Based in Spain, influenced by the Bay Area scene of old, and sporting a lead vocalist* who went to the Joey Belladonna School For (Power) Metal Vocalists(!), speed/thrash metal band Agresiva gets a updated take on their 2012 debut courtesy of Minotauro Records. This new & improved version adds two demo cuts ("The End Of The Game" and "Sent To War") to the previously-released (limited edition) digpak**. With a booklet full of song lyrics and colorful photos, 2016's version of "Eternal Foe" was certainly called for, politically-charged/socially-conscious thrash metal a sure-fire hit no matter the year of it's (original) release! Outside of the (ever so brief) intro piece, "Nocturnia", "Pale Horse (Red D'eath)" and everything that follows gets high marks in my book. It is possible that some of this album rides extremely close to our good friends in Anthrax, but given how damn cool the whole lot is I find it really hard to complain about a thing like that. Especially when you stop to consider how much shit the New York band in question has given us over the years! And no, I'm not just talking about some of the group's more money grabbing moments!! When it comes to this five-piece band and their inspired debut, Agresiva's song lyrics have depth behind them. There's legitimate concern in a number like "Hell Town" and (nine times out of ten) that kind of raw emotion turns good thrash into something special. All of which leads me down the path towards my ultimate verdict. With a second spin turning my stereo speakers into a powerful rally of sorts and with the understanding that I am talking about this near-perfect re-release from Minotauro Records, "Eternal Foe" makes for a great addition to both my (recommended) thrash metal list of 2017 and personal collection!
*It's no knock against him, but Samuel Gª San José sounds like he's in the wrong band. Like Belladonna before him, Samuel is a good thrash metal vocalist who is hopelessly trapped in the body of a great heavy/power metal singer. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't...
*The limited edition digipak came with a bonus version of the track "Hell Town". It features guest vocals from Óscar Sancho (lead singer of the long-running hard rock/heavy metal band Lujuria). Even though the bonus version is a Spanish take, "Hell Town" never loses it's message...or it's edge.