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.
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)
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.