Released: 2001, Listenable Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Listenable Records from France has always had very sharp and cultivated ears for new talents if you ask me. They have put out such true underground´s jewels as Fallenm Christ ABDUCTION RITUAL, Luciferion DEMONICATION (THE MANIFEST), Destructor MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION and many other truly cult releases that have provided them a good reputation in the metal scene within the passing last decade or so. And with the release of French No Return´s 5th album, SELF MUTILATION, they are only strenghtening their position as a label worth keeping an eye for.
No Return can be considered as some sort of the pioneers of the French Thrash/Death Metal scene as the band was formed in 1989 already (that´s a big... WOW!) - and with the previous 4 albums (that are in a chronological order: PSYCHOLOGICAL TORMENT, CONTAMINATION RISES, SEASONS OF SOUL and a mini-CD called RED EMBERS) the fellows of No Return have gained a huge following especially in their own country - not to mention they have already opened for such great names as Sacred Reich, Coroner, Exhorder, Sepultura, Motörhead and so on.
All this experience really shines throughout on their new album. You could imagine a whirlwind of furious yet ripping Slayer-esque riffs spiced with Max Cavalera´s earlier death grunts - mixed with some industrial/experimental elements of Fear Factory and there you pretty much have No Return with its all thrashing shape. They sound like a band that has kept on pushing themselves towards a catchier and more extreme direction all the time - without loosing none of its important and vital aspects for having this aggressive and intense sound.
The songs on "Self Mutilation" are really punishing shit one song after another song; "Truth and Reality", "Lost", a frantic Slayer-esque "Sadistic Desire", "The True Way (more that frantic Slayer riffing here - KILLER!!)", a bit Forbidden inspired "Individual Deal" and a true skullcrusher, "One Life" are probably the BEST stuff you´ve heard for years from this promised land of football and beautiful women. They surely are one of the most well-kept secrets for most of us metalheads, me included - as this album was absolutely the 1st one I got to hear from No Return. Now I feel like I should try to hunt down all their earlier albums, too (could someone help me?).
Just get into their raging Thrash extravaganza... All of you! No Return mutilates YOU to pieces!!