Reviews: Underground Survivor - The Pictorial
SOURCE:

http://www.metal.de/

Die Metalszene ist voll von Ikonen: Tom Araya (SLAYER), Alice Cooper (ALICE COOPER), Dimebag Darrell (PANTERA), Slash (Ex- GUNS N' ROSES), und, und, und. Ins Unendliche könnte ich die begonnene Aufzählung fortsetzen, doch sollten wir auch die etwas "weniger beachteten" Urgesteine und Legenden der Szene nicht vergessen: Glen Benton (DEICIDE), Chris Reifert (AUTOPSY) oder auch Paul Speckmann, welcher seit nunmehr 32 Jahren seiner Tätigkeit als Bassist und Sänger der amerikanischen Death-Metal-Urgesteine MASTER nachgeht.

Doch eben dieser Paul Speckmann ist weitaus mehr als nur eine Ikone und eben deshalb widmet ihm der Verlag Weisses Licht eine Piktographie mit dem Titel "Underground Survivor – The Pictorial", welche das Leben des "Exil-Amerikaners" vom beinahe ersten Tag bis in die Gegenwart beleuchtet. Das erste Highlight erwartet den Leser bereits auf dem Cover: ein edler Prägedruck, verziert mit dem Gesicht des am 28. September 1963 geborenen Vollblutmusikers.Am Anfang öffnet der Nachkomme deutscher Auswanderer die privaten Familienalben. Von den Auswanderungspapieren seines Großvaters, über dessen Todesanzeige, zu einem herausgeputzten, munteren Jungen, dessen erste Bühnenerfahrungen als "Mysterious Master of Magicians" und erste Kontakte mit der Szene (in diesem Fall ein Treffen mit Ozzy Osbourne auf dessen "Blizzard Of Oz"-Tour) gewährt man uns einen tiefen Einblick in das Erwachsenwerden eines ganz normalen, amerikanischen Teenagers.

Folgerichtig geht es weiter mit den musikalischen Anfängen, die ersten WARCRY-Shows, kultige, sepiafarbene Bandfotos aus den Jahren 1981 und 82, weitere Stationen auf dem Weg zur Szene-Bekanntheit und exklusive Fotos aus den Proben zum ersten FUNERAL BITCH-Demo. "Der Weg nach Oben" (Kapitel Vier) beschreibt die ersten handfesten musikalischen Fortschritte: ABOMINATION, die ersten Shows mit MASTER und die darauf folgenden ersten Auslandsreisen (nach El Salvador und Holland).

Eine der wichtigsten Entscheidungen in seinen Leben findet ebenso Platz auf den 196 Seiten. Im Frühjahr 1999 entschließt sich der damals 36-jährige nach Tschechien zu reisen und dort KRABATHOR vorerst am Bass zu unterstützen. Shows in Japan, der Slowakei, Holland und Mexiko festigen den Entschluss der endgültigen Auswanderung nach Europa. Einen Abschluss findet das Portrait der musikalischen Karriere in unzähligen Fotos der direkten Gegenwart, darunter Livebilder, Promo-Shots und Fotos mit Fans.

Am Ende des Buches steht ein weiteres Mal der Mensch an sich: Paul Speckmann erzählt über Urlaube, seine Heimatstadt (das tschechische Uherske Hradiste, eine Städtchen mit 25 000 Einwohnern), gewährt einen Blick in sein Hochzeitalbum (2006) und zeigt sich am Schluss noch einmal mit seinen Liebsten - seiner Frau, deren Familie, bei gemeinsamen Weihnachtsfeiern und mit seinen beiden Hunden. Den endgültigen Abschluss bildet eine Auflistung aller veröffentlichter Werke (bisher 53).

Abschließend bleibt zu sagen, dass "Underground Survivor – The Pictorial" einen beinahe unverschämt tiefen Einblick in das Privatleben des Paul Speckmann gewährt. Egal ob unzählige Geschichten oder Anekdoten des MASTERs selbst oder Fotos von diesem in ebenso unverschämt kurzen Shorts oder im Bett liegend mit zwei Schoßhündchen, die 196-seitige Piktographie bringt einige waschechte Perlen hervor. Ein kleiner Wermutstropfen ist lediglich die teils etwas stumpfe und lieblose Übersetzung der englischen Begleittexte ins Deutsche, doch darüber kann ich in diesem Fall getrost hinweg sehen. Wer dachte, dass Paul Speckmann bereits in seinen Interviews einen tiefen Einblick in sein bewegtes Leben gewährt, der sollte unbedingt einen näheren Blick in dieses Buch werfen.

Reviews: The Witchhunt
SOURCE:

www.metal-hammer.de

Unerlässlich, stur und mit Bart: Ohne Erbarmen kämpft sich Paul Speckmann seit etwa 30 Jahren durch alle Höhen und Tiefen des Death Metal. Ein Urgestein und Mitbegründer der Szene – keine Frage. Trotz negativer Kritik an einigen Releases hat der ursprünglich aus Chicago stammende Wahl-Tscheche nie aufgehört, seinen simplen, räudigen und absolut puren Sound zu zelebrieren. Mit THE WITCHHUNT kommt das nunmehr zwölfte Master-Studioalbum auf den Markt und klingt erstaunlich frisch und agil – ein absoluter Ohrenschmaus, nicht nur für eingefleischte Master-Fans. Herrlichstes Geschrammel, nackenquälende D-Beats und ein rudimentäres Knaller-Riff nach dem anderen lassen des Oldschoolers Herz höher schlagen. In Songs wie ‘Another Suicide’, ‘Manipulated To Exterminate’ oder ‘The American Dream’ wird gnadenlos mit der Gesellschaft abgerechnet. Verschnaufpausen sind absolute Fehlanzeige! THE WITCHHUNT walzt von vorne bis hinten durch, sodass sich manch ein zwanzig Jahre jüngerer Todesblei-Möchtegern mal gut zehn bis drölfzig Scheiben abschneiden könnte. Es bleibt nur eines zu sagen: Bitte nie aufhören, Herr Speckmann!

6/7

SOURCE:

www.stormbringer.at

So arbeitswütig wie derzeit war der olle Speckmann Paule schon Jahre nicht mehr. Kaum haben wir das wirklich starke 2012er Album „The New Elite“ und die Wiederveröffentlichung des 1985er Altwerks „Unknown Soldier“ aus den Gehörgängen bekommen, bläst der langbärtige Death-Metal-Miterfinder zur rigorosen Hexenjagd. Dazu gab es auch eine nicht unwesentliche Änderung, denn mit dem Plattenfirmenwechsel von Pulverised Records zu F.D.A. Rekotz scheint der Exil-Tscheche auch einen kräftigen Kreativitätsschub mitbekommen zu haben. War „The New Elite“ letztes Jahr schon ein herrliches Manifest richtig alten Death Metals, schwingen MASTER auf „The Witchhunt“ nämlich verstärkt die Thrash-Keule – und das so stark, wie schon seit vielen Jahren nicht mehr.

Obwohl wir gerade im Death-Metal-Sektor heuer eine unheimlich starke Auslese haben (CARCASS, SUFFOCATION, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, BROKEN HOPE – um nur einige zu nennen), tut es verdammt gut, dass uns der Metal-Lemmy mal wieder zeigt, wo der Hammer hängt. Hier jubelt nämlich die Kuttenfraktion, denn Speckmann scheißt wieder auf jegliche Modernität und knallt seinem rifflastigen Old-School-Sound auch eine verdammt rohe Produktion drauf, die so manchem wohl zu dünn, vielen anderen aber eben herrlich Szene-ehrerbietend ertönen wird. Wobei es schon ein bisschen dauert, bis das zwölfte Studioalbum wirklich Fahrt aufnimmt. Das Auftakt-Triple „The Witchhunt“, „Plans Of Hate“ und „Another Suicide“ rollt zwar im ICE-Tempo durch Mark und Bein, kann eine gewisse Eintönigkeit aber nicht verbergen.

Auf dem wühlenden „Waiting To Die“ nimmt Paule erstmals den Fuß vom Gas und besinnt sich auf seine einzigartige Punk/Death-Metal-Stimme, mit der er seine sozial- und gesellschaftskritischen Botschaften ins Mikro rotzt. Mid-Tempo steht dem alten Herrn einfach wirklich gut zu Gesicht. Zu den absoluten Album-Highlights zählen auch das mit einem unheimlich-unheilvollen Mittelteil ausgestattete „God Of Thunder“, die Doublebass-Stafette „Raise Your Sword“, der Punk-Metal-Stampfer „Wipe Out The Aggressor“ und das mit alles durchdringender Gitarrenwucht exerzierte „Manipulated To Exterminate“. Der Rest des Albums kann durchaus auch in der ersten Genre-Liga verortet werden, auch wenn den üblichen Songs der letzte Punch fehlt. MASTER können es aber auch noch zum 30-Jahre-Jubiläum (unglaublich oder?). „The Witchhunt“ ist ein in die Moderne gehievtes Manifest des Death-Metal-Urknalls. Nicht mehr, aber verdammt noch mal auch nicht weniger!

4/5

Reviews: The New Elite
SOURCE:

www.crossfire-metal.de

Das gibt es doch gar nicht! Master habe ich immer mit vierzehn Jahren gehört. Das Logo und die Cover fand ich damals richtig geil. Und in der damaligen Zeit hat man sich CDs immer nach Cover gekauft, ohne vorher reinzuhören. MP3s und Downloads gab es ja noch nicht. Ich habe Master in den letzten Jahren ziemlich aus den Augen verloren und war überrascht, als ich hörte, dass sie neulich mal wieder durch Deutschland getourt sind. Mastermind Paul Speckman ist vor einigen Jahren von Chicago nach Tschechien ausgewandert und bringt seitdem in schöner Regelmäßigkeit neue Alben heraus.

Das Trio hat seine musikalische Ausrichtung mit der neuen Besetzung dadurch aber keineswegs geändert. Warum auch? Man setzt auf Altbewährtes. Und das funktioniert wie immer hervorragend. Master zeigen der neuen Technical Death Metal-Fraktion, wo der viel zitierte Hammer hängt. Die Mischung aus Death Metal der ganz alten Schule, Punk und einer gehörigen Portion Motörhead und sogar Sodom, klingt absolut homogen und tritt gehörig Arsch. Flotte Rhythmen, schnelle Doublebass und wilde Gitarrensoli werden hier in gewohntem Gewand gekonnt aneinander gereiht und gönnen dem Hörer keine Atempause. Master ist ein sehr gutes und vor allem sehr kurzweiliges Album gelungen, welches ihre Vorreiterrolle in der Szene eindrucksvoll unterstreicht. Sehr geil!

9/10

SOURCE:
www.metal-temple.com

There have been quite a few metal bands that have survived the test of time but do not have the appreciation they deserve and Master is definitely one. Formed originally in Chicago (they are now in Czech Republic), they have been making death metal since 1983 a few years before Possessed or Death and impressingly enough they are still going strong today. Master started out slow, but in recent years they have been averaging a new album every other year. “The New Elite” is their eleventh full length album and they show no signs of slowing down.

I would suggest this thrashy death metal band to any metal fan who enjoys their music extreme. Master has accomplished with three members what many bands have been unable to do with five members. Influenced by Slayer, Venom and Motorhead, they have a very heavy thrash sound. Vocalist Paul Speckmann greatly reminds me of Tom Warrior, the vocalist of Celtic Frost. Master has also greatly matured with age, unlike many death metal bands. In this respect, I would compare Master to Death. Just like Chuck Shuldiner and company greatly evolved from “Scream Bloody Gore”, so has Master from their debut release. Master's lyrics definitely show the thrashy pissed off side with themes of politics, death and religion. A great example of this is from Smile As You're Told, “Commanders are just put in place, the soldiers are easily blamed. The governments feed the machine as taxpayers simply complain.”

I absolutely loved “The New Elite”. My one and only complaint is that it's less than 45 minutes long. Master has proved themselves as an honest death metal band and this album is well produced and polished. If I had to sum up Master in one thought, it would be this: Sepultura if they were a death metal band. I recommend this CD to fans of Cancer, Obituary and Massacre. For those of us in North America we will have to wait until August 14th to get this album. Once you do, you may discover an aggression you never knew you had.

9/10

SOURCE:
www.rockhard.de

Man kann es nicht oft genug wiederholen: Wenn es eine gerechte Welt geben würde, säße Paul Speckmann mit auf dem Extrem-Metal-Olymp. Dann wäre er allerdings bestimmt seit 15 Jahren in routiniertem Durchschnitt verschütt gegangen und hätte eher Besitzstandswahrung im Hinterkopf als das, was 'ne echte Death-Thrash-Granate nun mal braucht: Wut, Eier und eine Unbeschwertheit, die grundsätzlich nur Jungspunde und erfolglose alte Säcke, die eh nix zu verlieren haben, zustandebringen. Lediglich dann perlen offensichtlich die Killer-Riffs, tropft der Rotz und bängt der Head wie ein Maschinengewehr. Speckmann bellt wieder herrlich asozial über rabiate Minimal-Gitarrensalven und alles zerstörende Schädelspalter-Beats. Wer bei Granaten wie 'Rise Up And Fight', 'As Two Worlds Collide' und 'Out Of Control' nicht in komplette Raserei verfällt, hat nix kapiert. Ihren Titel trägt diese Scheibe mit stolzgeschwellter Brust.

Jan Jaedike
8.5

SOURCE:
www.the-pit.de

Es gibt nur noch wenige Death-Metal-Bands, die sich von der ersten Sekunde an zu den genretreuen Kapellen zählen dürfen. Eine solche sind sicherlich Master. Frontmann Paul Speckmann ist schon länger in der Szene aktiv als viele Fans alt sind. In dieser langen Zeit hat er viele Dinge kommen und gehen sehen, aber eine Sache hat ihn währenddessen immer begleitet: Sein hasserfüllter Gesang und seine sowohl musikalisch als auch textlich bissigen Songs hat er sich bis heute bewahrt. „The New Elite“ markiert bereits das elfte Album von Master. Dabei ist die neue Langrille die konsequente Fortsetzung des Vorgängeralbums. Musikalisch hat sich nicht viel getan, allerdings ist der Sound deutlich besser und aggressiver. Die Gitarren schreien wie Kreissägen und das Schlagzeug hämmert wie in einer Stanzerei.

