Master: Collection of Souls 8p
MASTER, once an American band, long since relocated to the Czech Republic, was enormously influential to the development of the death metal scene already in the late eighties. Neither their album debut in 1990 nor the follow up “On the Seventh Day God Created…Master” did anything to change that. Members came and went around bassist/vocalist/legend Paul Speckmann. This their third outing is not quite as well-known as its predecessors. Most famed in the lineup, apart from Paul, was drummer Aaron Nickeas (ABOMINATION). Others in the band were guitarists Jeff Kobie and Brian Brady.
Paul´s voice is emmediately recognized. The sound is very much 1993, and in opener “Constant Reminders” very much thrash the Speckmann way. It is less extreme the two previous albums, perhaps better produced and influenced by the ruling trends? Nevertheless the album feels like proof that MASTER is Paul Speckmann, no matter who the other musicians are. BLACK SABBATH are never far away either, only the speed differs at times. “Hidden Stories” is more in the vein of the old MASTER, slower, more muffled vocals and shorter lyrics. The pace of the track changes and it feels as if the band was in the middle of a good development. The press gets a good slating in the rifferama of “Glorify the Dead”. The overall sound picture is more spacey than before, check out “Blinded faith” for proof. Paul allows his bass to bloom and Aaron sure was familiar with double bass drums. Together they make the most of a song like “Justice or Fate”. Paul also pays tribute to his old hero Phil Lynott with a cover of “Jailbreak”. The song really comes to life but at the same time the drumming goes over the top and the vocals have been copyrighted ever since the original was released. The title track is a strong favorite on an album that needs to be discovered. Bonuses in the shape of the “Final Word” demo from 1995 and the split 7” EP with EXCISION, “Cast the First Stone”, from 1996. The songs are ok, only less produced. The vocals off the EP are less entertaining if you ask me, but MASTER really remained faithful to their sound. The collector gets his here, and I recommend this album over MASTER`S second album.
Constant Reminders Taste of Insanity Hidden Stories Glorify the Dead Blinded Faith Justice or Fate Jailbreak (THIN LIZZY cover) Collection of Souls Silver Spoon
“Final Word” demo
Where Are You Now? Final Word Prepare for the Fall
“Cast the First Stone” EP Cast the First Stone Fatso Antidote