No Return still stands.
Since 1989 (or 1984 under the name Evil Power), the band founded by guitarist Alain « Al1 » Clément has been raging on the French scene. In 2022, the band announces the release of Requiem, its eleventh album, accompanied by Steeve ‘Zuul’ Petit (vocals, Enmity, Zuul Fx), who just came back, but also David Barbosa (bass), Joël Barbosa (drums) and Geoffroy Lebon (guitar, Wrath of the Nebula).
The band starts their album with The Only One, a catchy first track which lets the melodious side of Death/Thrash quickly meet aggressiveness, screams of rage as well as some softer parts and Old School leads, followed by Killing Machines and its efficient groove which cohabits with the jerky rhythmic. Raw riffs are interspersed with heady and sharp melodies to create a massive and contrasted mix before Affliction strikes us with a dark rhythmic pattern, punctuated with Heavy Metal influenced leads. The numerous vocal interventions give this track a rather modern aggressiveness, letting some more Prog parts bring the band back to its older influences before No Apologies, the shortest track, places its energetic blast under fast and aggressive riffs. The track is one of the most straightforward the band has created, although some more airy leads are heard, letting Nobody Cares About You present melancholic tones under these fast and jerky riffs’ obvious aggressiveness. Vocals will bring the break its massive side, while Unscarred will focus on the jerky and efficient aspect of its rhythmic which would almost draw from Grindcore. Energetic patterns guide us to Survival Instinct, a track guided as much by the leads as by a powerful vocal performance, then Lies will offer us a moment of respite with its introductory sample before energy resurfaces to feed some Old School riffs. The break is particularly heavy, as well as the introduction of The Podium Of Truths which picks in Groove Metal before letting dissonance speak for very oppressive parts announcing leads, followed by more modern influences. The album ends with The Black Wolfs Kingdom which lets the band explore softer and more violent territories at the same time, without denying their roots, making this long track one of the most interesting.
No Return is one of the most iconic French bands. And despite their lifespan, the band has always been able to integrate different influences to their Old School music, making Requiem a rather diverse album you can’t get enough of.