Die Songs sind auf gewohnt hohem Niveau und spiegeln abermals die kritische Einstellung des Mastermids wider. Die Texte befassen sich wie gewohnt mit Themen aus Politik und dem sozialen Bereich. Dabei scheut Paul Speckmann auch nicht davor zurück, unangenehme Themen wie die Todesstrafe anzusprechen. Allgemein äußert sich der Exil-Amerikaner hauptsächlich kritisch gegenüber seiner früheren Heimat.

Musikalisch verpackt er seine Anklagen in furiose Death-Metal-Stücke, die an die wirklich glorreiche Zeit dieser extremen Spielart erinnern und mit Sicherheit das Herz eines jeden Old-School-Death-Metal-Fans höher schlagen lassen. Auf der Langrille haben sowohl Schleudergangnummern wie die ersten beiden Songs als auch Arschtreter wie „Redirect The Evil“ Platz gefunden. Die Keule legt der Fronter während der ganzen CD nicht aus der Hand. Munter lässt er sie auf alles niederprasseln, was sein Gemüt erhitzt. Fast schon beiläufig gibt der Rundling dabei so viel Energie ab, dass einem schwummerig werden könnte. Völlig egal in welchem Tempo sich Master gerade im Moment durch den Menschensumpf wühlen, der Ärger weicht nicht aus der Musik und den Lyrics. Er ist fast greifbar.

Wenn Lieder wie „Remove The Knive“ oder auch „As Two Worlds Collide“ mit den bissigen, kraftvollen Gitarrenriffs bei bevorzugt hoher Lautstärke aus den Boxen knallen, dann sollten sich Old-School-Deather im Normalfall nicht mehr unter Kontrolle halten können. Die Musik ist so reißerisch und mit Widerhaken besetzt, dass sie einen nicht mehr los lässt. Diese Aussage trifft auf das komplette Album zu. Innerhalb der elf dargebotenen Songs gibt es keine einzige Schwächeperiode. Das Teil holzt von der ersten bis zur letzten Sekunde. Hier sollten einige andere Bands einmal reinhören. So macht man Death Metal. So und nicht anders.

9/10

SOURCE:
www.metallus.it

Paul Speckmann e i suoi Master tornano dopo due anni dal riuscito “The Human Machine”, presentando tutto inalterato: stessa formazione, identica label e totale similarità di suono (e quello davvero non era difficile da prevedere). Un parallelismo che resiste anche nella buona qualità di incisione e nella stesura semplice ed efficace dei brani, ma che prevedibilmente si tramuta nell’ennesima sequenza di song dal gusto datato e dall’incedere prevedibile. “The New Eilite” apre le danze con un riffone a cavallo tra thrash e punk, con l’abituale vocione di Speckmann a far da collante e una solidità ritmica che ormai possiamo definire d’ordinanza. Un brano tanto banale quanto riuscito, se contestualizzato nella discografia dei Master. Il resto si compone di schemi altrettanto noti e la più death-thrash “Rise Up And Fight” non può non rimandare ai primordi del genere, così come l’inizio rallentato di “Remove The Knife” che si risolve in un’accelerazione brutale aderisce ad una tipologia riconoscibile non solo nei primi Master, ma addirittura in un lavoro seminale come “Scream Bloody Gore”. “Redirect The Evil” ha poi quel sapore marcio dentro che riporta ai primi Autopsy, ma ovviamente Paul Speckmann non copia nessuno, questa è anche la sua musica e la sua personale interpretazione è sempre riscontrabile, soprattutto nel taglio punk-rock di certi riff e nella timbrica inconfondibile delle vocals. Sarà che ormai è difficile trovare band credibili nel mettere in pratica questa formula, ma a noi i Master attuali continuano a sembrare più che in forma, sempre capaci di confezionare un prodotto diretto e trascinante senza muoversi di un millimetro dai canoni stabiliti 25 anni fa. In qualche modo anche questa è un’arte.

7 points

SOURCE:
www.violence-online.pl

Dzieje Paula Speckmann’a to temat na calkiem obszerna biografie. Abomination, Death Strike, Speckamnn’s Project, przeprowadzka do Czech, Krabathor, wojny z wytwórniami… Nieprzejednana postawa tego czlowieka, nawet jesli nie zawsze robil dobra muzyke, moze imponowac. A jesli po latach zdarzy mu sie splodzic rzecz zaskakujaca, robi sie zupelnie milo. Takim zaskoczeniem jest dla mnie „The New Elite”, jedenasty krazek klasyka metalowej sceny – Master. Zaskoczeniem jak najbardziej pozytywnym.
Po cholernie nudnym, nowym albumie Gojira i jeszcze gorszym, wtórnym krazku Nile, w sukurs moim smutkom przyszla muza z zupelnie nieoczekiwanej strony. Projekty Speckmann’a zawsze byly dla mnie dosc kontrowersyjne. Na chwile chwaly Abomination sie nie zalapalem, calkiem wyraznie pamietam za to, w jak spektakularny sposób spieprzyl muzyke Krabathora na plycie „Unfortunately Dead”. O swoim najwazniejszym chyba dziecku Paul jednak nigdy nie zapomnial i dorobil sie az jedenastu plyt Master, z których najnowsza jest powodem ponizszych zachwytów. Nie, wcale nie dlatego, ze Paul odkryl nagle math rocka albo jazz core’a. Nie dlatego, ze postanowil poflirtowac z czeska muzyka ludowa. Powód jest prosty i jednoczesnie strasznie banalny – „The New Elite” swietnie sie slucha, bez zadnych podtekstów. Nowy Master to sila tradycji, proste riffy, wszechobecny ped do przodu i zmeczony, gardlowy glos lidera. Na nowym krazku zespolowi udalo sie jednak uchwycic niesamowita energie i wprowadzic w obreb kawalków sporo fajnego luzu. Na plycie ogniskuja sie wszystkie milosci Master. Jest motorhead’owy ciagnik, jest riff, smierdzacy slayerem, jest wreszcie wyraziste zapozyczenie patentów z death’n’rolla, co objawia sie stosowaniem tzw. d – beatu, sprzezonego z praca podwójnej stopy. Z tego wychodza takie petardy jak kawalek tytulowy, „Rise Up and Fight”, gdzie zespól moze stac sie mistrzem wspólczesnych hardcore’owców, zakochanych w Disfear. Jest Zabójca w „As Two Worlds Collide” i oparty na blascie „New Reforms”. Znakomicie wypadaja zróznicowane, nieco inaczej zbudowane kawalki w rodzaju “Guide Yourself” z fajnym “mieleniem” na poczatku czy najlepszy chyba na plycie “Souls to Dissuade” (zwraca uwage basowo – perkusyjny wstep i swietnie brzmiace solo gitary na podkladzie czystej sekcji). Zaskakujace sa tez nawiazania do stylistyki póznego Gorefest w „Redirect the Evil”. W kazdym kawalku, obok obowiazkowego napierania do przodu pojawia sie nieco aranzacyjnych niuansów, zas w szczególnosci musze skomplementowac gre perkusisty Zdenka Pradlovskiego, który niesamowicie napedza machine, popisujac sie bardzo dobra technika (pojawia sie nawet krótkie solo…) i trzyma wszystko w kupie.

Na „The New Elite” spotyka sie stary death metal, rock a moze nawet archetypiczny thrash, jednak to nie polaczenie róznych swiatów jest tu kluczem do sukcesu. Moim zdaniem, tym ostatnim jest sila i niesamowita determinacja bijace z plyty. Gdybym nie wiedzial, z kim mam do czynienia, postawilbym na sprawnych i wkurwionych debiutantów. Co wplynelo na taki lekki shape lifting Master, nie wiem, ciesze sie jednak, ze w dobie, gdy coraz wiecej plyt mnie denerwuje i rozczarowuje, stare pryki potrafia przyjsc na ratunek. Tego sie nie spodziewalem.

4/6

SOURCE:
www.allover-ffm-rock.de

Ich sag es immer wieder, egal wer Paul Speckmann belächelt, er ist seit 1983 aktiv und somit ein Urgestein der Death Metal Geschichte, ob mit Speckmann, Abomination oder wie hier mit dem neuen Werk von MASTER, der gute Paule zieht sein old school Death Metal Ding durch. Nicht rechts, nicht links, gerade voll auf die Omme gibt es sofort mit dem Titelstück, geradliniger Death Metal der alten Schule wie es im Buche steht und wenn dazu Alex "93" Nejezchleba seine geilen Riffs und Soli zockt, fühle ich mich wieder wie in den Glanzzeiten des Death Metals, roh und unverfälscht. So holpern im positiven Sinne "Rise Up and Fight" oder auch das teils richtig flott getrümmerte "Remove the Knife" aus den Boxen und Speckmanns Vocals sind über die Jahre bei mir bekannt wie ein bunter Hund. Diese erinnern wie in dem Up Tempo geholzten "Smile as You're Told" an Venom’s Cronos, aber trotzdem bleibt der gute Paul ein Original. Drückender und stampfender wird es bei "Redirect the Evil", doch dafür kloppt "Out of Control" wieder ordentlich im Up Tempo.

Kurz und knapp, wer old school Death will, braucht MASTER, da führt kein Weg dran vorbei. Das Trio ist zwar keine neue Elite, aber dafür eine schlagkräftige.

5/5

SOURCE:
www.heavymetal.dk

Det tjekkiske band Master er et af de helt gamle dødsmetalbands og har på mange måder været med til at forme dødsmetalgenren. Inden folk falder helt i svime, må jeg hellere skynde mig at sige, at Master oprindeligt var et amerikansk band, der blev dannet i Chicago af Paul Speckmann (også kendt fra Abomination). Speckmann fik åbenbart nok af USA og flyttede sidst i 90erne til Tjekkiet for at spille i det tjekkiske band Krabathor. Da Krabathor gik i opløsning i 2004, besluttede Speckmann sig for at blive i Tjekkiet og hyrede to tjekkiske til at tage sig af guitar og trommer i Master. Så, ja, Master er et tjekkisk band nu.

Nå, men det vigtigste er jo musikken. På The New Elite bydes der på dødsmetal af den helt tidlige slags (altså som dødsmetallen lød i slutfirserne), og dette vil sige, at der egentligt er tale om musik, der ligger et sted mellem at være dødsmetal og thrash metal. Der er masser af old school dødsmetal riffage, men dette blandes med hidsig uptempo thrash metal, og enkelte numre har ligefrem et hardcore-væsen over sig, så som "The New Elite" og "Smile as You're Told". Således er der tale om musik, der på mange måder er ret primitiv, men også sindsygt energisk, og man kan nærmest ikke lade være med at rocke ud til de hurtige bopti-bopti-trommer. I bedste old school dødsmetal-stil er skivens guitarsoli kaotiske, og vokalen er mere en slags snerrende råben end dødsmetal-growling. Der er da enkelte blastbeats nu og da, men mere bliver det heller ikke til fra den moderne metal.

Med andre ord, der er ikke sket megen fornyelse siden 2010s The Human Machine - eller i det hele taget - men det er heller ikke det, man vil have fra Master. Fra Master vil man have primitiv, aggressiv old school dødsmetal fra dengang, far havde mere hår på hovedet end på skuldrene. Og det får man her. Også i den grad.

Så fans af dødsthrash og gammeldags dødsmetal bør bestemt give The New Elite et lyt, og fans af Master kan også være helt sikre på, at det får, hvad de vil have.

80%/100%

SOURCE:
www.avenoctum.com

Paul Speckmann, mastermind (if you’ll excuse the pun) of Chicago’s Death Strike and Abomination, returns to blast the world with another exercise in old-school death metal; ‘The New Elite’ marking album number eleven for Master. Consisting of the same line-up which has been assisting the ‘Lemmy of death metal’ since 2004's ‘Spirit of the West’, this album boasts more of the same tightly executed music that we have come to expect from this evolving US-Czech unit.

Given the almost thirty year gap between Master’s inception and 2012, the band’s core sound has changed surprisingly little – aside perhaps from the ultra stream-lined ‘On the Seventh Day…’. After the prolific, brilliant early-90s period, just one inconsistent album appeared between 1993 and 2002. Since shifting to mainland Europe though, Master has undergone a steady process of refinement. As before, social injustice, government control and capitalist greed are the primary targets of Speckmann’s vitriol on ‘The New Elite’, and if anything, the man sounds more disillusioned than ever by the hypocrisies of democratic existence. The opening (title) track immediately launches into familiar Master territory: thrashing riffs, solid double bass and Speckmann’s bourbon-breath demon vocals directing the tirade. In comparison to the last album, on which the man’s voice sounded like he’d swallowed a grenade before laying down vocal tracks, here they are an even distance between that style and ‘normal’. As previously, the playing of Zdenek Pradlovský (drums) and Alex “93? Nejezchleba (guitar) is technically proficient, consistently locked-in and energetic.

“Get a grip on reality and fight the machine. You must fight the fucking machine!” implores Speckmann during ‘Rise up and Fight’, as his bouncy bass works away beneath a bunch of forceful riffs and restless drum beats from his Czech mates. Immersion into the Central European death metal scene seems to be largely responsible for the more angular, jarring edge of modern Master, and as suggested earlier, it’s a positive attribute. The production is also perfectly balanced, lending weight to each aspect of Master’s precise instrumentation. Although the relentless guitar work of Alex “93? does shine through in particular – with solos that vary from frenetic to soulfully melodic. Musically, the album is full-on, with the frantic likes of ‘Smile as You’re Told’ and ‘Out of Control’ embodying the general feel. Things are evened out somewhat in the form of the slower ‘Redirect Evil’ (though only just). As ‘New Reforms’ opens up, blasting away with pinch harmonics, it comes to symbolise the unifying effect that the ‘new’ members’ involvement has had on Master’s mission – namely that their playing styles fit the unceasing disdain of Paul Speckmann to an absolute T.

