Massacre - The Second Coming review
|Album:||The Second Coming|
|Release date:||November 1990|
01. Second Coming
02. Bleed To Death
03. Devouring Hour
04. By Reason Of Insanity
06. Psychopain Trip
What can I say about Massacre? Well, they were one of the most renowned names in the death metal scene back in the '80s and early '90s and retain a large cult following today. Although primarily known for their 1991 full-length From Beyond, they already received underground recognition for their first two demos. This is their third and most renowned, The Second Coming.
Let me enlighten you on a few things before I begin. Massacre split up in 1987 when Rick Rozz, Terry Butler and Bill Andrews joined with Chuck Schuldiner for Death's Leprosy. Rick got kicked out in 1989 and approached Kam Lee to reform the band. They hired ex-The Genatorturers (barely anything is known about this band, not related to Genitorturers) bassist Butch Gonzalas (who Rick knew at the time). But they also needed a drummer… well, Rick happened to be friends with ex-Whiplash drummer Joey Cangelosi at the time (man, that guy certainly knows his musicians) and so the new Massacre lineup was born. Thus, the second coming was born! They set forth to the studio and began to record these six "live in the studio" tracks… for what they thought was only a demo for the record company.
I shall start with the vocals. This time around, Kam Lee's vocals are mostly thrash shouts/grunts with a death growl or shriek thrown in at times. What would typically be a weakness comes off as a strength here due to the wicked and vile atmosphere of the music. Rick Rozz is always churning out sick riffs/licks with unique rhythm and some mild technical grace (enough to give it a bit more charm but not to detract from the experience). There are no solos at all, actually, mostly due to the recording situation, but this comes off as a good thing. You get to enjoy the macabre riffs and power of the music without being distracted by the whammy bar. Gonzalas is a skilled bass player, the instrument having a fuzzy tone in this release (prominently displayed in "Devouring Hour") and is always audible, adding to the sound. Cangelosi's excellent drumming is one of the main pros. Blast beats, drum rolls, furious strikes, you name it.
I really can't speak for highlight tracks as they're all good, but if I had to pick I'd say "Second Coming", "Devouring Hour", "Mangled" and "Psychopain Trip" are the top four due to the better sections, transitions and general instrumental prowess. The rest have some tedious moments, but are nevertheless worthwhile.
And so… the recording makes its faithful trip to Earache Records… oh damnit, it got rejected! Well, apparently, they weren't fond of this direction and according to Kam himself, it wasn't meant to be released to the public, but rather was more of a preview. Terry Butler and Bill Andrews were subsequently rehired and From Beyond was recorded. Either way, this is a more interesting chapter in Massacre's history and is a must-have for death metal fans.
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