Label: Transambient - TRANSCD004 • Format: CD Album • Country: US • Genre: Electronic • Style: Dark Ambient, Trance, Downtempo
Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. Hey Death fans, remember that guy Rick Rozz? Well, turns out he made another amazing death metal album in the form of From Beyond, and it's almost on that level. I mean, how could this not be compared to Death? There was a song on that album by the name of Primitive Ways, and it's fucking awesome, one of the best on the album actually, but that's not the only reason that its notable.
It's also notable because it remains the only Death song The Rice Kryspies - A Reason To Believe written by Chuck Schuldiner in some capacity, it was actually written entirely by none other than Rick Rozz, the man behind Massacre. Now, why Self Massacre - Sterling Angel - Obsession that song so fucking awesome?
Well, its because the riffs in the song are awesome, but also because of just how fucking simple and blunt they are. Rozz definitely wouldn't have made it to the Human stage of Death is all I'm saying, and let's be glad, because he never would of made this. Rick Rozz has this ability to take one super, simple awesome riff, and combine it with another super, simple awesome riff in the most amazing way possible.
These songs are literally made to head bang to, and because of their construction, they make you do just that. Riffs that are completely devoid of filler, no noodling to be found, immediately memorable, and triggering that impulse to fucking lose control.
There are riffs on this album that are better than entire other death metal bands, It's sort of Self Massacre - Sterling Angel - Obsession Slayer up to Seasons, it just sounds fucking awesome, and only later do you start to realize just how great the riffs actually are. The music on here is classic Floridian death metal, no surprise considering its by musicians that are extremely important to that scene.
You know what to expect, slightly thrashy death metal. Its actually quite close to Leprosy in terms of style, but even more stripped down and basic, and that's all it needs to be, because these songs are fucking crazy awesome. Synthesizers and slow ominous power chords inaugurate us into this album, and you know then that you are in store for quite a treat.
It just doesn't let up. This is quality, This is legendary, and if it weren't for Cause of Death, and Leprosy, this would be the peak of Floridian death metal. Here we have the entire discography of Massacre, not in terms of Looking For A City - Bill & Gloria Gaither And Their Homecoming Friends* - London Homecoming, but in terms of quality.
Take a look at the average evaluation of their further full-lengths and you know what I mean. From this it follows that I enjoy almost an hour of generic death metal. The Ed Repka artwork is very pink, but the music paints a picture without light colours.
Darkness starts to reign as soon as the animalistic growling of Kam Lee comes together with low tuned guitars. Only some noisy, slightly dissonant solos add a few screaming tones that contrast with the shady base of Massacre's approach.
This approach does not allow much flexibility, but the band varies the tempo quite successfully in order to achieve a certain degree of diversity. He is the only composer of the band and therefore it is no wonder that the songs create a more or less uniform overall picture.
The stale Venom cover - it features Cronos himself on bass and vocals, is this the sense of a cover version? Honestly speaking, more than 25 years after its release, "From Beyond" has lost a bit of its momentum. Its highlights like the title track with the hymnal beginning, the buzzing leads and Gutted - Cannibal Corpse - Butchered At Birth vehement, double bass driven chorus with its slicing guitars still hits the bull's eye, while Unison (Angelic Pegan J-Bomb Mashup) - X-Bax - Box other tracks just pass by.
What was the idea behind "Defeat Remains"? It lacks energy and dynamic, even though it offers Self Massacre - Sterling Angel - Obsession speedy section at the end. The song reveals a frequently occurring problem of "From Beyond"; some riffs are too flat.
They create an omnipresent acoustic carpet, but they do not score with that kind of accurate precision which separates outstanding from good riffs.
Strictly attacking pieces like the swift "Biohazard" still shine in full glory, but this kind of songs remains the minority. Don't get me wrong, this is not to say Self Massacre - Sterling Angel - Obsession the pretty well produced "From Beyond" falls by the wayside.