The final two tracks contain a couple of notable moments amidst their gnarly groove, with some funky bass initiating ‘Souls to Dissuade’, and the death row narration of ‘Twist of Fate’, climaxing with the utterly bleak assessment: “So death will be the best solution for myself”. Contemplative moments aside, ‘The New Elite’ displays all the subtlety of your average Motörhead album thrown through a death metal blender. The arguable downside to this approach is that it’s sometimes less than easy to remember exactly which track is which. As I’m a fan of Master, being encompassed by the overwhelming mass of their compositions is no problem at all.

As it stands, ‘The New Elite’ is certainly one of Master’s most well-executed and consistent efforts. By extension, it is also among their finest.

8/10

SOURCE:
www.metalireland.com

I could hardly believe it.

Master – a band name that seemed like a by-word for all that’s old, tired and grey about Death Metal. And that’s just the state of main man Paul Speckman. He’s the old hand who’s kept it lit for longer than most people reading this have been alive. Who knows what he’s still got to be angry about after all that time. There must be something though – perhaps the state of young bucks with fringes and Ed Hardy shirts playing deathcore? – making him cross, because this new album is absolutely bursting with fire and riffstone. I mean, even the title – ‘The New Elite’ – just seems so out of context for a band like Master. But let’s not dwell on all the incongruities. This is an album to be straight out enjoyed, nay relished.

The opener, also the title track, cracks the can and lets out a jolly burst of double kick and punishing riffwork that just immediately harks to the greats: oldest Sinister, Vomitory, Dismember, and even further back toward Autopsy, ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ and ‘Leprosy’ era Death, Massacre and so many more. It’s got the same kind of energy and lust for life that the rekindled Deicide had on ‘The Stench of Redemption’, though obviously not quite the same blast laden intesity. No, this is the kind of proper death metal for real men: blasts when they’re necessary, and a good jaunty pace for the rest of the time. Speckman is on real form. Let’s face it, railing against conspiracy and government is usually the preserve of the lyrical infant. Yet Speckman’s got it down, particularly in the groovy ‘Rise Up And Fight’ where he snarls ‘Get a grip on reality – you must rise up and fight the machine’. It’s total, old school class.

Then there’s the Cannibal Corpse-esque ‘Redirect The Evil’, which is full of those ‘Hammer Smash Face’ trills and hammer-ons. Another mosher, it’s a class track that shows a different side to the riff work. There will, by this point, be many a hardened death metal head needing to crank up the heavies just a bit more. Fear not! Paul and the boys hear your call. And remarkably, this late in the album, the blastbeats start raining down. Just hear the savage ‘New Reforms’ for a blast that will absolutely gun you down. Alright, so it’s a bit heavy on the pinch harmonics. It flags here and there, naturally. But on balance this is an absolutely relentless album in the classic death metal mould – the mould that Paul Speckman himself helped shape. It utterly shits on what Morbid Angel and the Hoffmans are doing these days for a start, as well as tucking kids with luminous trainers firmly back into bed. It’s just got everything. From the Angelcorpse attitude and guitar tone to the God Dethroned crispness of attack and songwriting, it’s a wealth of death metal delight. And best of all, it’s so simple, so straightforward, in a way that underground metal used to be. GET IT!

4,1/5

SOURCE:
www.mega-metal.de

Der Albumtitel birgt schon eine gewisse Komik in sich, wenn man sich vor Augen hält, dass Paul Speckmann ja mehr als alles andere zur alten musikalischen Elite gehört. Oder geht es dem Rauschebart dabei wieder um eher politische Dinge, wie es Songtitel wie "Rise Up And Fight", "New Reforms" oder "Smile As You're Told" (yeah …) implizieren. Politik gehört für mich aber nicht zum Heavy Metal, also wird das Thema wieder ausgeklammert. Musikalisch ist auch auf dem zehnten Master-Album eh nichts Neues zu finden. Was bei anderen Bands gleich als negativ abgestempelt, sorgt bei ewig Gestrigen wieder einmal für wahre Begeisterungsstürme. Die Riffs, der Beat, die rotzig frötzelnde Stimme von Paul - wo Master draufsteht, ist eben Master drin. Ich finde es eigentlich richtig faszinierend, wie Herr Speckmann sich über die ganze Zeit seine Wut erhalten hat und sie immer noch mit aller Wucht umsetzt. Still sitzen ist auch mit "The New Elite" einfach nicht möglich. Death/Thrash ohne Firlefanz, immer noch vorne, immer mit Dampf, immer ohne nennenswerte Veränderungen … immer geil. (sw)

8/10

SOURCE:
www.stormbringer.at

Er hat’s schon wieder getan, der Speckmann Paule. Da denkt man daran, dass der bärtige und längst nach Tschechien emigrierte Death Metal Genre-Mitgebründer sich nach gut 30 Jahren im Todesblei-Business endlich in die längst verdiente Altenrente verzieht und dann spuckt der gute MASTER-Pauli mit „The New Elite“ plötzlich einen sozial- und gesellschaftskritisch getexteten Groove-Hassbrocken aus seinem bierbenetzten Höllenschlund, der selbst hartgesottenen Brutalo-Lunatics die Ohren auf „Habt Acht!“ stellt.

Schon beachtenswert, dass der alte Mann noch immer so derbe lärmen kann, denn beim bereits beim Opener „The New Elite“ packen MASTER eine derbe Groovekeule aus dem Sack und würzen diese mit einer kräftigen Kick-Ass-Dosis Punk, was vor allem Old-School-Liebhabern á la DARKTHRONE-Fenriz wie Öl runterrutschen sollte. Aufgelockert wird dieser hochsympathische Hybrid aus OBITUARY und BOLT THROWER durch wohldosierte Gitarrensoli und wuchtige Drum-Stafetten, die ein ums andere Mal für unmenschlich-derben Druck sorgen. MASTER 2012 bedeutet nämlich auch, dass auf „The New Elite“ tatsächlich jeder der elf auf Polycarbonat gebrannten Songs seine Daseinsberechtigung besitzt, was beim Vorgänger „The Human Machine“ vor zwei Jahren noch nicht der Fall war. So klingt „Remove The Knife“ etwa genau wie das Gegenteil des Liedtitels – der doomig-angehauchte Grundgroove drückt euch die Klinge ganz tief ins Fleisch, „Redirect The Evil“ walzt euch die Birne platt.

Mit „The New Elite“ gelingt MASTER das Kunststück, ein kongruentes, in sich völlig geschlossen wirkendes Album erzeugt zu haben, ohne dass sich einzelne Songs besonders stark in den Vordergrund drängen würden. Nahtlos reihen sich die einzelnen Kapitel aneinander und langweilen nicht eine Sekunde. Das besonders morbide Gekeife von Speckmann Paule und die angenehm in den Vordergrund produzierten Gitarren klingen fast so diabolisch und verroht wie MASTER eben vor gut 20 Jahren geklungen haben. Wer sich „New Reforms“ oder das brachial-knallende „Twist Of Fate“ durch die Gehörgänge zieht, erlebt auf „The New Elite“ tatsächlich noch einmal richtig alten Death Metal, den heute sehr viele Bands nicht einmal unter Zwang auf die Reihe kriegen. Dafür danken wir dir, Pauli. Und wir danken dir auch dafür, dass du hier dein mit Abstand bestes Album im neuen Jahrtausend veröffentlicht hast. Die Pension kann ohnehin noch warten…

4/5

SOURCE:
www.twilight-magazin.de

´The New Elite´ ist das mittlerweile elfte Album von Master, auf dem klar wird, dass MASTER sowohl zur ehemaligen als auch zur aktuellen Elite des Death Metal gehören. Nun ist Paul Speckmann schon fast 50 Jahre und hat immer noch mehr Energie im Arsch als so mancher Newcomer. Der Mann ist ein Urgestein des Death Metal, der diese Musik immer noch lebt. Auch auf dem aktuellen Album haut der Wahl-Tscheche dem Hörer elf Mal rohe Fleischklumpen um die Ohren. Die Songs kommen weiterhin ohne großen Schnickschnack aus und sind sehr effektiv. Auch die Vocals gehören immer noch zu den besten der Szene. Speckmann kotzt sich jede Silbe aus dem Leib. Dass es auf ´The New Elite´ keine Überraschungen gibt, mag jemand als mangelnden Fortschritt bezeichnen. Ich bin froh, dass MASTER eine verlässliche Konstanz an den Tag legen. Stagnation auf diesem Niveau muss man erstmal erreichen. Alle, die die Band um den Rauschebart bisher mochten, können bedenkenlos zugreifen und alle, die ein rohes intensives Death Metal Album suchen, sollten mal bei der neuen Elite vorbeischauen.

13/15

SOURCE:
www.brutalism.com

One of the forefathers, in fact probably one of the first extreme metal bands is Master (US) who formed way back in 1983. This thing would eventually be called Death Metal, and throughout the years, Master have proved they still have what it takes when you see the list of the bands that cite Master as a major influence on their sound. Everything from grind to death, even some punk, yes, Master inspired them all.

‘The New Elite’ is the bands 11th album, and follow up to 2010’s well-received ‘The Human Machine’. Artwork is always important to me on death metal releases, this time it has been handled by German graphic artist Mark Bridgeman. Subtle, but effective, I like the fact that there is some imagination behind the art, not just gore and death. ‘The Human Factor’ was a middle finger to the “establishment” and you are not going to find Paul Speckmann in any different mood on ‘The New Elite’. ‘Smile As You Are Told’ talks about the world’s oil situation, the subsequent government control and the fact that whilst we all have outrage of the price of subsequent commodities, we do little more that watch the news unfold from the comfort of our own home, well, that’s my take on it anyway! There is a definite art to Master, their ability to pull off a natural sound when in fact there are many complexities to that sound just show you how good this album really is, for that matter ‘As Two Worlds Collide’ is perfect reference material. This sound has influenced Obituary, Napalm Death et al, the list is endless, this is where it began and this is where it continues.

Essentially, if you want competent authentic death metal without continuous blast beats, triggers, pig squeals and all that other trickery, then you need to own ‘The New Elite’. The album title speaks for itself, whilst buried in true old school death metal, Master show an intensity and complexity engineered just right to satisfy punks, grinders and death metallers the world over, this is one of the best releases of recent times for these death metal legends, ‘The New Elite’ is a consistently pleasing death metal blueprint.

5/5

SOURCE:
www.criticalmass.se

Man kan inte annat än känna en viss lättnad när titelspåret på MASTERs tionde fullängdsalbum, ”The New Elite”, briserar i stereon. Med en tidsanda som mjölkar fram mainstreammetal och ynkliga försök till både death, thrash och black metal i parti och minut är MASTER en lika hoppingivande som räddande ängel.
Det numera tjeckiska MASTER, med ett förflutet som sträcker sig så långt tillbaks i tiden som till 1983, är drygt trettio år senare lika kompromisslösa och omutliga i sin deathrash-mix. Att få till känslan och de precisionsvassa riff som mängder av wannabes skulle bita av sig högerarmen för att komma i närheten av ter sig i Paul Speckmanns (sång/bas) regi som en naturlag. Vart och ett av de elva spåren på skivan kan med självklar pondus stoltsera med hårresande rytmfigurer och rättfram brutalitet där tvåtakt har absolut företräde.
Mellan de mer thrashiga landskapen växlar trion, som förutom Paul även består av Zdenek Pradlovský (trummor) och Alex ”93” Nejezchleba (gitarr), ner i tempo och hittar variation i takterna med ett påtagligt groove som följd. Det hårda, krossande tillslaget i riffen är kompromisslöst och påminner en hel del om hur det lät i slutet av 80- och början av 90-talet då bland annat den svenska skolan var vägledande.
Paul, som flyttat från USA och numera bor i Tjeckien, behärskar en sång som på ett nästan otäckt sätt är i symbios med det hårt drivna gitarrspel Alex trakterar. Pauls halv-growl/skriksång med bottenlös vrede ger textrader som den nedan den trovärdighet och det intryck de förtjänar.
”Light up the sky, quickly reload, watch as they die for the rights of the oil. I say light up the sky smile as you're told / sit back and watch with your remote control” den .
Texterna, som Paul aldrig riktigt fått någon rättmätig uppskattning för, ligger i sin välformulerade uppriktighet och brutala ärlighet väl i paritet med den fullmatade slagserie thrash/death som ”The New Elite” erbjuder. MASTER fnyser åt konventioner, spottar efter plattityder och kräks på trendkänslig, modern metal som kryper för kommersiella intressen. MASTER skäms inte för sig, de vågar stå för både den musik likväl de åsikter som dess verk ger uttryck för. De är ett band med integritet.
Gilla eller ogilla, det är upp till dig. MASTER kan troligtvis inte bry sig mindre.

8/10

SOURCE:
www.angrymetalguy.com

Master gets no respect. Considering they’ve been knocking around for over twenty years and The New Elite marks their 11th album, the band masterminded by Paul Speckmann has always remained a shadow dweller, eternally hovering on the fringes of the death metal scene’s consciousness. I doubt Mr. Speckmann cares one way or the other though, and he seems quite content to release album after album of speedy, slighty punky, old school American death metal (and I mean OLD school). Personally, I’ve always tended to think of Master as more thrash than death metal, since they play a style leftover from a time when death wasn’t all that different from thrash (1985-88). As with the last few albums (actually ALL their albums), The New Elite is overflowing with fast-paced thrash-death that will remind almost every listener of Death‘s Scream Bloody Gore, Possessed‘s Seven Churches or the old demos by Massacre. There are no bells, whistles, pomp, circumstance or frills of any sort contained within these eleven songs, just raging, thrashing energy and nasty-ass, deranged vocals. This isn’t Reign in Blood. Hell, it ain’t even “It’s Raining Men,” but it’s raucous, knuckleheaded proto-death with enough testosterone to reboot Arnold Schwarzenegger’s moribund acting career (or political career, whatevs). These old dogs won’t learn new tricks, but will happily maul the bejesus outta you every few years.

