Released: 1987, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
(Forgotten Gem Review)
As everyone is aware, the 80s was the golden time for a blooming speed/thrash metal scene of which many of us still have some great memories of – at least most of us so-called ´old-timers´. When the speed/thrash boom reached its peak by the end of that particular decade in question, many of these speed/thrash bands also got rightfully signed by record companies, and many of them also got some albums released back then.
But unfortunately not every band got the same opportunity to obtain a record contract for themselves – no matter how talented or advanced sounding they were at doing their thing. Many of these bands remained unsigned ´til they broke up for good. One of these dozens of unsigned yet absolutely underrated thrash/crossover bands were definitely Caligula, hailing from Howard Beach, N.Y. that released 3 demos during their career before they split up in 1988.
Anyway, it was Caligula´s 2nd demo, titled TECHNICAL AGGRESSION, that was critically a highly acclaimed demo from the band – receiving many excellent reviews from many metal-orientated publications back in those days. Too bad, despite all these magnificent reviews they received, their path was pretty much doomed to lead nowhere. It was even justified to say the world wasn´t that equal really to every talented thrash army at that time.
TECHNICAL AGGRESSION – containg 5 heavy, ear-nailing thrash metal songs from these N.Y.-based thrashers Caligula, was honestly one of the best thrash demos I managed to become familiar with during the hottest boom of tape trading. To describe the demo with a few thoughts, in my opinion Caligula mixed the heaviness of Dark Angel – and with the technicality and sort of crossover feeling of Num Skull and DxRxIx, I would say. John (Scherer) on vocals, sounds quite much like Don Doty of Dark Angel, the riffs of Chris (Deleo) are huge and heavy sounding – basically coming from the same riff factory where Eric Meyer´s and Brett Eriksen´s riffs were invented, that made Dark Angel´s sound so immensely heavy and crushing when they were still around, and pounding ruthlessly our ear drums the best they could – not mention in the same breath that Chris´ leads are also exceptionally tastefully executed on this particular demo in question.
With only one guitar, Chris manages to do the trick on this demo – and when Robert´s (Garbarino) technical and clearly audible bass lines give a really supportive backfire for Chris´ kick-ass shredding, the combination of these two turns out to be pretty damn pleasing, I must say. Ed (Klinger) behind his drum set, does his job well, too, simply proving to be a real pro fellow to keep Caligula´s train running at high speeds most of the time.
TECHNICAL AGGRESSION is a topnotch and highly enjoyable demo in every single aspect of it, and certainly one of the best thrash demos of all times in my books. Do yourself a favor and go to Caligula´s official Myspace site to make yourself convinced about the brilliant quality of it. I believe after you have spun the demo through ´til your stereo has been overheated enough and finally exploded because of it, you will undoubtedly subscribe the concrete-hard statement without any hesitations that thrash was surely done way better back in the day.
´nuff said, Caligula rocks - big time!