Massacre hold a sacred place in annals of American and Floridian, death metal. The founding members are among the originators of this genre, more specifically in the bands Death and Obituary.
Massacre is one of those bands that just missed the heyday of death metal back in the late ’80s, somehow. Their 1991 debut full-length album, From Beyond, is a lesson in brutality, and there is no mistaking the riffs of Rick Rozz and the rhythm of Terry Butler. Although they released a second album in 1996, Promise, it was not up to the standards set before them. Fast forward to 2014, and they return with Back From Beyond, which boasts new vocalist Ed Webb, who replaces Kam Lee. While Lee is a pioneer in the death metal growl, Ed does a good job of filling his shoes.
Like the comeback of other legendary bands like Carcass, Massacre are poised to reign in brutality like the golden days! “The Ancient Ones” opens up with a dismal thunderstorm that is straight from hell. “As We Wait To Die” is old school death metal the way it is supposed to be. Although the simple riffs offer nothing new to the genre, they have the feeling of familiarity, like meeting an old friend at the bar and having a shot of Jack. What shines on this entire album is the production and mix. So often the bass gets buried, but not here! Butler’s sound is killer. “Ascension of the Deceased” is faster and thrashier, with a heavy chorus. “Succumb To Rapture” is a straight-for-the-jugular, blistering song. But it is “Shield of the Sun” that is the highlight of the album. Webb’s vocals here are just brutal.
The simplicity of the riffs on this album lends to it’s grace. Although it blend together a bit, the true feel is there. For the younger crowd who haven’t graced their ears with Death’s Leprosy or Obituary’s Slowly We Rot, Massacre will sound very similar to Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under, Jungle Rot and Deicide. It is great company to be in!
Back From Beyond is out 4/1 on Century Media Records.
Rating: 4/5 stars