Master is a very reviewer-friendly band, since they require only the slightest of descriptions. All eleven tracks consist of fast and furious thrash riffs, pounding (but never blasting) drums and gurgling, vomitous vocals. There’s virtually no change of tempo from track to track and no attempt to “shake it up” or “expand their horizons.” Each song introduces you to a riff and then shoves it up your ass for three to five minutes. Thankfully, most of said riffs are respectable and a few are quite superb. The element that makes Master such a joy are Speckmann’s vocals. He perpetually sounds as if he’s on the cusp of a mighty dry heave and he has a hysterical tendency to trail off words into nonsensical gurgles (sacrificiaeeeerrrggg-BLAH!!). He frequently reminds me of a diet version of Chris Reifert (Autopsy) and that’s high praise indeed. His loony croaks singlehandedly makes the music worthwhile even when it gets overly similar (I’ve been banned from ever using the term “same-y” again by the powers that be).

While all eleven songs are fun and sure to cause an epidemic of thrashery, the standout for me is the ripping “Rise Up and Fight,” which reminds me of Whiplash‘s classic scorcher “Warmonger” (it also sounds a bit like the mega-ultra-obscure Piledriver). The quick picking riffs gel perfectly with the authentically rabid vocals and the thing just cooks from start to finish. “Redirect the Evil” has a nifty Cannibal Corpse feel to the riffs and Speckmann provides a little extra venom to the vocals for a satisfying blast of ugliness. The solo is so rough around the edges, you can’t help but love it. There’s a bit of an old Kreator vibe in the riffing during “As Two Worlds Collide” and the band seems extra fired up as they bash you with the musical equivalent of a carburetor attached to a baseball bat. Speckmann does his best to end words with puke sounds during “Guide Yourself” and “Twist of Fate” could have fit right in on Death‘s Leprosy.

Though operating as a power-trio, Master has a full, angry sound. Alex “93? is good at churning out hooky riffs to drive the songs along and he’s obviously influenced by the likes of Rick Rozz and King/Hanneman. His solos are unapologetically raw and crude but they fit perfectly. The drumming by Zdenek Pradlovsky is simplistic and follows a traditional, d-beat thrash template but he gets the job done. Again, the main draw for me is Speckmann’s spittle-heavy, frothy roar and he sounds flat-out great here. He isn’t the most extreme, the deepest or loudest roar out there, but he sounds truly berserk and caught up in the manic energy.

Weak points? Well, the utter lack of tempo shifts or diversity of any kind. Eleven tracks of full speed battery is a lot to sit through. There will be some who feel worn out by the fifth or sixth track and long for some type of stylistic break. I’m not asking for a power ballad or a hair metal moment, but a few slower, doomy segments wouldn’t hurt. I can also see this being too primitive, old-timey and one-dimensional for some. Despite its raw energy, this is a far cry from the bone rattling intensity of modern death metal like Blood Mortized or Hate Eternal. I suppose if one didn’t grow up with the classics that influence the Master sound, this may sound quite dated and obsolete.

Master‘s music isn’t complex and it certainly isn’t progressive, but they know how to execute this particular style very well. All eleven songs have their hooks and catchy moments and this is a fun throwback album (as are all their albums). If you want some mindless death-thrash with a healthy nostalgia factor, there is no Master beater (HA). Thanks for the memories Speckmann, see you in a few years for another mauling.

3,5/5,0

SOURCE:
www.xtreemmusic.org

No hay novedad en el frente, lo que funcionaba hace 25 años sigue funcionando ahora, por lo que a mi respecta. Esta afirmación en apariencia críptica, no lo es para los que como yo tenemos entre 171 y 237 años, pero claro, es preciso decir algo para los que no nacieron en el Precámbrico.
MASTER pertenecen a ese escasísimo tipo de bandas que suenan a si mismos, ellos son una influencia; no obstante ten presentes los riffs que BLACK SABBATH desarrollo en los 70, la ametralladora pesada que es MOTORHEAD, recuerda el Punk D – Beat de, por ejemplo, DISCHARGE, alguna sombra de SLAYER, ten talento, ten fe en que lo que estás haciendo es bueno y con mucha suerte obtendrás una banda de la repercusión, originalidad y carisma de MASTER, una formación inicialmente norteamericana, ahora radicada en la República Checa, pero siempre liderada por el indestructible Paul Speckmann, siempre fiel al estilo de MASTER.
Sobre su música no hay mucho que comentar, es necesario escucharla y es probable que encuentres que las palabras sobran: riffs implacables, temas consistentes como una fortaleza, sonido crudo y, en definitiva, otra excelente obra de Death Metal Old School, con muchas influencias de buen Thrash.

Si hay inspiración, voluntad y talento las ideas cuanto más vetustas y ancianas, mejores resultados ofrecen.

9/10

SOURCE:
www.fobiazine.net

Priznám se rovnou a bez mucení. MASTER jsou moje srdecní záležitost. Pri ocekávání každého nového alba se ve mne rozjitrí vzpomínky na dobu dávno minulou a teším se jako puberták na první sex. Postupne jsme spolu s Master zestárli. Já se stal vypelichanou metlou a Master legendou. Paul Speckmann je pro death metal to samé jako Lemmy pro hard rock a heavy metal. Když jsem ho videl letos na posledním koncerte, prišel mi stejne neznicitelný a klidne bych veril i tomu, že je nesmrtelný.

Minulé album The Human Machine jsem tocil ve všech možných prehrávacích na všech možných i nemožných místech porád dokola. Pri objednání nového cd jsem cekal doma napnutý, jak kdybych mel hodne dedit. Porád jsem chodil kontrolovat poštovní schránku a nadával na Ceskou poštu, jak je pomalá a že mi mimo letáku nikdo nepíše. Pak jsem se dockal. Cd jsem koupil prímo od Paula. Stacilo poslat peníze a já najednou držel v ruce balícek z Uherského Hradište.

Obal cd je opet jako minulé album v takové té plastové krabicce, kterou když poškodíte, tak už ji nikde neseženete. Volil jsem klasické cd, protože dopredu tuším, že ho zase budu tahat všude s sebou. Pro labužníky vychází i v 500 kusové edici jako vinyl. Vše lze objednat na internetových stránkách Master. O dle mého názoru velice zdarilou grafiku se postaral nemecký mág Mark Bridgeman. Jak už bývá dobrým zvykem, nahrávalo se a míchalo ve studiu Shaark a musím opet vyseknout poklonu. Skvelý old school sound! Textove se písne zaobírají soucasnými spolecenskými problémy. A musím ríci, že pri listování bookletem a procítání jsem hodnekrát souhlasne pokýval hlavou.

A priznávám se znovu, že me album The New Elite rozsekalo. Jedenáct songu plných ohne. Kde v sobe porád berou tu energii? Cd zacíná bez jakéhokoliv intra. Žádné kudrlinky a podobné zbytecnosti. The New Elite zní, jako by Lemmy porádne pritvrdil a zrychlil. Rise Up And Fight. Pokud u této písne zustáváte porád v klidu, není tohle cdcko pro vás. Masakr prvního stupne. Remove The Knife ve mne probudí vzpomínky na staré casy, které jsem s Master trávil jako mladý klucina. Sypanice od zacátku do konce. Smile As You´re Told. Tady to Paul tahá nekde z dolní poloviny žaludku.

Smýkám se sebou po pokoji a jsem albem totálne pohlcen. Redirect The Evil. Lehce pochodová písnicka. Kývám svojí prorídlou marenou. Proc dneska nehrajou nekde poblíž? Hned bych vyrazil. Narval bych do sebe pod tlakem nekolik piv a šel bych na to. Out of Control. Jsem už taky mimo kontrolu. Možná je to trošku smešný, abych ve svým veku porád takhle blbnul, ale když já proste nemužu jinak. Rychlé a destruktivní. As Two Worlds Collide. Od prvního poslechu cd vím, že tohle je pro me nejlepší písen alba. Varí se mi morek v kostech. Musím vyzdvihnout i práci obou spolupracovníku Paula. Zdenek s bicími musí snad i spát. A o Alexovi se snad ani nemusím zminovat. Doufám, že tahle skvadra vydrží hodne dlouho spolu. Sednou k sobe jak já k plzenskýmu pivu. New Reforms. Kvílivá kytara a bicí v šíleném tempu. Dneska to asi neudýchám. Guide Yourself. Další rychloobrátková vec. Líbí se mi, že Master jdou rovnou na vec. Souls Of Dissuade. Basa a bicí vás rozloží na prvocástice. Do toho nezamenitelný Pauluv hrdelní rev. A když se to zase rozjede, jste opet ztraceni. Twist Of Fate. Záverecný masakr. Pripadám si, jak po týdenní nonstop práci v kamenolomu. Tahle deska je opravdu nahrána s nadšením a neznicitelnou energií.
Porád se nemužu nového cd The New Elite nabažit. Zase jim to všechno verím a užívám si to. Jestli máte chut na porádnou porci skvelého old school death metalu, jdete do toho! A jestli jste také fanoušci této formace, je The New Elite pro vás povinnost! Come on Master!

SOURCE:
www.battlehelm.com

Holy shit, Speckmann rules man. If you are a fan of old school death / thrash then look no further than the grand meister himself, Paul Speckmann. Man, this guy has been going since ’83 and even now aged 48 and quitting Chicago for the Czech Republic, he is still delivering old school almost 30 years on! Best of all, he still has that underground sound and style that bands like Possessed, Death, Venom and Slayer had way back in their day: dirty, driller killer riffs, rumbling pig grunt bass, bestial insane drumming and if anyone can have more gargled vocals then Lemmy, then it’s gotta be Speckmann!! In the world of Master simplicity is brutality but being expertly crafted by him, songs like ‘As Two Worlds Collide’, ‘Remove The Knife’ and ‘Out Of Control’ are nothing short of epics in that classic old school vein but served fresh outta the vat the only way Speckmann has ever uncompromisingly done – “The New Elite” is a big fuck you to anyone challenging him, now go fuckin’ die!!!!

SOURCE:
www.queenofsteel.com

Que MASTER es una garantía de éxito dentro no es algo que sorprenda a estas alturas. La banda capitaneada por Paul Speckmann lleva desde 1983 creando trabajos tan brillantes como demoledores, ganándose el respeto de la crítica y del gran público underground con su potente Death Metal cargado de reivindicaciones de diferentes tipos. “The New Elite” es su nuevo compacto y la verdad es que MASTER siguen en plena forma y con ganas de seguir haciéndote reflexionar por un lado, y disfrutar por otro con sus temas.

¿Y qué nos encontraremos en “The New Elite”? Pues los fans de la banda ya lo sabrán a ciencia cierta, mientras que los que no conozcan a Paul y compañía, les iría bien escuchar canciones como “Rise Up and Fight”, “Out of Control” o “New Reforms” por ejemplo, ya que resumen las principales características de MASTER a la perfección. Y esos rasgos no son otros que una poderosa base rítmica con una batería que imprime un ritmo endemoniado que sigue por el mismo camino que la gran variedad de riffs que te dejarán sin aliento alguno. La verdad es que la labor de Alex “93? Nejezchleba a la guitarra es sencillamente bestial y demoledora, acaparando la mayor parte de la atención del oyente en casi todo momento del compacto.

Paul sigue escupiendo letras reivindicativas con una temática que abarca la crítica más despiadada a las religiones, los políticos, etc., con agresiva voz llena de odio e ira.

La instrumentación es tan brillante como siempre, mientras que la genial producción hace que podamos paladear hasta el más oculto de los acordes de una obra con un recorrido menor de 45 minutos pero que es capaz de “ejecutar” a nuestros oídos de principio a fin.

Este “The New Elite” es uno de los discos más completos en todos los aspectos de una formación como MASTER (y eso ya es decir), por lo que si eres un amante del Death Metal old school en su vertiente más auténtica, Paul y compañía te harán disfrutar como un niño con once nuevas balas insertadas en su cargador.

Pulverised Records (2012)

Puntuación: 8,5/10

Manuel Sevillano

SOURCE:
www.metal-guide.eu

Formed back in 1983, the band that continues to deliver some excellent music extremity with each release, never really had the recognition it deserved amongst fans. This didn't prevent Paul Speckmann and his crew to create 11 albums (this is the eleventh) of pure brutality and musical genius.

First of all lets try to describe the music here, to those that haven't heard a Master album before. Imagine a style that is a breed between Death and Thrash, with each style dominating the other at times, but with both creating a result which is, the lest to say, catchy and amazing. The riffs are plenty and sharp, often reminding the early Thrash days, so is the songwriting at times, something that the devoted Master fan will definitely appreciate. Vocals that sound as pissed and extreme as with their previous works are also present here, and with the addition of a very solid and technical rhythm section, complete this album, which sometimes sounds terribly familiar, but also carefully crafted to the last detail. Right from the first minute, the band assaults our ears with their music, with no weak points, things that sound boring or could have been done in a better way. Guitar solos are also plenty, melodic, distorted and sometimes done in the Possessed way, and this give this band an extra credit for me. Perfectly arranged, with a good production that preserves the energy and the aggression, brutal vocals, a rhythm section as solid as a concrete wall, and plenty of times to bang your head with, this album has all it takes to become another milestone for the band.

Old or new fan, don't miss this out.

9/10

SOURCE:
http://metalsamsara.blogspot.cz

Falar em certas bandas históricas, muitas vezes, chega a pôr o crítico em situações um pouco constrangedoras, pois muitas vezes, a longa estrada os faz cansar do que fazem e os levam a transitar por outros caminhos, deixando sua identidade de lado. Mas ao mesmo tempo, a felicidade de ver bandas que se mantêm fiéis às suas raízes, sabendo evoluir na medida certa que a criatividade da banda permite é bem grande.

