Aggravator - Populace Destructor (Mulligore Production)

If you’re in the need for some old-school styled thrash with shredding solos, solid drum fills and a clean production, I’ve probably got just what you need here.
Release Date: 
15 May 2014 (All day)

Aggravator hail from the productive metal scene of San Antonio, Texas and together deliver a good debut full-length full of short punchy tracks with an infectious thrashy groove inviting the mosh pit to fill with denim patched jackets. Frontman Derek Jones brings rasped vocals with a fatalistic leaning, bringing a bit of dirt to the good clean guitar work and grooving bass lines. 

At first I was hesitant, but Populace Destructor develops into a good quality listen once you let your long-haired, fist-pumping, patch jacket wearing, thrash loving self out of the closet. Throughout the album, the guitar solos make use of tremolo picking, harmonics, some hammer trills and a little appropriate whammy abuse, rounding out some rather addictive riffs and tempo changes. I sure hope these guys play as tightly live, as so many of the great moments of this album weigh on those pivotal moments of unison.

Rolling in over a tom fill, Born in Uniform links thrashing riffs and harmonic solos with a sweet underpinning bass groove. Bassist Tristan Hernandez seems determined not to be buried under the fancy fretwork of the guitars, delivering several solid grooves throughout the album. First heard on the 2012 demo by the same name, Born in Uniform opens Populace Destroyer with some tempting dynamics and a nice in your face aggression to start the mosh pit up. 

Another reworked demo song, Fleshwork drops back in pace dragging your feet to tapping along with it’s good steady swinging groove. However it’s not yet time to rest, as Social Unrest slams in back at high thrashing tempo with a chorus just begging to be yelled back at the band. The laidback solo bass which is Aestus Mortis is not what you’d expect on most thrash albums, but provides the listener a chance to breathe before the album thuds stoically into Fatalist; which is a steady to slow paced track with a nice bass groove tying everything together. 

The title track Populace Destroyer rolls in with a great drum fill, joined by the bass then guitar, stopping and lifting the song from rocking to full out mad thrash. The flying solo complements the tempo changes with riffs that build up, drop you then slam back in without much mercy. Industrial Conflicts provides some great catch moments to break your step. 

Having gathered some momentum now, Populace Destroyer wastes no time in diving into Unparalleled Cruelty, which leads into the first riff change with a solo. The vocals don’t crash in until after another tempo change almost halfway through the track. Isolated Despair has a great opening riff, catching your head with it’s mid to slow paced groove. Frozen Atrocities lifts the pace at the end of the album, with a nice start-stop groove to fill out Populace Destroyer and draw it closed to a satisfying final thud.