semetary Records back in the day (they closed their doors many years ago). Gladly you don't have to worry about not finding them anymore for a decent price because Great Dane Records finally decided to release both them as this double disc set; remastered and with 3 additional bonus live tracks, recorded live in Paris in 2013. So, taking the band's first two album titles as playground, "Psychological Torment" and "Contamination Rises", you don't have to be the sharpest pencil in the box to see where the "Psychological Contamination" title came from, right? Diving into NO RETURN's music on this release, "Psychological Torment", the band's debut album, is a pretty awesome slab of energetic and well-crafted Thrash Metal, reminding me kinda much of some Bay Area Thrash and SEPULTURA's "Beneath The Remains" era basically. It's a mix of both of these aforementioned worlds really - simply listen to a song called 'Electro Mania' to approve my words how killer NO RETURN's debut was (and still is for that matter) when it was thrown out to us back in 1990, 23 long years ago. However, NO RETURN's follow-up album "Contamination Rises", which they got out on Semetary Records 2 years later, in 1992, really shaped up and refined the band's sound even more, clearly proving to be a step forward from the band in sense of getting better songwriters as well as becoming one of the most noteworthy Metal acts out of France back in those days."Contamination Rises" was a tad heavier, more brutal effort from NO RETURN - and it still stands the best album to date they have released, even up to this very day in my opinion. Take the heaviness of DARK ANGEL's "Darkness Descends" and MASSACRE's "From Beyond", and add them into the context of what they had already reached on "Psychological Torment" song wise, and you may have an idea how fuckin' tight, heavy and simply ass-wiping NO RETURN managed to make themselves to sound on "Contamination Rises". Vocalist Philippe Ordon had also radically changed his vocal approach on this record, obtaining a very similar vocal style to Kam Lee's (ex - MASSACRE). At times his vocal grunts on "Contamination Rises" are exactly like Kam's, when one cannot tell whether it's really Philippe who bellowed his grunts out for this record or was it Kam after all, being NO RETURN's so-called 'hired gun' on this particular recording. "Contamination Rises" represents Death / Thrash Metal at its best, in which all the pieces have fallen into the right places. There's nothing on "Contamination Rises" that they should have done differently; the album's just perfect the way it is, truly speaking of NO RETURN's all great potential they had while they got this recorded. It's kinda sad they adopted a whole different - more modern and melodic musical style on their further releases, but that's a whole different story right there. Nonetheless, if your collection still lacks of "Contamination Rises" - and whatnot, "Psychological Torment" as well, here's your ultimate chance to grab them at one strike. Just's make sure you don't miss your chance this time. NO RETURN can be found at: www.facebook.com/no.return.thrash, label: www.facebook.com/great.dane.recs

Luxi Lahtinen

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