Falar do Master é chover no molhado, já que na banda está o baixista/vocalista Paul Speckmann, um dos co-criadores do Death Metal na primeira metade dos anos 80, e o único deles ainda na atividade, sem viver de seu passado glorioso, fazendo músicas novas sempre mantendo o alto padrão que sempre soube impor, e no recém-lançado trabalho da banda, The New Elite (via Pulverised Records), Paul e seus mostram o quanto são fiéis às suas convicções. Gravado nos Shaark Studios, na República Tcheca (onde Paul mora hoje em dia), onde Root, Fleshless, Goreinhaled e outros já gravaram seus trabalhos, a produção sonora deixou a banda polida o suficiente para que nenhum instrumento fique oculto, mas ao mesmo tempo, soa intensa e ríspida como o estilo da banda pede. A arte, muito bonita, mais uma vez é um trabalho de Mark Bridgeman, que também fez a capa do The Human Machine, CD anterior da banda. As letras continuam despejando protestos conscientes e irados contra o 'American Way of Life' sem dó ou piedade.

O que o CD musicalmente apresenta é o bom e velho Death Metal Tradicional direto, sem muitos rodeios, com certas doses ‘motorheadianas’ aqui e ali, só que este é um dos melhores lançamentos da banda depois da fase considerada clássica (lá pelo início dos anos 90), e há momentos ótimos como em The New Elite, que remete diretamente à fase clássica da banda, em um arrasa-quateirões com fortes bases de guitarra, bem como na empolgante Rise Up and Fight, com ótimo trabalho da bateria, fora os urros de Paul; já Remove the Knife é um pouco mais cadenciada e focada no peso em seu início, para logo depois virar uma golfada de brutalidade rápida; a rascante e veloz Smile as You're Told; o peso mamutesco de Redirect the Evil, mais lenta e pesada, com um andamento ótimo e grandes guitarras mais uma vez; a esporreira bem feita de Out of Control, sem firulas e bem agressiva, como é costumeiro da banda; e as ótimas As Two Worlds Collide e Souls to Dissuade, onde o pogo ocorre e os pescoços não param de agitar.

Ouvir novos trabalhos do Master é sempre um imenso prazer, e a banda mostra que ainda tem muita lenha para queimar nessa estrada.
Hey, Paul, com to Brazil again soon, please!!!

Pulverised Records – Importado
Nota 10
Por Marcos Garcia

SOURCE:
http://www.vampster.com

Zwei Jahre nach "The Human Machine" schlagen MASTER wieder zu. Das Line Up der Band um Paul Speckemann ist inzwischen schon seit dem 2004er-Album "The Spirit Of The West" stabil. Aufgenommen wurde "The New Elite" erneut im tschechischen Shaark-Studio. Nur beim Cover ist man wieder in eine komplett andere Richtung gegangen. Sieht schon cool aus, aber das besser zu den gesellschaftskritischen Lyrics von Paul Speckmann passende Cover des Vorgängers war irgendwie treffender. Musikalisch bleiben sich MASTER natürlich treu. Hier treffen weiterhin Death und Thrash Metal aufeinander. Ein räudiger Bastard aus unter anderem VENOM, MOTÖRHEAD und einer ordentlichen Portion punkiger Rotzigkeit. Viel Schweiß, Dreck und Rotz, eine Menge Groove und Rock´n´Roll, garniert mit dem räudigen, prägnanten Krächzgröhlen von Meister Speckmann. Alle Songs kommen schnell auf den Punkt, sind größtenteils im Up Tempo gehalten, Songs wie der Mid Tempo-Groover "Redirect The Evil" sorgen aber für ausreichend Abwechslung.

Wer MASTER bisher nicht kennt, dem sei gesagt, dass das Ganze ein wenig so klingt, als hätte Lemmy plötzlich Lust darauf bekommen, den MOTÖRHEAD-Sound um Death und Thrash-Anleihen zu erweitern. Wer auf diesen Sound steht, der bekommt hier elf mal ordentlich die Fresse poliert, MASTER überzeugen auch mit "The New Elite" auf ganzer Linie. Stumpf kann jeder, so verdammt gut stumpf können nur wenige.

SOURCE:
www.metal1.info

Müsste ich mich auf eine Band festlegen, die nicht den Rang und Namen hat, der ihr eigentlich gebühren würde, längen die Death-Metal-Vetaranen MASTER wohl nicht schlecht im Rennen. Bereits 1983 gegründet, zehn Alben im Regal und von diversen Genregrößen als Einfluss genannt, ist es eigentlich ein Wunder, dass die Truppe um Szenekoryphäe Paul Speckmann immer noch dem Underground zuzurechnen ist.

Mit „The New Elite“ legt die Band nun ihr elftes Album vor, und stellt ihre Klasse ein weiteres Mal unter Beweis. „Old School!“ steht auch diesmal auf allen Flaggen, und doch ist „The New Elite“ alles andere als langweiliger 08/15-Death-Metal: Coole Riffs, bissiger Sound und nicht zuletzt Speckmanns angepisster Gesang machen „The New Elite“ zu einem echten Leckerbissen für Szenekenner. Stilistisch ist dieses Mal keine merkliche Weiterentwicklung seit dem ebenfalls sehr zu empfehlenden Vorgängerwerk „The Human Machine“ festzustellen – im Gegenteil, selbst im Shuffle-Modus zwischen beiden Alben könnte man die Songs wohl nur am merklich aggressiveren Gitarrensound des neuen Albums unterscheiden. Die Notwendigkeit zu einem Stilwechsel war hier jedoch auch tatsächlich nicht gegeben, war doch schon „The Human Machine“ ein absoluter Höhepunkt in der bisherigen MASTER-Diskographie.

Gleich der Beginn mit dem Titeltrack und dem nicht minder furiosen „Rise Up And Fight“ geht in recht flottem Tempo gleich voll auf die Zwölf... und was in der restlichen, gebotenen Dreiviertelstunde folgt, steht dem in nichts nach. Dass dabei über die Zeit eine gewisse Ermüdung am doch recht charakteristischen Sound der Band einsetzt, ist nicht von der Hand zu weisen – vergleicht man „The New Elite“ aber beispielsweise mit dem aktuellen Asphyx-Album oder anderen Werken aus der Sparte, fährt man mit „The New Elite“ auch diesbezüglich noch wirklich gut.

Mit ihrem mittlerweile elften Album beweisen MASTER ein weiteres Mal, dass sie eigentlich zu mehr als dem ewigen Underground-Tipp taugen würden... braucht sich „The New Elite“ doch qualitativ weder hinsichtlich des Songmaterials, noch im Bezug auf die Umsetzung vor irgend einem Death-Metal-Album der letzten Jahre verstecken. An der Musik jedenfalls hapert es nicht – eher wohl daran, dass MASTER ihre Alben nie angemessen live promoten.

Bewertung: 8.5/10

Redakteur: Moritz Grütz

SOURCE:
www.heavymetal.about.com

Paul Speckmann’s old school death metal beast Master, an important band in the foundations of early death metal, returns with The New Elite, yet another slab of, you guessed it, old school death metal. Not much changes from album to album with Master, as Speckmann and company stick to their tried and true formula of mid-paced gallops, riffs piled upon riffs, a bottom heavy, rough production, and Speckmann’s nasally inflected growl. Probably incapable of producing a bad album whilst employing this formula, Master occasionally rise above better than average death metal with taut songwriting and musicianship, as was displayed on 2010’s The Human Machine, and Master largely continue in that vein with The New Elite. Both albums are pretty similar with, more or less, interchangeable songs, but The New Elite has a slightly rawer sound to the production and a heavier reliance on near d-beat pacing than that of The Human Machine.

The New Elite rarely varies in songwriting and delivery, however, and, in lesser hands, the approach would be rather boring, but Master lay on the crushing heaviness with enough catchy riffs to carry the day and produce yet another solid album of straightforward death metal. In short, there are no surprises with The New Elite.

SOURCE:
www.voicesfromthedarkside.de

(Picking myself from the floor...)

Uffff... now this was some mad thrashing session alright! Let me take a breather here... two years after the menacingly dark "The Human Machine", MASTER shows no intention of slowing things down and comes at you with the fiercely slashing "The New Elite". Paul Speckmann & Co. still possess all the rage and fire to deliver a bullshit free scorcher! It kicks you in the nuts right from the get go and continues to do so throughout the whole album! I know, it's a kinda lame and lazy comparison, but one I always wanted to make - MASTER is like MOTÖRHEAD of Death Metal, period!

Most casual fans know of their first two classic albums and kinda overlook the new era of MASTER which started since Paul Speckmann moved to Czech and recreated the band again. With this new lease of life they're getting stronger and stronger as "The New Elite" proves again just like the previous 3 albums, starting from "Four More Years of Terror", did! Simple but sharp as a shark's teeth riffs accompanied by a solid and strong rhythm foundation, bowel moving bass and raspy, snarling vocals suck you into a vicious maelstrom of crusty Death Metal with slight Thrash overtones bringing some resemblance to ABOMINATION. The production is raw yet very clear and distinguishable, very bass heavy which is a bit different from "The Human Machine" where it was more straightforward and dark. It cuts straight to the point and reminds me of VENOM's "Fallen Angels" somehow.

The title track, the following 'Rise Up And Fight', 'Smile As You're Told', 'As Two Worlds Collide' and the closing 'Twist Of Fate' are among my favourites here, all bearing trademark MASTER stamps. If anything, this album is even more angry and aggresive than the previous ones. The band sounds fucking tight here and Paul Speckmann without any doubt whatsoever is one of the best Death Metal vocalists in the world - the accentuation of words, the delivery and that venomous snarl blows out of the water all the pretenders... and to think he has started the genre and been doing this for nearly 30 years - that is damn impressive! If you've been up to date with MASTER's work, then "The New Elite" won't surprise you that much, they are not pulling MORBID ANGEL tricks on you, so rest assured - the quality, delivery and raging aggression and anger is still there in a pure undiluted MASTER way! So, to sum it up and make things clear - buy the CD or the vinyl, because this is undoubtedly one of the best classic Death Metal albums of the year 2012 and a freely downloaded file is just a big no-go. You must support MASTER if you call yourself a Death Metal fan! Not out of the obligation or any other bullshit reason, but because "The New Elite" kills, then picks you up and kills again!

And Paul Speckmann should finally write his book too!

SOURCE:
deadvoiddream.blogspot.cz

Apparently for Paul Speckmann the home is where the disease is the and the current hard times have seemingly re-fuelled his vitriolic rage to epic proportions, which is only good for the listener. 'The New Elite' is here to kick your ass and then some, spitting bile and pointing fingers in an extremely intense fashion - a raging combination of blistering riffs and solos, hyper-kinetic drumming and Paul's patented snarls and bass lines. 45 minutes do fly in a heart beat, the eleven songs wouldn't let you catch your breath and those lame neck muscles would be screaming in vain for mercy and a nice spa treating. This is a textbook example of doing things right and Master most certainly know the secret recipe of mixing old school death metal and punk/hardcore energy along with some thrash and modern day death spices to give the listener value for their money. 'The New Elite' has once again reassured the faith that this band's fire is far from extinguishing and that's amazing news in a scene spawning bands with little to no integrity and bite. Couple of attributes Paul has proven over the years he's got in abundance and could put to good use.

8,5



Reviews: Slaves of Society
thelefthandpath.com
SPECKMANN!!! The master, unsung, living abroad and back on stage touring, writing, releasing music still potent as the politics at home grow more absurd. Or just more absurdly tolerated. Twenty years on with two albums seemingly impossible to Live down, Master's scathing 10th album sees the band at its strongest in years. Their state of mind spelled out immediately in the album's cover, the meaning no deeper than that metalized rendering of citizen qua cum-receptacle at the feet of our Great Architects of Change. The disc's eleven tracks regain a certain focus and clarity to heighten that aggression as Speckmann, guitarist Ales Nejezchleba and hammersmith Zdenel Pradlovsky continually pound out speed metal timed with machine gun rhythms backing bass guitar purring like a jet-black dragster and lyrics voiced raw and dripping, at each turn demonstrating that not all the old lions age so poorly. With songs battling an imbalance of recognition, hype and influence, the moniker answers peers and offspring together in signature twists delving briefly into pinch-groove riffs ("The Last Chapter"), accents of modern Death Metal ("The Room With Views") and straight-forward thrash scored with blood and sand on the backs of the masses and those chosen to represent them. On these formulas they improve with proven simplicity, the production thinner than what's demanded by many of the genre's younger following, but with nothing softened in the deLivery and paired together with the recent re-release of their first two LPs on CD, may at last see Master regain throne.
[Todd DePalma]
 
kvltsite.com
Master - Slaves to Society
By Sriram Bharadwaj
Saturday, 10 November 2007

Master will go down in death metal annals, along with Monstrosity and Deceased as perhaps the band that was most undeservedly underappreciated by the hordes subscribing to said form of music. Speckmann's influence on the death metal of the late '80s was quite possibly as profound as any allegiance that has been sworn to Possessed, Slayer and early Death. Abomination, Death Strike, Funeral Bitch and consequently, Master have played no small part in forging death metal, then in its tumultuous adolescence, into the malignant force that it became in the early '90s. Grudgingly, I will concede that Speckmann too had his troughs, the mid '90s yielding a couple of nondescript slabs of plastic that bafflingly had the Master logo slapped onto them. However, Speckmann was far from out. A couple of line-up changes were made, the early '80s Discharge discography was pushed back into the tape recorder and a few more feet of beard added. The end result of a revitalized Master was 2005's "almost there" effort Four More Years Of Terror. The past 2 years seem to have been spent by Paul Speckmann (bass/vocals), Alex Nejezchleba (guitars) and Zdenek Pradlovsky in honing the portentous potential of Four More Years of Terror into a brutally precise and effective murder weapon.