But when I listened to the vinyls back inthe album and the added extra single "Provoked Accurser", I thought that another gold bar had enriched my collection. But from my present point of view, I am speaking of a good album, no more, no less. The songs from "Inhuman Condition" underline the approach of the full-length. Nevertheless, I cannot say that these songs still take me under their spell.
Only Massacre's greatest tracks - I recommend to listen closely to "Dawn of Eternity" - have withstood the test of time. Massacre are seen by some in the death metal underground as a bunch of rejects from Death, and their first record "From Beyond" is sometimes considered a watered-down "Leprosy". Whether that's true or not is up for debate, but one thing's for certain; it kicks Self Massacre - Sterling Angel - Obsession.
Major ass. It's pure OSDM at some of its finest, and in my opinion is far superior to all the albums that Death themselves did before "Human". Sure, it's not very original and wasn't anywhere near as groundbreaking as anything Death did, but it's still a great listen. Death metal originator Kam Lee, one of the finest death metal musicians out there in my top 5 easilymakes his debut performance on a full-length album on "From Beyond", Au Revoir Peut-Être - Louise Forestier - LHistoire De Louise Forestier years after he performed on Death's original demos as Mantas.
To say the least, he makes his presence felt. His distinct grunt is at its dirtiest and most raw here, and he doesn't waste any time at all dominating each song.
While the guy may be a grade-A dick, there's no denying his influence and skill, though he doesn't usually get the credit he deserves for it. Anybody wondering what Death would have sounded like had Kam stayed in the band need look no further than not only this, but everything that he's ever done.
The guitar work is absolutely superb. Admittedly, the riffs aren't very complex, but they're interesting enough and have enough variety that it doesn't get tiring listening to them.
They are ear-catching and, to say the least, are BIG. The guitar tone is fantastically mixed for the time and every note is delivered with the subtlety of a bulldozer. In other words, no subtlety at all. Regarding the songwriting, it's a definite step above other early s death metal albums such as Deicide's self-titled, all of which unfortunately get far more recognition.
The songs are structurally varied, but at the same time don't feel awkward in their transitions, making them highly enjoyable. Like most OSDM, it's nothing that most people haven't heard before, which isn't really a problem since it's done so well, but it can leave some people wanting a lot more, especially since Massacre were a very short-lived band.
Sadly, their second album was so bad that most people pretend it doesn't exist, and their third and final record was a pretty disappointing comeback, though markedly an improvement over "Promise" you can see me tear that piece of shit apart in my review.
Another sad thing is that Kam Lee basically left death metal after this album, and assuming "Promise" doesn't count it would be a whopping 16!
But the great news is that he came back with a SLEW of new bands to make up for the time he lost, releasing a whopping 7 more records with his vocal work as ofand two of those 7 came out this year alone.
So in other words, Kam is wasting no time finally making his musical visions come to life. It's a crying shame how overlooked his music is, because he truly is a death metal mastermind. Overall, "From Beyond" is a great record from start to finish. It's a great start for Kam Lee, and he would only get The Piney Wood Hills - Buffy Sainte-Marie - Many A Mile on succeeding releases, even if they would take years and years to emerge.
Self Massacre - Sterling Angel - Obsession generally gets a bad wrap as a sort of weak Death knock-off, largely due to the presence of exclusively ex-Death members on the roster of their debut "From Beyond". While it's a bit curious that similarly dismissive reactions did not hit Autopsy during their early works, it is perhaps understandable given a similar sense of imagery and a sound that is a bit closer to the formative death metal offerings "Scream Bloody Gore" and "Leprosy".
Nevertheless, it is also important to consider that the early demos both under the Self Massacre - Sterling Angel - Obsession and Death monikers represent a rung in the ladder just above that of Possessed and Slayer on the way to where the Florida scene Self Massacre - Sterling Angel - Obsession ended up, and each of the members of this outfit played a part in some capacity alongside Chuck Schuldiner in making it all happen.
