Legendary death metal pioneers Master are back with their 11th full-length album titled “The New Elite”. Since their first album release in 90’ simply titled “Master”, which was followed up by their now death metal classic album titled “On The Seventh Day God Created… Master” in 91’ and who would dare forget ‘Collection of Souls’? When it comes to old school death metal Master does not disappoint! The combination of a variety of riffs with minimal over engineered sound; it simply does not get better than this! One criticism I have had over the last 6-8 years of recent death metal acts have been the over engineered sound and the ridiculous technicality of song structures and riffs. Some bands just don’t understand that drop-D and technicality does not automatically make you “heavy” or whatever.
All this being said, I am pleased to announce that it is not the case when it comes to Master, what you see is what you get with these guys. Straight up, no bullshit, no compromises metal of death! I found the title a bit odd, however, the album art speaks volumes of what you can expect. It looks like an album that has to do with death. On closer examination of the track listing it is noticeable there is a political theme to the songs or lyrics perhaps. With tracks like ‘Rise Up and Fight’, ‘Smile As You’re Told’ and ‘New Reforms’ it isn’t hard to see the disgust with politics.
The overall sound of the record is excellent and Paul Speckmann’s vocals just round it off all to nicely! The album starts grinding away at your soul with the album title track ‘The New Elite’. It starts off with a mid-paced almost thrash-like riff tempo, which is brilliantly combined with the beat of the drums. The tempo of the track is pretty much maintained and includes an awesome solo towards the latter stages. Paul’s vocals are excellent and add that extra component to the track to make it rather eerie.
‘Rise Up and Fight’ has a more traditional death metal approach to it. The track kicks off with some awesome riffs, which builds and builds and is halted for a few seconds before you are plunged into the abyss. The vocals add that extra bit of hatred and conviction to the over all feel of the track. The sound of the track, like the rest of the album is pretty much what you want from a death metal album, none of that overly mastered/mixed garbage.
The track has some nice variety to it, which is never a bad thing. Some amazing breakdowns where the bass guitar, guitar and drums combine excellently. This track is absolutely killer! Finally the outro of the track is simplistic with the phrase “YOU MUST FIGHT THE FUCKING MACHINE” ringing true. This track is by far my favourite track off this album.
The song ‘Souls To Dissuade’ has a very unique bass intro, which is something Geezer Butler could be proud of. After the drums and guitars join the awesome intro it all grinds to a halt. In a matter of seconds it breaks into some awesome death metal riffs and drumming at full tilt! The vocals again just add the final ingredients and we have another awesome Master track. The riffs have nice varieties and the solo is a real vintage treat and fades under the crushing hell-hammers. Closer to the end of the track the variety in drumming is pretty evident and it all stops rather abruptly, which is a very nice touch.
The rest of the album is pretty amazing and it is really hard to pick out excellent tracks as it is very consistent, however, I found ‘Twist of Fate’ pretty amazing and it stood out in my personal opinion. The album starts off with a pretty solid intro at mid-pace, followed by a solo, which is absolutely immaculate. This is followed by drumming and riffs that are a bit faster and intense than most. It does drop you back into that groovy mid-paced death metal rhythm before lifting once again.
This specific track is made special by the outro, which is started by a bass prelude solo. This is followed by a very slow riff and monologue of thoughts of someone in an electric chair. The riffs and solo that form part of the outro is absolutely fantastic. Within this monologue of thought, vocal style interchange, hatred towards society and the justice system, it ends off simply with ‘For Death Will Be The Best Solution For Myself’.
Overall it is probably one of the best death metal albums you will hear this year! The death metal legends have truly lived up to the album title of “The New Elite”, absolutely superb! If you like Massacre, Bolt Thrower, Autopsy, Grave, Sinister and the like, get a hold of Master’s latest album, THE NEW ELITE!!!