Slaves To Society is easily Master's best album since 1991's On the Seventh Day God Created...Master. Everything that constituted classic Master is back on Slaves To Society, from the dizzying velocity of the riffs hewn from the ripest orchards of the hardcore/crossover movement of the '80s (primarily Discharge and the Cro-Mags), to Speckmann's razor edged, bile-spewing vocal deLivery and cantakerous, socio-politically charged lyrical work. No time is wasted in iterating the course of action on this album, with The Final Skull's opening riff straightaway summoning the corpses of the '80s crossover giants to do their hyperspeed bidding. It's a declaration, both of intent and of return, by Speckmann and Co. The rest of the album follows through magnificently, pushing already insane levels of adrenaline soaked metal mania into overdrive. The title track (with a slight modern touch ala gratuitous use of the bane of Unique Leader-era death metal, the pinch harmonic, on the main riff), signals the start of the middle of the album and pushes it immediately into mosh territory. The solos are much better thought out and played out than any other Master album I can remember, including the S/T. The production on this album is brilliant, with fat guitar tones, THE best bass sound in any Master album ever (alas, Speckmann has confirmed what we always knew but only spoke of only in hushed tones.And that ofcourse is that, in Speckmann's own words "Burns was a homo when it came to bass") and a delectably organic drum tone. The songs get a bit longer towards the end of the album and exhibit the more distinct death metal face of Master's music, as compared to the snarling hardcore overtones of the preceeding material in the album. Remnants of Hate, The Last Chapter and World Police (the last being the longest track on the album at 6:04) all display the kind of misanthropic, blasting, Venom and Slayer born thrash-taken-to-the-next-level riffing that was prevelant on Unreleased 1985 Album era Master, and that made Master the force-du-jour among discerning death metal fans of the late '80s.

In essence, this is a return of unprecedentedly ass owning proportions from Master. And while Speckmann may never attain the stature of a Chuck Schuldiner or the notoreity of a Dave Vincent, he will continue to reign supreme in the memoirs of true death metal connoissuers as one of the most enduring legends of the genre. A must have!!

4/5

 
diabolicalconquest.com
Master - Slaves To Society

Paul Speckmann - Bass/Vocals
Ales Nejezchleba - Guitars
Zdenek "Zdenal" Pradlovsky - Drums

Always outspoken and disarmingly candid, Paul Speckmann's belligerence and boisterousness has not attenuated with the passage of time. On Master's umpteenth outing, Slaves To Society, this bellicose brazenness manifests itself in gratuitously explicit form- an act of fellatio clumsily censored by a superimposed “banned by society” bar. The none-too-subtle and clumsily-positioned tag, which utterly fails to obscure the bawdy imagery, is a concise and damning indictment of current policing and censorial procedures- the truth is in plain view, why bother tucking it (sloppily) under the rug? Master have always been a singularly unique proposition, an unabashedly political band that dodges the perilous pitfalls of sermonizing CNN Metal and total anarchic nihilism. A salvo against complacency, lassitude and hypocrisy, Master are first and foremost a commitment, a call-to-arms, an incitement. It also helps that they've regurgitated forth some of the most impassioned, incendiary death/thrash ever.

After having lost their way somewhat in the Let's Start A War/Faith Is In Season years, Speck unveiled a frighteningly immediate and awesomely spirited outing with last year's Four More Years Of Terror (as with all his pronouncements, Speck is not shy with his intentions). This record surpasses even that monument of malevolence, a breakneck exultation of all that is Master, Funeral Bitch and Death Strike. Unreservedly Speckmann from first note to last, this somehow manages to infuse new vitality into a formula that seemed to be wearing threadbare in Master's years in oblivion. If Four More Years Of Terror didn't completely dispel any of your reservations, Slaves To Society assuredly will. Speck has returned from his songwriting nebula, and this is surely the BEST Master album since On The Seventh Day ..., and each subsequent spin suggests that this one even eclipses said masterwork to rank alongside Master.

If this is your virgin experience with the band, enjoy the initiation, it is a baptism into a long and fulfilling relationship. All the requisite accoutrements of a Master record are accounted for- the doggedly single-minded beats, the non-stop, primal Discharge-flavored riffs, the gravel-throated, strained and severe vocals, the unashamedly caustic lyrical matter, the infectious holler-along hooks, the neck-snagging rhythms and deliberate, pronounced pacing. Speck has developed a style that remains affirmatively first-wave in approach, wielding the simplistic and frank formula to songcraft that has been his muse from his earliest days, but he welds this sensibility with a more contemporary feel for rhythmic phrasing and breaks that, to my mind at least, should assure considerable crossover appeal with a younger demographic.

Take the opening barrage of “The Final Skull”, for instance, which couples a mind-melting Discharge-esque main riff with throbbing, pounding kick drums and a devastating break, or the title cut (which is even accented with pinch harmonics, the soup-du-jour of all young rapscallions), a perfect synthesis of sinewy hardcore and vintage Master moves, the likes of which can be identified in everything from Terrorizer to Nasum. Consolidating this transition into greater accessibility is a heightened sense of melody- the solos that punctuate the record are succinct and tuneful, while “Cheater” even features hyperspeed harmony sections. Make no mistake, Master are still one of the most unforgiving propositions in death metal, but this time around the martial severity is expressed in (slightly) more approachable form. All of this, of course, crystallizes into what is surely the best death metal album of 2007 thus far, and a landmark in one of the most storied careers in heavy music.

nin chan, 9,3/10

 
Unholycult.com
Master - Slaves To Society
(Album of the Week 8-3-10-7)
A large grin crossed my face when Young, a 37 year old Christian Republican family man, that had given up listening to Metal said, “What band are we listening to… Its heavy and modern, but has an Old School feel.
Smirking I replied, “This is the new Master album called ‘Slaves To Society.”
“Yeah,” he replied. “This music reminds me of 84 when I first heard “Chemical Warfare” cause it’s fucking raw and mean. Master huh; leave it to Speckmann to still be killing us all after something like 25 years… FUCKING MADMAN!”
Truer words could not have been stated, but before I get to the meat of this critique I am compelled to emphasize that ‘Slaves To Society’ is essential.

Right when “The Final Skull” blasts into gear your ears are riding a sonic rocket of nihilism on CD. Paul Speckmann’s fingers rumbling across that buzzing distorted monster bass is amazing. Whether playing fast, technical, or jamming during chromatic interludes, the lower frequencies are a rolling mesmerizing signature balanced perfectly with the other instruments. It’s like hearing Steve Harris on steroids. The drumming on ‘Slaves To Society’ is sensational, but what makes this fact is how Zdenek Pradlovsky does NOT simply mash-n-bash blast beats for speed/filler. Instead, ears are treated to amazingly controlled footwork, unique tight fills, super human rolls, and a precision that is stellar. He sounds like a 1000 horses stampeding in harmony over a stadium full of politicians… Fuck, if I was learning to play drums, Pradlovsky would be my hero. Guitar solos rip-n-careen from all directions in squealing carpal tunnel inducing rage. Riff after violent riff tumbles out of Alex Nejezchleba’s guitar like cars spilling off a crumbling Minneapolis bridge. And each riff gets stuck in your head cause they’re instantaneously catchy and righteously pulsating.

I don’t usually discuss lyrics in critiques cause they are mostly redundant fodder about rape, gore, and homicide with a bit of Odin thrown in for pseudo creativity. On ‘Slaves To Society,’ Speckmann again proves topics about pernicious politics and automatons is starkly more relevant and brOOOtal than odes to Satan. Enhancing this fact are Speckmann’s vocals, which are utterly spiteful in a tone and growl as captivating now, as it was in 1985. When he bellows through his gravel throat “Society’s already dead” it comes across contemptuously truthful. Surely ‘Slaves To Society’ is what an anarchist plays while constructing a bomb.

Youth is raw rage with a naivety about life and politics molded into a sense of ageless indestructibility. Few are able to channel that passion into a meaningful artistic career, for too often integrity is bartered for bong hits and a sofa, an unemployment check, a mortgage, social status, and a trophy wife. Everyone sells out in a capitalist world, but few keep their integrity, which is why Master is an essential paradigm for what is right about Metal music and life. ‘Slaves To Society’ is gritty, brilliant, and profound. This is SpeckMetal! This is Master, and you will succumb to its sublime irreverence!!!!

By Mike Lidia

 
Legacy Magazine
MASTER „Slaves To Society“
(Twilight)
Ich habe schon fast das Gefühl, dass meine vielen guten Bewertungen zur Farce werden, aber der diesmonatige Soundcheck ist derart stark besetzt, dass daran gar kein Weg vorbei führt. Und auch das Death Metal-Urgestein MASTER macht da keine Ausnahme. Kaum zu fassen, wie unbeirrt Paul Speckmann trotz zahlreicher Rückschläge seinen Weg geht. Dabei spielt es für ihn keine Rolle, ob er in Chicago oder wie seit einigen Jahren in Tschechien stationiert ist. Auch "Slaves To Society" strotzt wieder vor simplen Death-/Thrash-Krachern, die völlig schnörkellos auf den Punkt kommen und absolut keine Gefangenen machen. ´Langsam´ ist dabei fast völlige Fehlanzeige, MASTER hauen auf die Fresse, und das nur mit wenigen Unterbrechungen. ´Back To The Primitive´ im positivsten Sinn! Viel mehr gibt es auch gar nicht zu sagen, MASTER sind MASTER, und das ist auch gut so. Es gibt zwar immer wieder Leute, die behaupten, früher wäre alles besser gewesen, aber das ist zumindest in Bezug auf "Slaves To Society" völliger Unsinn. Die Scheibe knallt von vorne bis hinten, die Songs sind eingängig, und der olle Paul präsentiert sich gesanglich in bester Form. Fett!
(MAW) 12/15 Punkte

 
visions-underground.com
Master "Slaves To Society" 12.6.2007
Man könnte ja meinen, es würde irgendwann mal langweilig werden, wenn eine Band über zwanzig Jahre lang Album um Album veröffentlicht und sich dabei entwicklungstechnisch gesehen kaum vom Fleck bewegt...Es wird aber einfach nicht langweilig – jedenfalls nicht bei Master! Deren neues Album „Slaves To Society“ ist einfach genauso alte Schule wie es sich für ein Death-Metal-Urgestein gehört!
Mit “The Final Skull”als Opener marschiert ein alles einstampfender und brutaler Song voran, der wieder auf ein gutes Album hoffen lässt – was mit „In Control“ direkt bestätigt wird, denn hierbei donnert es einem noch brachialer um die Ohren, als man erwartet hatte! In einem bösen Stakkato-Gewitter wettert Paul Speckmann mit den treibenden Instrumenten um die Wette, dass es eine Freude für jeden Nacken ist, und dem auch der darauffolgende Song „Beaten For The Possibility“ in nichts nachsteht. Diese drei Songs bilden einen klasse Einstieg in das Album durch die Master-typische Formel, die neben sehr variablen Ideen für ihre Songs immer fantastische Melodien mit rhythmischer Raserei verbinden – und das klappt bei ihnen einfach immer, wie man auf „Slaves To Society“ und natürlich den ganzen Vorgängern dieses Albums anhören kann. Aber zurück zu den neuen Songs! Beim Titelstück „Slaves To Society“ fühlt man sich dann endlich wie zu Hause angekommen – mehr nach Master können Master nicht klingen! Dagegen wird man von den Nachfolgern „Cheater“ und „The Darkest Age“ sehr überrascht. Ersteres fällt vor allem im Refrain eher in die Rock´n´Roll-Schiene und erinnert mich durch Speckmanns super gerotzten Gesang doch etwas an Motörhead´s Lemmy, was auch nochmals bei „Remnants Of Hate“ der Fall ist – und super in die Songs reinpasst, denn es verleiht ihnen noch einen Tick mehr Dynamik und fügt sich gut in die Melodien ein. Von „The Darkest Age“ wird man eher insofern überrumpelt, als dass es einen eben nicht erst überrumpelt – hä? Ja! Denn es beginnt zunächst schleppend und mit brüchigerem Gesang, gefolgt von interessanten Breaks im Tempo – finster und genial! Ebenfalls absolut hörenswerte Songs sind sowohl „The Room with Views“, der sehr rhythmisch durchläuft und für den ich eine Bang-Prognose von 100 Punkten vergebe, weil er so rumpelt, als auch das Presswerk „Remnants Of Hate“, das einem nicht mehr aus dem Ohr gehen kann durch seine böse hämmernden Riffs. Beängstigend gut ist hier auch das Gitarrensolo, das sich durch dunkle Rhythmuswolken schneidet, wie eine Sirene! „The Last Chapter“ beginnt hingegen mit etwas völlig neuem, nämlich ungewöhnlich nach Südstaaten-Metal klingenden Gitarrenparts, die einen interessanten, sich wiederholenden Bruch innerhalb des Songs abgeben. Schön schmutzig! Der Abschlusssong „World Police“ verbreitet nicht nur textlich, sondern in erster Linie klanglich eine apokalyptisch anmutende Stimmung, die einen etwas verstört alleine lässt, sobald das Album durchgelaufen ist...Aber dagegen hilft nur eins: Macht das Album wieder von vorne an! Master sind sich treu geblieben und verdienen für ihr neues Album (wieder mal) allerhöchsten Respekt! „Slaves To Society“ wird für alle Death Metal-Fans eine lohnende Investition sein!
Rebecca Rey/V.U., 10/10
 
