The Full Treatment

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With a complete album of horror flick-inspired thrash metal already in the can (1986's aptly named Forgotten Skeleton -- there to stay for 20 years, as it turned out), Québécois thrash metal band Aggression made fast work of recording a second -- 1987's The Full Treatment -- which did get released on time. And a good time it was, too, since its nine frenetic offerings combined into what has got to be one of the most intense and unrelenting LPs of the classic thrash era; not exactly groundbreaking, not at all refined, but certainly very intense and very unrelenting. In fact, Aggression's vast (ahem!) compositional range from fast, faster, to fastest begins with the storming opening tandem of "Forsaken Survival" and "Frozen Aggressor," and almost never lets up until the comparatively lethargic conclusion provided by "The Final Massacre" -- which, incidentally, is one of the best tracks all around. Intermediary attempts like "Dripping Flesh," "By the Reaping Hook," and "Demolition" lack for songwriting variety and imagination, but at least the quintet's top-notch musicianship is never in question, or else pulling off these songs would be impossible. And Aggression do have that rarest of heavy metal commodities: a sense of humor (see the ridiculous but entertaining "Green Goblin") -- to go with the endearing touch of frontman Éric Langlois' sounding like he's singing in French, even when lyrics are clearly in English. In conclusion, it's entirely evident why Aggression's furious brand of thrash never had a commercial hope in hell, but remains a popular conversation piece among extreme metal anthropologists.

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