Master - Slaves to Society
Ibex Moon Records
Death Metal
15 songs (61'24")
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Alex

I am not going to play a part of a grizzled veteran and pretend that I know everything about extreme music’s (death metal) early underground. The truth is the late 80s – early 90s extreme metal pages, especially those coming from the North American shores, are the torn pieces in my metal education. Shit going on in my personal life, the internet, bridging distance between continents, not being established yet, some important milestones (read Death early records) were grossly omitted. While trying to fill the gaps, the name Master kept popping up (not to be confused with the Russian power metal band popular during the same time period). Now that Ibex Moon Records (affiliated with the respected John McEntee of Incantation) has the newest Master opus licensed for North America, others will have a chance at a history as well.

Bringing up a charged political subject (something Master is also really good at with their lyrics), this Chicago via Czech Republic band is an excellent example of evolution triumph over creationism. Slaves of Society is a missing link between the thrash style and early death metal, the work of those who were not satisfied with thrash’s speed, extremity, heaviness and plain crush-your-face factor. Paul Speckmann and Master set out to take care of those deficiencies 25 or so years ago and they have not apparently changed their focus much.

From the first to the last note, Master does not let up with their charging attacking music, meaty predatory riffs, weaved out by the drilling guitar sound around monstrous bass foundation and drum beats ranging from D-beating heaven to percussive gallops. As a good fighter, boxing or more extreme martial arts, Slaves to Society hits the same spot over and over again, in hopes of bludgeoning the opponent. It will leave you battered and exhausted, but depending on your ability to accept the charge you will either succumb to pressure or get desensitized and fight right back.

Some tracks do not start with all out speed (The Darkest Age) preferring more sinister edge, but the album is a lot more about raucous anger than evil expressions. Drilling buzz or pinched harmonics, the record is focused, very single-mindedly too, on the helicopter chops-like groove. A more fervent Unleashed or Lair of Minotaur who sacrificed their doom for a speed pill may serve as more recent comparison points. Amidst the pummeling, it can’t be lost, however, how tight Master is or how well thought-out and well-woven their solos are in the overall song fabric. Something that only experienced songwriters can accomplish. Mocking beats and a tiny bit of melody make tracks like In Control into fast shooting missiles, while The Final Skull, title track, Anarchy Nearly Lost and The Room with Views lay down markers for death metal style’s anger and hate. The first half of the record consists of shorter songs, which will positively create huge moshpit stirs, while more involved thrash focused World Police, the album closer, is Slayerific.

As four more songs are being appended as a bonus (previously appearing on the 2005 demo Everything Is Rotten and Four More Years of Terror full-length), and the eclectic variety is not being the album strongest point, the output may be perceived as a little lengthy, especially with all longer songs positioned towards the album’s end. Something to be said about Reign in Blood being a very short record. However, Slaves to Society is the sound of old school death metal being relevant today. Whether you will consume all of the album’s tracks with the same passion, the influence of the band’s sound on the many who came after them is undeniable. As to why Master is now connected to the Czech Republic, do your own research.

Killing Songs :
In Control, The Final Skull, The Darkest Age, Cheater, World Police
Alex quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Master that we have reviewed:
Master - An Epiphany of Hate reviewed by Andy and quoted 86 / 100
Master - The Witchhunt reviewed by Andy and quoted 85 / 100
Master - On the Seventh Day God Created... Master reviewed by Charles and quoted CLASSIC
Master - The Human Machine reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 1 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:54 am
View and Post comments