schwermetall.ch
Master - Slaves To Society (2007)
Was hat der gute Paul Speckmann in seiner musikalischen Laufbahn nicht schon alles erlebt? In zahllosen Bands aktiv sah er Musiker kommen und gehen, Plattenfirmen kommen und gehen, Erfolge und Misserfolge kommen und gehen - und so weiter und so fort. Noch nicht gegangen ist er selbst - seit weit über zwanzig Jahren ist er inzwischen im Geschäft - mal besser, mal schlechter, mal hier, mal da. Zu einem echten Durchbruch hat es aber bislang nicht gereicht - auch nicht mit seinem Kronjuwel, Master. Zur ewigen Untergrundikone verdammt tingelt man also durch die Lande und unterhält das geschmackvolle Publikum mit Auszügen aus seiner beachtlichen Diskographie. Und um diesbezüglich für stetigen Nachschub zu sorgen, wirft man mit "Slaves To Society" dieser Tage den fünften regulären Langspieler des neuen Jahrtausends auf den Plattenmarkt.
Und wieder besinnt man sich auf seine Stärke, die darin liegt, simple Riffs geschickt aufzubereiten und eingängige Klanghaken daraus zu schmieden, die so leicht nicht aus den Gehörgängen zu putzen sind. Vom ersten Ton an überfordert man den Hörer kompositorisch nicht mit komplexen Komplexen, sondern fädelt homogene Klangelemente auf den roten Faden, wie die Perlen einer Kette. Im eigenen Interesse hält man seine Stücke nachvollziehbar und ordentlich thrashig lässt man die Todeswalze mal gemächlich, mal schwungvoll vorwärts rollen. Was man selbstverständlich vergebens sucht, ist Hochglanz. Es hätte auch verwundert, wenn der Meister seine wunderbar schmutzige Kunst des Musizierens beiseite gelegt und auf dem schwermetallischen Luxusliner angeheuert hätte. So rutschen hier und da sogar leichte Anleihen aus dem Crossover durch das geordnete Chaos von Speckmann's Truppe, die sich um Konventionen bekanntermassen ja nur wenig Gedanken macht. Als einziges schwererwiegendes Manko fällt auf, das aus den elf kleinen Glanzlichtern trotz vorhandenen Potentials kein wirkliches Meisterwerk hervorstechen mag und man sich scheinbar etwas in Zurückhaltung übt - vielleicht bündelt man seine Kräfte ja bereits jetzt für das nächste Album? Angesichts der durchweg im weit überdurchschnittlichen Bereich angesiedelten Stücke kann aber auch das den positiven Eindruck nicht zerstören und "Slaves To Society" allzu weit abrutschen lassen.
Lange Rede, kurzer Sinn: Master bleiben ein Eckpfeiler des schwermetallischen Untergrundes und haben mit "Slaves To Society" ein volles Pfund am Start.
Bluttaufe, 11/13
 
metalmessage.de
MASTER
„Slaves To Society“
Es ist schlicht und ergreifend als purer Wahnsinn zu titulieren, was der gute alte Paul Speckmann für dieses neue Hammeralbum auf elf starke Song-Beine gestellt hat. Der Master-Tieftoner und -Grummelsänger gilt mittlerweile als Genre-Urgestein. Und während andere Death Metal-Kapellen mit den Jahren immer mehr Zähne verlieren, beißen Master mit „Slaves To Society“ kraftvoller als je zuvor zu. Das tschechische Treiber-Trio um den langbärtigen Todesblei-Obermeister legt auf diesem neuen Werk die unbändigste Spielfreude vor, die man sich in diesem Genre überhaupt heutzutage noch vorstellen kann. Und Paule gab alles. Dickes Lob steht jedoch auch Gitarrist Ales Nejezchleba zu, denn der Mann lässt die Finger wie rotierende Zentrifugen über die sechs Saiten fliegen. Hat wohl Amphetamine vom Fass verabreicht bekommen, der Kerl. Herrlich zügellose Thrash-Schlagseiten zieht auch der irre taktgenau draufhauende Trommler Zdenek „Zdenal” Pradlovsky auf. Master in Reinkultur eben – nein, mehr noch, eine besessene Knüppeltruppe, die hierfür glatt über sich selbst hinausgewachsen ist. Sozial- und gesellschaftskritisch wie eh und je sind die Lyriken auf „Slaves To Society“ ausgefallen – worüber alleine schon Liedertitel wie beispielsweise „The Darkest Age”, der Titelsong, „World Police”, „In Control” oder auch „Beaten For the Possibility” adäquat Auskunft geben.
Markus Eck, 8/10
 

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Reviews: Four More Years Of Terror
metal-observer.com
MASTER
Four More Years Of Terror
MASTER is a veteran act in the Extreme Metal scene, releasing albums since 1990 ensure them that status. The main man behind MASTER is an individual named Paul Speckmann. Sometime ago Paul Speckmann packed his stuff and moved from the US to The Czech Republic. If you read the lyrics of “Four More Years of Terror” it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll be moving back home anytime soon. The whole record reeks of distrust against the US and their role as world police. I don’t know if it’s right to say that he hates the US but at least he has some serious issues with his former country, I reckon this record could be a hit in Iran.
Now that you know what the lyrics are all about, let’s move onto the music. The music on “Four More Years Of Terror” is a mixture of Old School Death Metal and Thrash, no blast beats here. As much as I like blast beats, a record can be as satisfying without the use of that beat, “Four More Years of Terror” is an example of such a record. I have to admit that I haven’t been following the career of MASTER at all. I have noticed them through the years, read some Interviews and that kind of stuff, but I’ve never given any of their albums a proper listen, until now that is. Since I’m not familiar with MASTER’s music I have to rely on other reviewers when it is said that MASTER still plays the music they started out with, only better this time around.
Blast free it is but “Four More Years Of Terror” is still an upbeat record. The bass drums are pummelling forth most of the time, giving the music some serious drive. The overall drum playing might be considered straight forward for those who hold a band such as CRYPTOPSY as their favourite Death Metal act. I think it fits the music bloody well. One good reason for that is the excellent mix which lets every instrument take part. Since Mr. Speckmann is both main man and bass guitarist we are even let to hear how a bass guitar sounds like. I guess it’s a bit easier to get an audible bass in this kind of Death Metal than in the one that relies on speed. The vocals of Mr. Speckmann has as much in common with Thrash Metal as it has with Death Metal, one could argue that it sound more Black than Death Metal too. In other words we are not treated with Chris Barnes type of growling here. Let’s just call it extreme vocals.
I read in some review that MASTER’s music was reminiscent of HELLHAMMER, the band you’ve heard about but not actually listened to. That is the case for me at least. The bottom line is, however, that MASTER doesn’t play what one would call modern Metal, other than the production values that is. Another sign of quality is that the lengthy playing time doesn’t work against the record; it’s been quite a while since I heard a record of this length that didn’t bore the hell out of me. It’s kind of strange actually since most of the songs are quite similar. I guess that cleverly placed solos, good riffs and ditto song writing is the reason for that.
I’ve listened to the record several times, I mean like ten times plus. At first I didn’t find anything special but repeated listens opened the record up for me. It may be that I’m a bit slow here since the music can’t be said to be overly complex. As I mentioned previously most of the songs are carved out from the same well of inspiration. Even tough “Four More Years of Terror” must be considered being really consistent I have managed to come up with some songs that I like more than the rest. These songs are; “All We’ve Become”, “Does One Feel Pain” and “Hell Probably Win”. “All We’ve Become” is my favourite simply because it has that little extra; it sounds like MOTORHEAD doing Death Metal. “Does One Feel Pain” is another favourite because it contains some really good Death Metal riffs. What I’m thinking about here is the breakdown from pummelling Thrash riffs to good old Death Metal riffs; it really stands out when played in this context. “Hell Probably Win” is my last favourite simply because it has a tremendous drive, head banger friendly to the core.
Fans of Old School Death Metal should take notice and invest in “Four More Years of Terror”. If that’s the kind of music you’re after I can’t see you going anywhere wrong with this release. Be sure to check out the link for “Betrayal”, it’s the least you can do; recommended then.

ARVE, 8/10
 
BW&BK Magazine [Can]
MASTER
Four More Years Of Terror (Twilight)
Semi-notorious death metal underdog Paul Speckmann is back with his latest incarnation of Master, a band most known for early '90s Nuclear Blast output. Thing with Master is they've always been more about the poverty-line drunken death metal; there's more of a Motorhead vibe here than there is, say, Internal Bleeding. And although this album drags on way too long, there's tons of wildly frantic drumming, solid death metal riffs and hilariously caveman-esque vocal grunts to keep ya entertained. The lyrical content is
resolutely and explicitly (this ain't poetry) anti-USA, a given considering Speckmann has packed his bags and now calls the Czech Republic home, where he found his two new back-up guys for this round of Master. And no doubt this guy is for real: he's got the Master logo tattooed on the top of his right hand!
Greg Pratt [7/10]
 
S.O.D. Magazine [USA]
MASTER
Four More Years of Terror
Twilight-Vertrieb
Taking its name from the Black Sabbath album "Master of Reality," Master kicks the door down with its latest epic, Four More Years of Terror. Master plays a combination of dirty, gritty Thrash and Death Metal. The band's roots are in NWOBHM (mastermind Speckmann once fronted War Cry), and on this latest release its roots stand proud and drive the music well. There's a bit of Motorhead chugga-chugga going on here, with vocalist/bassist Paul Speckmann out front with a set of gravel-laden pipes
and a thumpa-thumpa bass. Churning out some solid hooks and riffs is guitarist Alex "93" Nejezchieba. Rounding out the cast is drummer Zdenek Pradiovsky, whose Thrash-driven style complements the guitar chops and the gritty vocals. Songs are tight and brisk and the production is solid. The recording is clear, giving each instrument enough room to spread its acute stench quite nicely. Lyrically, Speckmann gets downright political. The CD title refers to President Bush's present reign on the "War on Terror." Tracks spew out views about political indoctrination ("Shoot to Kill"), the United States ("Can the US be so Great?"), and George Bush himself ("Line to Kill").
Conservative fucks need not listen. It's very hard nowadays to find a solid Thrash/Death Metal hybrid that plays old school - we're talking before the advent of pristine Death Metal in the mid-1980s. If you crave that rough-and-tumble sound, then Master's Four More Years of Terror makes for essential listening.
(OR) 8/10 Skulls
 
RockHard Magazine
MASTER
Four More Years Of Terror
(Twilight)
(61:09)
Schon die beiden neuen Tracks auf der kürzlich erschienenen "Masterpieces"-Compilation zeigten, dass Paul Speckmann nach 25 Jahren Karriere noch mal klarmachen will, wo der wahre Old-Old-School-Death-Metal-Hammer hängt. Und das klappt exzellent. "Four More Years Of Terror" spielt im Titel wohl auf die zweite Amtsperiode derBush-Administration an und enthält vordergründig stumpfe (die Zahl der Breaks kann man generell an einer Hand abzählen), aber genau auf den Punkt hämmernde Death-Thrash-Attacken mit der üblichen Motörhead-Kante. Das Tempo ist mit herrlicher Penetranz fast durchgehend im klassischen Achtziger-Jahre-Rübenschwenker-Thrash-Beat, es gibt Doublebass satt, und Paule elcht herrlich asozial durch die Gegend. Last but not least schleudert sich der im tschechischen Exil lebende Ami mit seinen Kollegen einige der geilsten Simpel-Riffs seit Jahren aus den miefigen Ärmeln (wer bei ´Line To Kill´ nicht vor Freude seine Bude zerlegt, muss komplett taub sein). Die kleine, aber feine Zielgruppe kann sich schon mal den Staub von der Kutte klopfen.
Jan Jaedike
8,5/10
 
Legacy Magazine
„ ... zusammen mit der neuen Bolt Thrower läutet „Four More Years Of Terror“ endlich mal wieder eine gute Zeit für alle Todesblei-Fetischisten ein. Ultratight, musikalisch über alle Zweifel erhaben ... „
„… along with the new Bolt Thrower „Four more years of terror“, there will finally be a good time for all Death lead-Fetishists. Super tight, musically untouchable…“
15/15
 
*M E T A L A G E M A G A Z I N E*
MASTER
„FOUR MORE YEARS OF TERROR“
TWILIGHT
Dieser Paul Speckmann ist schon eine coole Backe: Bringt ein old school Brett nach dem anderem raus und hat sich seit gut 20 Jahren keinen Millimeter verbogen, wenn es um die musikalische Ausrichtung seiner diversen Projekte und Bands geht. MASTER ist natürlich nach wie vor die Hauptband und mit vorliegendem neuem Studioalbum „4 More Years of Terror“ legt der Vollbärtige Exil Ami mal wieder ein Brett vor, daß sicher 99% der Leser begeistern wird. Das Zauberwort heißt natürlich auch hier (wie immer) OLD SCHOOL, sämtliche 13 Stücke auf dem Album hätten auch Mitte/Ende der 80er veröffentlicht werden können! Diesmal erinnern einige Songs („Race to Extinction“, „Shoot to Kill“, „Betrayal“) gar an die Frühwerke von SEPULTURA („Shizophrenia“) und SACRIFICE („Torment in Fire“), wenngleich man natürlich alleine aufgrund von Speckmanns Organ immer weiß, welche Truppe hier am aufspielen ist. Alles also wie gehabt? Nicht ganz, denn diesmal hat die
Scheibe wohl zum erstem mal in der Karriere von MASTER einen absolut tödlichen und druckvollen Sound, will heißen: Die Produktion ist Heavy as Hell und macht so Mörder-Geschosse wie „Hell Probably Win“ oder „To Fight and Die“ zu gnadenlosen Schädelspaltern. Wer generell auf die 80er steht und sich an old schooligem Deathrash nicht satt hören kann, ist mit dieser Scheibe definitiv gut bedient!
NOTE: 2,0***
 
aberration-online.de
Master
"Four more years of terror"
(Twilight)
ET: 21.11.2005
Good old Paule Specky ist wieder auf den Beinen. Paul Speckmann hat Master einmal mehr aktiviert und endlich auch mal ein akzeptables Album in der Pipeline. Bisher war da eher gähnende Langeweile. Anno 2005 aber will es Paule nochmal wissen und knallt uns 13 old scool deather um die Ohrwasch`l, das es jedem alten Fan der Anfangstage nur feucht um die "Gucker`l" werden kann. Da Ami-Paule wohl in Tschechien zu Hause ist, hat er auch seine Mannschaft daher, die übrigens echt fit ist - klasse Jungs - klassische 3er Besetzung, nun bereits das 8.Album und ein gelungenes dazu, dürfte in erster Linie den Chef zufrieden stellen. Aber ich glaube, das werden deutlich mehr Freunde werden! (Tino)
***** (5 von 5)
 

