MASSACRE (USA-Fl): “Tyrants of Death” Cd 2006 Iron Pegasus

MASSACRE (USA-Fl):

This is the third of the recent Iron Pegasus reissues. This time we have the target on one of the most important (if not the most important) band for the development of what is today known as the Death Metal style. Kam Lee proclaims he was the real inventor of the Death Metal growling approach he calls “death vomit” and from what I know I cannot really debate on this. Massacre has been a good choice for me when I was bored of modern Death Metal, I just plugged in any song from “From Beyond” and I was ready to go, that’s real stuff you can pump up at full volume in your car or in your house. The guitar style is what in my opinion defines the Massacre sound more than anything else and by hearing this demos I can tell the Rick Rozz style was already clear cut from the very beginning, tons of 100% metal palm-muting power chords, battering drums and a totally distorted vocal approach is what you hear from the very first demo. The vocals in demo 2 (first 5 tracks) and still somewhat hybrid and not completely distorted grunts, and they are camouflaged by very strong reverb, but here you already hear the satanic principle that was to become the landmark Death Metal vocal style. This band to me represents Death Metal much more than the band Death (and when I talk Death I only talk about the first 2 albums, the rest is complete shit), not to mention the fact it was Kam Lee and Rick Rozz who founded Mantas/Death, not the guitar fag hero so many blabber about today. It is therefore quite normal that there are some faint reminiscneces of early Death in the guitarwork since this is the guitarist which half created it, but here we have even more obscure, heavier music. On demo I, which you get to hear after demo II, you get a totally different thing yet. Music was almost mid tempo, so basic you can compare it to Venom, and what’s weird is that the vocals sounded maybe heavier and clearer than on demo II, half spittle and totally deranged. The sound is complete garageish, and the drums are almost completely muffled, the guitars non existant and well, it is not to hide this stuff is only for true fans which want to hear what Death Metal year zero was about. But there is feel about it, and genuine inspiration. Kam’s vocals are here a constant vomiting gargle, with lots of variation, yet quite clear to understand. There are also six bonus live tracks that make up for the full hour length of this reissue, grabbed at a show in Tampa in 1986. In the end this Cd is a must have file for your archives, although don’t expect flamboyant double riffs and shit like that, most of this music is about the innovation this band gave to the total ’80s metal style they play, get it for what it is. The booklet is well made with lots of old flyers, pictures etc, althoug I find highly debatable the idea to include an interview which is freely available on the Internet. A scan of some fanzine of the time would have been much cooler to read. The layout also seems a bit simplicistic, but I won’t describe it as bad, after all it does the job. What can I say, I had to get it myself, what about you?

Vote: 8.6

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