Friday, February 5, 2016

MASTER - An Epiphany of Hate

Ear-Splitting Grit: Master - An Epiphany Of Hate, review by Akerblogger
Master - An Epiphany of Hate
Master are prolific and consistent. Originally based out of Chicago, vocalist and bassist Paul Speckmann relocated Master to the Czech Republic where they channeled their aggressive anti-establishment driven sound towards the USA from the Balkan state. Master's first and second albums - Master (1990) and And On The Seventh Day God Created...Master (1991) - are underground gems: intense death-thrash with the odd quirk and melodic touch. Part Motorhead, part Autopsy. An Epiphany Of Hate is the 13th full-length release in Master's consistent speed machine and it's an example of a band who know their instruments and the weight and power of their music like the back of their gnarled, old-school hands.
An Epiphany of Hate is frantic throughout. Ear-splitting and intense, it's got a reasonably clean and full sound but it's never sterile; the hazy chaos and natural anger still filters through. There is a melodic touch and a thrash-like playfulness throughout: songs pick up pace and groove with a gravel-like consistency as dual-guitars soar and squeal and riffs progress and the drums weigh in like frenetic jackhammers.
There is certainly remains a violent death-metal edge to the music, however. Speckmann's vocals are particularly malicious, grunting like a rabies infested dog-zombie from one song to the next. In 'Friction Soon Becomes Reality' he spits and froths with an incessant dread that can't be stopped. The vocals in 'An Epiphany Of Hate' morph into something out of a Cronenberg movie: pig-like snorts and inhaled rumblings merge with a hardcore-punk forthrightness. Speckmann is a great vocalist; there still remains a legible human quality to them and, similarly to Autopsy and Obituary, a real sense of emotional vulnerability that a lot of contemporary death-metal, on the whole, seems to lack.
There are a lot of memorable moments on this album: 'Face Your Fear' quite literally breaks down towards the end with guitar strings warping and wobbling as the song is tasered to a stop; 'It's Clearly Eden' breaks in to Morbid Saint and Demolition Hammer fury with catchy lyrics and a solid groove and the album closer 'Red Alert' journeys from a traditional mid-paced sound to a frantic thrash extravagance as dirty solo leading on to dirtier solo in a grittier Megadeth-esque fashion.
An Epiphany of Hate is 44-minutes of extremely well-crafted death-metal. The album is littered with memorable moments. Speckmann has an knack for songwriting and an ear for melody that many more 'traditional' death metal bands seem to lack. It has the intensity of death-metal, the aggressive political stance of hardcore-punk and the playfulness of speed/NWOBHM. A very enjoyable album.
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