It’s been over two decades since the band’s first release, and they’ve just got their eighth album published by Great Dane Records. The band’s age automatically made me expect dirty thrash, but of course that’s not the case. “Inner Madness” strays further from the genre than I’d imagined, however: the drummer often falls back on the default thrash boom-tish-boom-tish rhythms, but add in the rest of the mix, and suddenly we’re in melodic country.Nothing wrong with that, of course. Apart from some proper thrashing in the third song, the album opens with older In Flames/Dark Tranquillity styled riffs: very jumpy, up-tempo and contagious. Together with the somewhat gritty sound, the fast-paced songs feel almost like textbook examples. The band has even risked a seven-minute instrumental with heavy Death influences – though musically not perfect, the virtuoso leads and overall arrangements attain a quite decent level, certainly.I applaud No Return for bringing us a disc full of highly varied material – from thrashing with a minor feel, to almost metalcorish progressions (“Death Scars”). Punchy production, dulcet tunes, energetic compositions: I think that’s enough to convince one or two metalheads.
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