Thursday, 8 March 2012

MASSACRE - From Beyond (1991)

01 Dawn Of Eternity
02 Cryptic Realms
03 Biohazard
04 Chamber Of Ages
05 From Beyond
06 Defeat Remains
07 Succubus
08 Symbolic Immortality
09 Corpsegrinder

* 2000 re-release bonus tracks*

10. Inhuman Condition
11. Plains Of Insanity
12. Warhead
13. Provoked Accurser

Massacre are a well-respected act in the death metal community. Beginning as a power/heavy metal band, a little after that Kam Lee and Allen West joined, effectively making it a death metal band. They recorded and released three demos independently before disbanding. However, after bands such as Napalm Death cited Massacre as an influence, this signified a great interest in the defunct act. This led to a reformation and recording of the 1991 album From Beyond.

They signed with Earache Records and production on the album began with the most famous lineup - Kam Lee on vocals, Rick Rozz on guitar, Terry Butler on bass and Bill Andrews on drums. The style was based on that of the Chamber Of Ages demo. The album starts with "Dawn Of Eternity" featuring sound effects at the beginning, which leads to the defining grinding guitar sound of the album and Rick's "shrieking" guitar solos. The bass is just as energetic throughout the music, although not as audible. The drums are powerful and an important element in the rhythm and song structure. Then come Kam's vocals. Often cited as the inventor of the death growl, Kam doesn't hold back in this one. Although his vocal style is not as guttural as other vocalists, this actually helps respect it a bit more.

As the album goes on, you can hear some creative moments, but also a few filler parts. Nevertheless, it doesn't take much time to realize why Massacre are so influential. The energy of the performance is indisputable, and although some may not be too fond of Rick's playing, it can't be denied that he is a very important part of Massacre's sound. Tracks like "Chamber Of Ages" and "Symbolic Immortality" feature some of the best performances from the whole band. The record finishes with "Corpsegrinder", a cover of Death, probably referring to the fact that all the members of this lineup are former members of Death.

In conclusion, From Beyond is a must-listen for any death metal fans, especially old school and Death fans. The raw energy and innovation of the metal genre has made Massacre one of the unsung forefathers of death metal. Final note - the cover art was painted by Ed Repka and was based on the short story of the same name, written by H. P. Lovecraft.

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