Formed in Sacramento, CA around 1987, DISSIDENT AGGRESSOR got its start when Lloyd Powers (guitar), Chris Brown (bass), and Darren Minter (drums) from Hans Crypt joined forces with guitarist/vocalist Dale Roberts from XXX. The quartet parted ways with Brown and convinced former Hans Crypt rhythm guitarist Dennis Lindner to join on bass before recording a rough garage demo on a Tascam 8-track. This led to shows in the Bay Area with Heathen, who took Minter for themselves, so Darren was replaced by Paul Lujan, thus solidifying the core lineup for which DISSIDENT AGGRESSOR is now known.
The reinvigorated unit practiced five hours a day to hone their brand of “progressive aggressive speed metal,” and in early-1990 hit up Prairie Sun Recording Studios (Exodus, Forbidden, Lȧȧz Rockit, Mordred, Possessed, etc.) for three days to record a proper demo produced by Tesla’s Frank Hannon and engineered by Steve Fontano and Marc Reyburn. Another excellent demo followed in 1992—once more produced by Hannon—firmly rooted in crisp and crunchy, go-for-the-throat thrash with lyrical topics that tended toward socially conscious messages and meaning.
Having performed live alongside acts like Pantera, Armored Saint, Death Angel, Forbidden, and even T.S.O.L., DISSIDENT AGGRESSOR gained interest from Chrysalis Records and Warner Bros.—amongst others—and seemed poised for a sure-fire recording contract. Perhaps the result of over-ambitious management, somehow a deal was never secured, and the band called it quits in 1993 when juggling family, full-time jobs, and music became too much to handle.
But now, more than 25 years later, Divebomb Records is excited to finally present Death Beyond Darkness: a proper 16-song discography CD for the sorely overlooked and underrated Sacramento thrashers DISSIDENT AGGRESSOR! Completely remastered by Jamie King Audio, the disc will as always be packaged alongside a detailed booklet including a retrospective interview with the band. For the fans, by the fans!
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