Master – The New Elite

Master
The New Elite
Released July 5th, 2012
Death Metal
Released via Pulverised Records

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Any other band releasing an album under the title of “The New Elite” might come off as being a little silly, but if any band deserves such a title, it is Chicago veterans Master. After all, this is a band who named their sophomore effort “On The Seventh Day God Created…Master” back in 1991 and got away with it – rightfully so: it is now a genre classic. This is a band that to this day retains their technical flair that sets them above the rest. However that is not to say that this album is fully what can be described as “Technical Death Metal” – there are no unnaturally complex riffs or flamboyantly difficult solos here (well – maybe a little), but for the most part this is pleasingly no-nonsense Death-Thrash without too much intricacy. Indeed, this album is as much a solid Thrash Album as it is a Death Metal one, with a few typically twisted Death Metal riffs thrown into a whirlwind mix of Thrash played at a blistering pace with Death Metal vocals and a dark guitar tone along with some impressive soloing. Its fast, it’s brutal, the production is heavy; everything is in order to make this a very competent release. Whilst not as…”Masterful” (sorry) as their classic albums, this is an album filled with tenacity and I sense that the band is really enjoying themselves here. The bass rumbles along under shredding guitar work, whilst the drums carry the rhythm of the song along in classic early Death Metal style. The production is modern but the music is only half so; which is a good thing – if like me you have a penchant for Death Metal that still shreds and rips in the old way. Paul Speckmann has taken this band through thick and thin, and fortunately is firmly in control with this album, as ever. The New Elite? Perhaps “The Old Elite” would be more pertinent title here. I’m tempted to say this is a return to form, but in truth it is more a raising of the bar for a band that has always been more or less on form. If you like your Death Metal played at a reckless pace in the style of the genre’s early beginnings; that pays homage to the Death/Thrash Possessed and Slayer influenced sound (and even early Master themselves), then look no further – this is probably the best example of such a release this year.

3.5/5

Paul Gibbins

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