At the end of the day, what ultimately matters is the finished product and how well it stands on its own, regardless to whether or not it sets any standards in the overall progression of a given scene, and on this note Massacre definitely comes off quite strong. With a rock-solid production that emphasizes bone-crushing guitars, thick yet basic bass work and a gloriously crisp and thunderous drum sound, "From Beyond" stands as a slightly cleaner and less technical answer to "Leprosy".
It's not a complete clone, as Kam Lee's vocal assault is more along the lines of the deeper, nastier character of Chris Barnes with some subtle hints of Schuldiner's high-pitched shrieks here and there. It's sort of a tricky business in full categorizing this album as an overt late 80s death metal album that was released just a couple years too late to keep pace with how the style was progressing.
Particularly in the lead up to the opening slaughter fest "Dawn Of Eternity" and the mystical "Chamber Of Ages" there is an almost symphonic character to what eventual leads into conventional death metal, one that wouldn't be out of place on a number of black metal albums that would crop up a few years later. Even the more extraneous elements of this album are clear in where they are coming from, yet not to the point of being worthy of pigeonholing as being a clone of one or even two respective acts at this juncture.
The guitar soloing method itself seems to be just a little too whammy bar happy even by Kerry King standards and sort of dwells in its own little crazy niche, never quite sounding like an overt Trey Azagthoth or Chuck Schuldiner emulation, yet resembling both. Long story short, this is a good album, and one that has been wrongly dismissed based on a rather odd concept of genre saturation that shouldn't deter the committed early death metal fanatic who wants a slightly different twist on what was brewing in Florida when the 2nd tier began to take shape and the founding fathers really began to step up their game.
Massacre could definitely be qualified as 2nd tier, but that doesn't mean they are less worthy of attention. Similarly, for a rather interesting auditory treat, check out the crazy Self Massacre - Sterling Angel - Obsession of guitar noise followed by a song in "Corpse Grinder" that originally appeared on one of the early Death demos.
The distance between it and the rest of the material on here definitely shows a level of separation from the band's Death Self Massacre - Sterling Angel - Obsession and growth of sound that, while gradual, is definitely undeniable. But regardless, this album deserves more attention primarily because it's just plain old solid death metal with a few interesting twists, so track it down before the bizarre vortex creatures track you down.
After hearing a lot of good about this album from numerous different sites, friends, etc, I decided to check this out album out. After not having been bothered about this, I never payed much attention to it. Finally after hearing so much talk I decided to give it one last try. Needless to say, that has still not changed my opinion of this highly overrated and boring album.
The album is essentially headed by Death rejects Kam Lee and Self Massacre - Sterling Angel - Obsession Rozz and I think that adds to this over-hyped album.
The first album, From Beyond, is brutal!!!! This sounds like a poor man's Leprosy mixed with whiffle ball thrash. Some of the riffs I can honestly say Anthrax is heavier.
The guitar tone is weak and thin and doesn't hold any bite or power. The Self Massacre - Sterling Angel - Obsession are so randomly structured with no real musical sense to the arrangements. The drum sound is flat and the beats are very boring, plain, and standard. There are no real thrills here, just boring cookie cutter riffs. The album really does just feel like a poor man's Leprosy and they even go as far to kind of rip on one of the riffs in their former band, Death.
In "Symbolic Immortality", the first half of that song just sounds like riffs that were not good enough for Leprosy. There are some decent riffs worth a bit of a headbang on the album, but not enough of them and the songs are arranged poorly. The riff at seconds of the title track is a great thrashy death riff that would be lethal in a live environment, but the riff just doesn't go on long enough!
Again, the riffs in "Cryptic Realms" are also pretty decent, especially the one at of the song, however the riff at is a clear rip off of the one in "Born Dead" of Death's Leprosy record.
Thorn Of Crowns - Echo & The Bunnymen - Ocean Rain, In Front Behind You - Blues Image - Anthology Of Blues Image III, Sky Plus - Various - The Megamixes 163, Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd - Signs Of Lives, I Learned The Hard Way - Various - Jazzadelic 10/02 High-Fidelic Jazz Vibes