Rating:
8.0
Massacre - Back From Beyond
24 March 2014


01. As We Wait To Die
02. Ascension Of The Deceased
03. Hunter's Blood
04. Darkness Fell
05. False Revelation
06. Succumb To Rapture
07. Remnants Of Hatred
08. Shield Of The Son
09. The Evil Within
10. Sands Of Time
11. Beast Of Vengeance
12. Back From Beyond
13. Honor The Fallen


Massacre should require no introduction. Helmed anew by veterans Rick Rozz and Terry Butler, joined by a new rhythm section, Massacre have returned from beyond the grave to offer up another dose of good, old-fashioned Florida-style death metal.

After their overpowering debut From Beyond cemented them in a position of death metal authority, Massacre petered out into the frosty grimness of Tampa, Florida and disappeared. The Death-spawned quartet dissolved prematurely, but left behind a testament to the power of the Florida scene. Back From Beyond picks up basically where they left off two decades ago. Evidently Massacre, like the rest of us, have decided to forget that Promise exists, as one look at the title of this new release confirms. Back From Beyond endeavors to be both the spiritual successor to From Beyond and a triumphant return to form for Massacre. Truly the album is just that, though this comes with good news and bad news attached.

The good news (at least, if you like Massacre) is that they really haven't changed all that much. This is straightforward and exoteric; take three-to-four minutes of mid-to-fast-paced death metal riffing, double bass, and mid-ranged growls and repeat a dozen times. Modern production techniques have coaxed something heavier out of this formula, but underneath the shiny sheen it is a late-'80s death metal band playing late-'80s death metal songs. Rick Rozz tears through those riffs with his distortion set at "crunching bones into a fine paste."

The bad news is that this approach has been done so many times now. And, of course, Massacre were one of the first bands to use it, so no one should question their ability to take it once again; but after so many years of so many bands copying this style, even a great titan of yesteryear sounds pretty standard. These days this sound is no longer special. I'm not saying there's no place in this young man's world for some old blood, especially not when I know for a fact that Terry Butler could beat me up with one hand tied behind his back. I trust a grizzled badass like Rick Rozz to know what he's doing when it comes to death metal. But in an era when you can add "progressive," "technical," "melodic," or 15 other words to the name of your death-based genre, this tried-and-true, black-and-blue, we-were-doing-this-when-Cattle Decapitation-were-in-short-pants brand of death metal doesn't seem to hold the same sway as it once did.

The pros and cons of Back From Beyond are essentially the same things; it all depends on how you look at the album. It's a throwback to the early '90s that has the potential to sound generic and unremarkable, but I, for one, enjoy it. Hopefully Massacre will stick around for more than one album this time.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Production: 8


Band profile: Massacre
Album: Back From Beyond


 



Written on 10.05.2014 by
ScreamingSteelUS
I'm only in this for the money, fame, glory, power, and personal satisfaction.

In my spare time, I fight dragon-pig-C.H.U.D.s in space.

I feel obligated to use up all of my allotted space, so... nah, I'm out of stuff to say.
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Lit. - 10.05.2014 at 07:55  
Man, I'd probably go 2-3 full points lower. Totally bland, uninspired death, especially considering it's a comeback, while other guys that have been doing it for a bit now are still releasing good solid shit (i.e. Autopsy, Jungle Rot)
Cynic Metalhead - 10.05.2014 at 15:10  
I agree with Lit.

It seems they haven't seen the competition yet. They came, recorded as usual and blown out with very average songs. Screaming escalated 8 on production is baffling considering it was one of the weakest. I, for one, was excited for this record as bands like Jungle Rot, Autospsy(Lit covered up) are doing fairly well. Not the worst record but it was average.
LascaillesShroud - 10.05.2014 at 16:57  
I would of scored it the same, I found myself really enjoying the album. I didn't expect anything new per se, but it did everything I wanted it do damn well.
Troy Killjoy - 12.05.2014 at 01:48  

If the entire album sounds like this, you can count me out. Painfully average stuff, although fans of the band (and this kind of old school death metal in general) will likely enjoy it.

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