August 24, 2012 | , | 4.5

Master, The New Elite

Master: The New Elite

It doesn’t make a difference what the year is. Master’s, well, mastermind Paul Spekmann will continue to deliver unhinged, raw and burly old-school death metal until he’s long and buried (and fully reanimated). The New Elite is the band’s 11th full-length offering in a discography twenty plus years in the making. That’s a ton of vile malevolence right there, and this latest effort only adds more severed limbs and crushed craniums to the festering heap.

The title track gets things started off with a sense of immediacy as the mid-tempo gallop announces the arrival of another Master album. Riff upon riff are piled high while the unrelenting drums and low-end, thundering bass accompany Speckmann’s raw and psychotic vocal delivery. The song sets the tone nicely with plenty of crushing, head-banging groove and one hell of a memorable chorus (and a slick lead at 1:35 that shouldn’t be missed). All it takes is this first song and you know immediately what you’re in store for with the remaining ten songs — a raw production and plenty of violence.

“Rise Up and Fight” is a ripper of a song punctuated with a great gallop that is far too addictive not to bang along with. There are times throughout the album (this track is just such a moment) that Speckmann reminds me of another lead growler with a similar, un-hinged delivery, Chris Reifert. Both men certainly know how to lead a band. Master keep the chugging riffs rolling with the absolutely insane (and personal favorite) “Remove the Knife,” the sludgy riffs of “Redirect the Evil,” and “As Two World Collide,” a song that is probably one of the more developed on the album.

You’d think that after seven tracks of unrelenting fury, the guys would let off the accelerator a bit in the second half of the album, as we’ve seen on several death metal releases this year. But, nope. I don’t think Speckmann and Master understand or ever care about you, your strained vertebrae or the ruptured tendons in your neck. “New Reforms” is evident of that. After a relatively benign first few seconds the guys unleash unholy malevolence with blasting drums and sick riffs. Only the first minute of “Souls to Dissuade” allows you a moments rest before the band ramp the pace back up to a furious gallop.

In the mood for a little unrelenting heaviness and raw violence? Then Master’s latest slab of death metal, The New Elite is all you need. Look no further than this beast of an album. It’s got all the cranial damage and splatter spleens you require.