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NO RETURN
NO RETURN
Machinery
(Kodiak Records)
47:20min

The more I listen to this album, the more I love it. NO RETURN previous effort ("Self Mutilation") marked a sort of resurrection, thanks to a revamped line-up perfectly balancing maturity and youthful rage to overcome. "Self Mutilation" was and still is a very strong album, but nothing really compared to "Machinery". This chrome-plated Thrash beast have obviously been crafted for a massive destructive effect that left me speechless the first time I was exposed to it. "Machinery" is the kind of album the once almighty SLAYER are unable to come up with today, that says a lot I think. NO RETURN have refined the formula they designed for "Self Mutilation" to the point of absolute perfection. This time, vocalist and lyricist Steve Petit penned a complete story not too far to what VOIVOD wrote with "Dimension Hatröss", and that made the use of samples (already experienced on "Self Mutilation") very natural and logical to illustrate his sci-fi concept. In fact, the sound effects integrated in all of the twelve tracks on offer here subtly ornate the music without interfering with the pure Thrash nucleus of the songs. The power radiated by NO RETURN on "Machinery" is beyond belief, and the album comes out as a very hostile and ominous one. Each of all band members graces us with a flawless performance emphasized by a crisp and biting production. With this release NO RETURN crush their Swedish counterparts to oblivion, and I can see only the magnificent DEW -SCENTED "Inwards" being able to compete with this monster of an effort. "Machinery" flows at breakneck speed, with the occasional frantic blast just to spice up the thing even more, yet NO RETURN managed to get contrast by using highly melodic passages that enhance the raging effect of the whole. "Machinery" could be right now considered as one the highlights of the still young year 2002, no doubt at all about that. A magnificent album by the new thrash overlords. Essential...

Edouard Vergriete

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