New cover art by Velio Josto, Mastered for vinyl by Patrick W. Engel at TEMPLE OF DISHARMONY in December 2020.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of a not so obvious new-time classic, High Roller Records are going to release Slaves´ “Insolent Aggression” for the first time ever officially on CD and vinyl. The Italians´ only album was slightly ahead of its time at the turn of the millennium, given the subsequent rise of blackened thrash, and as it happens, its appeal stays undeniable even today.
With a logo and sonic outlook that left no room for ambiguities, the four-piece was obviously paying tribute to certain Californian pioneers yet brought along the songwriting chops necessary for such endeavours.
“Honestly, strange as it may seem, emulating Slayer wasn´t our intention, at least not our main one,” bass player and singer Dan Montironi stresses. “I mean, you have to set your mind back to 1998, 1999… Those years were the dawn of digital mass recording, and everybody seemed to blindly jump into that direction while we wanted to demonstrate that analogue was still a valuable thing. Also, power metal with plenty of dragons and elves set a trend, especially in Italy, so as we always liked to go against the grain, we just did something different.”
And go – or rather run – against the grain Slaves did: Fast-paced fare such as earworm ´Evil Cannot Die´, the boisterous title track or the baleful´Blood on the Sword´ may come across like prototypical compositions by Hanneman and King yet are hitting home thanks to the players´ youthful exuberance and nonchalance, not to forget an astounding feeling for breakneck solos that in fact sound like short tunes within the songs themselves!
“The album never received the attention it deserved,” concludes Dan. “It always remained an underground cult thing, but the opportunity getting it out with a proper label pushes it to a higher level, and even after 20 years it was a spin we couldn´t miss out on. Because it was never properly published, it is an undead record so to say , and this eventually gave us the chance to really bring it to life.”
Some of songs were to be refurbished for the debut full-length of a group named Insane – but let us save this story for another re-issue coinciding with “Insolent Aggression” …