Prince Of Fire

Half time in tonight’s football and it’s looking like host nation France are easily going to do what England couldn’t do! So time to delve into something from Les Bleus.

There was a bit more choice with Europe’s third largest country, but for me it’s never been a country with a rich musical heritage – or bands that I’ve really liked.

Hailing from the Côte d’Azur Agressor were one of the countries first thrash / death metal bands, forming in the mid 1980’s. With their take on the early German style of thrash (think Kreator and Sodom) they were supposedly the first French band to sign to an international label.

I had a copy of debut release Neverending Destiny via my tape trading days. For some reason I never got into the record at the time or follow up effort Towards Beyond. I remember the album artwork of the debut more than the music.

They were long forgotten as a band to me until earlier this year when I noticed the name on the Hellfest line up. There have been several bands with the Agressor or Aggressor moniker over the years, so when I checked out which one this was I was more than surprised to see it was the French version who I first heard more than a quarter of a century ago. I was even more astounded to discover that they’ve got a back catalogue with five albums and a few EP’s and still going, even if it is only vocalist and guitarist Alex keeping the fire burning from back in the day.

Using modern technology I tracked down the debut album and gave it another go and on its “second chance” I was pleasantly surprised.

Going through the festival itinerary Agressor were one of the bands I highlighted as a must see. Unfortunately for me they took to the stage at 11:40am on the Sunday. Of course the bus had to run late on that morning, and obviously it was the only day we encountered traffic problems around the village of Clisson. And the queues to get in…. Needless to say I missed them.