This is the third album from Algebra, a thrash metal band from Switzerland.
Having been impressed with 2014’s Feed the Ego, it’s been far too large of a gap between Algebra releases for my liking. Well, there’s almost an hour of material on Pulse?, including a fiery Sepultura cover, so I feel like the band have made up for their absence.
This is ripping, hostile thrash metal at its core, but one that also favours a progressive and, in places, technical approach. It’s old-school and flavoured by the 80s aggression of bands like Kreator, Dark Angel, Slayer, and Sepultura, to great effect. This new album finds the band marginally less aggressive than previously, however. Algebra seem to have taken some of their Metallica and Testament influences just that little bit further on this new release, resulting in more expansive songs that cover more ground. It’s not a full-on change, however, and the direct and heavy approach is still here and intact. After all, it’s not as if these aspects of Algebra’s sound weren’t present at all in the past; I suppose, essentially, what I’m saying is that on Pulse? the band’s songwriting has improved.
The music channels past eras well, while also having plenty to say in its own right. It’s great to hear this sort of well-thought-out thrash when it’s done so well. Algebra really know how to write storming thrash tunes. This is their best work yet. The technical side of the music occasionally reveals a Death influence, to my ears, which is ably incorporated into the band’s repertoire. The songs are loaded with blistering riffs and addictive guitars which power the songs along with an intensive energy that is as compelling as it is enjoyable. The band as a whole can certainly play, and the album makes the most of this.
Despite its length, Pulse? is a relatively diverse and dynamic listen, and the band’s songwriting skill definitely has the desired effect on the listener. The album holds your attention throughout, not just with the songwriting, but with infectious melodies, catchy riffs, and plethora of good ideas.
This is a classic thrash metal album played through a modern day perspective. Passionately delivered, Algebra have once again demonstrated why they’re one of the best thrash bands around.