Review by Luka on August 21, 2002.
Here we go again, another excellent European metal band deserving much praise and attention but gaining little. Hailing from the metal-wasteland of France, No Return are an experienced six-piece with just as many albums under their belt. Their latest opus titled "Machinery" is my first impression of the band and I must say it is a fine piece of well-tempered, modern thrash. Think of Darkane or Soilwork with a stronger infusion of death metal and less of the mundane melodic stuff. With more and more metal bands turning soft, it’s thrashers like this that we may eventually have turn to for real, untainted metal.
"Machinery" is a good title for this album. When No Return play, the music seems to run like some rusty factory mechanism, much in the vein contemporary black metal artists like Satyricon and Thorns are starting to play with. That lifeless and "mechanic" sound is quickly becoming one of my favorite trends in metal, and accented with synthetic effects, No Return even add an evil, cold ambiance to their songs, often sounding futuristic. Suffice to say the style of this band was right up my alley. The guitars are raw as sandpaper, shredding out fast and precise riffs, sounding almost as emotionless as the powerful vocal bellow of Steve "Zuul".
Overall the album doesn’t seem to pulse with a whole lot of energy, but the speed is definitely there. The closest band I can compare these guys to is the little-known American thrash experts Ebony Tears, but compared to a band of such magnitude No Return would seem more like a tranquilized version. As for standout tracks, my picks are the futuristic-sounding 'Synthetic' the warmer and slightly melodic 'Disillusion', and the absolute thrash powerhouse 'Resurrection'. Definitely a band with many faces, this is an album any metal can safely pick up and delight in.
Bottom Line: A well-conceived, well-executed metal machine from hell. Amazing modern thrash album!
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 9.1 out of 10