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Reviews: Masterpieces
 
RockHard Magazine
PAUL SPECKMANN
Masterpieces
(Twilight)
(55:40)
Paul Speckmann ist seit fast 25 Jahren für manche Strategen der Godfather des Death Metal, für ´ne Menge andere Leute hingegen eine an Selbstüberschätzung leidende Nervensäge. Objektiv gesehen hat der Kerl seit 1981 eine Menge Spuren in der Szene hinterlassen, sich jedoch in endlos vielen Projekten verzettelt. Das mit typischem Speckmann-Understatement betitelte Masterpieces fasst 16 Tracks aus beinahe all seinen Karriere-Stationen (u.a. Master, Deathstrike, Abomination, Solutions und Martyr) in remasterten Versionen zusammen. Eine gute Idee, die auch diversen Bootleggern etwas Wind aus den Segeln nehmen sollte, die in den letzten Jahren immer wieder halbgare Releases des Amis veröffentlichten. Zudem gibt es zwei neue, erstklassige Master-Granaten. Da die Speckmann-Truppen eh fast alle gleich klingen, ist es nicht weiter schlimm, dass im Booklet der CD nicht mal vermerkt wurde, welcher Song von welcher Band stammt. Roher Old-School-Death-Thrash für alle Zeitgeist-Ignoranten.
Jan Jaedike
 
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Reviews: The Spirit Of The West
 

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Reviews: Lets Start A War
 

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Reviews: Unreleased 1985 Album
 

voicesfromthedarkside.de
MASTER
Unreleased 1985 Album
(From Beyond Productions)
32:23min
I honestly never thought that this so much traded recording over the years which has incontestably influenced a bunch of
Thrash / Death acts on this planet back at thattime would finally surface officially, but From Beyond Records has done it.
Al lbloody fuckin' power to them for such a miracle! If you are familiar with early MASTER, then you already know this recording and you do know how deathly it is over the course of the seven tracks, yes deathly heavy to the bone, a barrage of relentless, ripping riffs and leads courtesy of Mittelbrun, a rhythm section which leaves you breathless from the first seconds with Bill Nychau "Schmidt" pounding his drums like crazy (after all he created a somewhat unique style used by many later - the famous MASTER beat) and Speckman torturing his bass, the whole thing being surrounded by ultra venomous vocals from the same Speckman. Seven classic tunes non stop with 'Master' and 'Mangled Dehumanisation' (a DEATH STRIKE tune re-recorded) being my all time faves, two deathly monsters! Their material could be described more or less a mixture of early SODOM, early DEATH, early VENOM and POSSESSED. For those who know MASTER only through their self titled album from '90, well it's quite close sounding as it was the same line up but the '85 recording is undoubtely more raw, crude and savage. As for the others being only familiar with their later recordings, it's simply not the same MASTER as Paul Speckman never managed to recapture that unique style of songwrting despite its numerous attemps through a nearly 20 years career. As a bonus, four tracks taken from '91 and '93 demos have been added but while they can sound enjoyable to a person who doesn't look for something ass kicking, to me they sound boring and utterly forgettable but I don't care, all which counts is the '85 recording. Get this album at any price because that '85 album deserves the cult tag and a place in the pantheon of Thrash / Death Metal for sure. It also exists on vinyl for the collectors. Essential!
Laurent Ramadier

 
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Reviews: On The Seventh Day God Created... Master
 

MASTER
On The Seventh Day God Created... Master
(Nuclear Blast 1991)
Mnogo "die hard" ljubitelji i fanovi Death Metala ne znaju ko je Master, a kamoli ko je Paul Speckmann, iako je to èovjek/bend koji veæ 24 godine radi, operira i djeluje u undergroundu. Prvi put sam èuo za Master preslušavajuæi jednu staru Death Metal kompilaciju, nekima poznata pod imenim "Death...is just the beginning". Ta kompilacija je sadržila Master i Black Sabbath obradu "Children of the Grave". Ova kompilacija i zastupljeni bendovi - Defecation, Benediction, Pungent Stench, Disharmonic Orchestra i mnogi drugi, najbolje pokazuju kvalitet tadašnje Death Metal muzike. A Master predstavlja krunu svega toga.

Prvo što me je zapanjilo na ovom izdanju, je dupla papa bubnja, pa i cijeli bubanj. Bubnjarski rad na On The Seventh Day God Created... Master predstavlja cjelokupnu srž benda Mastera - agresija, žestina, brzina i totalno rasulo. Rad duple pape se može samo opisati kao rad M-60-ke i Sijaèa smrti; jednostavno ne prestaje ta nevjerovatna brzina, konstantna je i manijakalna. Sav bubnjarski rad je odraðen maksimalno dobro, precizno i smišljeno. Predstavlja jedan napredan vid sviranja bubnjeva za to vrijeme, iako su Mike Smith i Pete Sandoval veæ tada nadmašili sve granice u sviranju bubnjeva. Ipak, Aaron Nickeas je uradio nešto što samo mogu opisati kao savršen i iznad svega imponirajuæi rad.

Kad èujete gitare, to æe vas podsjetit malo na Obituary i Death, ali to možda i zato što su John Tardy (Obituary) i Paul Masvidal (Cynic/Death) gostovali na ovom albumu. Ali jasno je kada èujete te slave riffova i duple pape da je ovo nešto najbolje iz tog vremena, uz neke "poznatije" bendove. Genijalna je pjesma broj 8 - "America the Pitiful"; riffovi ugledani na amerièku himnu, i tekst koji s pravom ismijava i kritizira tadašnje amerièko društvo i politiku. A toga se i tièu tekstovi Mastera - smrt, religija i politika. Master služi kao kritika i ogledalo suverenom amerièkom, ali i svjetskom društvu.

Bend je najbolji primjer zašto toliko bendova je tada kopiralo Master (iako su bili uvijek underground), i zašto mnogi i dan danas kopiraju Old School Death Metal, pa tako i Master. Ako još uvijek nemate predstavu kako zvuèi Master, onda jednostavno preslušajte jedan od gore navedenih bendova, ali zašto se zadovoljiti time, kada jer original mnogo bolji?
Grind Bastard

 
Reviews: Speckmann Project - Speckmann Project
 

Speckmann Project - Speckmann Project
(Nuclear Blast 1992)
The tale behind this rather obscure album’s release is a convoluted morass of record label drama, groundbreaking music, and an unwillingness to compromise. It’s called “Speckmann Project” because it contains rerecorded songs from Chicago death metal master Paul Speckmann’s (bassist and vocalist on this album) bands Master, Funeral Bitch, and Deathstrike, and it was intended to be Master’s debut ‘90 full-length after seven years of existence in one form or another. Unfortunately, Markus Staiger, the boss of German record label Nuclear Blast, didn’t like the album’s sound, so a quite weaker-sounding collection of songs was released instead. Thus, the album that was to be “Speckmann Project” languished in the vaults for two years, before it was officially released by Nuclear Blast in ‘92 under the Speckmann Project moniker.

Many of the songs on this forty-two minute outing date back to 1983, making Master/Speckmann Project/Funeral Bitch/Deathstrike (name-change mania!) officially the oldest death metal band in existence. One would naturally expect a huge punk/thrash influence given the date at which these songs were written, and indeed Speckmann Project owe a substantial debt to crossover thrash bands like Discharge and D.R.I. The riff work here manages to be very visceral and violent while maintaining a strangely ambient feel; this is accomplished through use of what I like to call “orbiting riffs”, where guitar parts are composed by literally orbiting around a chord (i.e. moving away from a tonal center to nearby notes and moving back to the center again; this approach was pioneered by U.K. thrashers Discharge on their “Why” EP and taken to the next level by bands like Master). These oscillating sections are linked by violent chromatic bashing and swiftly burning jagged fragments of guitar solos and drum fills. Master (or Speckmann Project, if you prefer) put together these admittedly simple components into epic and lengthy compositions. While a standard verse/chorus/verse structure is utilized, the space in between the predictable sections is rife with experimentation and chaos.

Paul Speckmann’s vocal performance is deserving of a special mention: he viciously snarls his way through surprisingly lucid socially-conscious lyrics. Through anti-political diatribes and gore-filled mediations on mortality and decay, a highly-developed philosophy of cynicism, youthful idealism, and extreme realism emerges, pledging its allegiance neither to the liberal or conservative sides of the political spectrum. Through this intelligent lyrical approach, the Speckmann Project manages to avoid coming off as mindless gore-hounds or angsty whiners.

Through determination, musicianship, and sheer force of will, Chicago residents vocalist/bassist/songwriter Paul Speckmann, drummer Aaron Nickeas, and guitarist Jim Martinelli managed to craft a high-speed thrashing death metal masterwork that serves as an ideal introduction to the diverse catalog of Paul Speckmann’s musical projects and underground death metal in general. I obtained a mint-condition copy of this album for two U.S. dollars (something like .5 Euros, I think) through an online used-record dealership, but you may have to work a bit harder to get yourself a copy. Trust me, it’s well worth the effort; there’s only a handful of death/thrash albums better than this forgotten tome of acrimony.
9,5/10 Review by Seker

 
Reviews: general
 

thrashmageddon.com
Master, when you look in the Webster's dictionary for the word underrated, you might as well change the meaning to Master. Well, you might be asking why underrated? I'll tell you why, look up people's top 50 DM albums and you would hardly see a Master album in sight. Even our beloved "KILLERZ OF DEATH TOURNAMENT" does not have it. [Yes, kulty, I know the reason why?. They are going to be outclassed by the other heavy hitters on that list]. I am not writing this review as a Master campaign, it's too late for that. These are just observations that I see/read when it comes to Speckmann and his work. One article I read had Master playing a gig in the middle of winter, 10 people, might be 20 the most showed up [need to dig that article to verify], you would expect the band to just pack it up. But no, Speckmann and his merry men played it like there were 1,000 in the audience. This is one thing I have always liked/admired about Speckmann, "determination". They will play their best, 10 or 1,000 people in front of them. Ok enough of the ramblings/bitchin and on to the review.

First I will discuss the production on this album. If you like you're Death Metal sounding like it came from the late 80's early 90's, then you are in luck. Speckmann bass sound is one of the best compared to previous Master albums. Nice "chunky" bass sound, "fat" guitar tone. I'm talking about the sound, I do not want the "Obese Society" to go after me when describing the production on this album. Drum sound compliments the rest. It's not to overpowering compared to the latest DM releases out there. It has that old school feel/sound to it. Riffs are heavy, solos are right on the money. You will not hear guitar wankery for the sake of being "technical". The guitar player is no Masvidal, but you hear influnces going back to "Seventh Day" album. Speckmann's bass playing really shines out on this one. He's no bass extraordinaire like a DiGiorgio, but he can hold his own weight.

Listen to track 8 "The Room With Views", I guess you will feel the same if you have been ignored/underrated all this years. If you like your Death Metal in your face, no bull none sense, this album is for you. If you are in North America the chances of you seeing them Live is slim. Mr. Speckmann has been hibernating in Europe for the last few years. Come on Paul,do a North American tour. As my buddy "TC" said "many of us (yes, old narrow-minded metalheads)" likes our Death Metal the old school way.

Bustdace,
Rating: 8 / 10

 

Nihilistic Holocaust
MASTER (Usa) Master Lp’90 Nuclear Blast.
MASTER=Paul Speckmann. It is just a useful reminder for the ones who would have forgotten. And if I ask you what bands like X-ECUTIONNER (pre OBITUARY), PESTILENCE, and generally the majority of the death metal bands born in the end of the 80´s have in common, what is the answer?...... Yes, they all have taken the MASTER demos as a big inspiration, as well as the stuff of SLAUGHTER, POSSESSED and DEATH. As a matter of fact Paul Speckmann already released 2 demos under the moniker MASTER in 1983, and was himself strongly influenced by.... yes you get it: MOTÖRHEAD. So, I ant to say to every little motherfucker around who pretends that MASTER never was really a major influence in the creation of death metal to fuck off deeply (Yeah, I´ve heard such ignorant persons...). But come back to the music. As a matter of fact, Paul Speckmann was occupied with his other bands ABOMINATION and DEATHSTRIKE and remained in the underground when he finally got a deal with Nuclear Blast in the end of the 80´s. Then he was able to release his first album under the cult name MASTER, and what an album! Argh! If you like it strong, straight in your face, with sound that only Paul Speckmann knows to produce and a drums that’s almost crust, then why the hell haven’t you already got this album in your collection? The highlights of this cult piece of vinyl are songs like "Pledge of allegiance" where Paul is mocking on his country, the USA, really fun to read these lyrics nowadays with the actual situation in Iraq... Songs like "Funeral bitch" or "Mangled dehumanization" will stick in your mind until you blow your head off with a gun! ha! Personally, I enjoy more the "Funeral bitch" version on the solo album of Paul called SPECKMANN PROJECT, in all humility! Ha! Otherwise, after a not so needed bass solo, Paul plays one of the best BLACK SABBATH covers I have ever heard: "Children of the grave"... Fuck, it’s totally "materized", and it fucking rule. Once you hear this cover you immediately feel how much BLACK SABBATH was and remains extreme. After this cult piece of vinyl, Paul continued with MASTER, and released several albums, whose "On the seventh day... God created MASTER" is maybe the best (and features Paul Masvidal on guitar-ex DEATH, CYNIC). He keeps on releasing albums nowadays that aren’t so godly nor so thrilling than this one. But the guy deserves an immense respect for what he has done for the scene, and for always having sticked to his roots, and also for being the "Lemmy" of Death Metal. Brutal, primitive, efficient and true to the bone.

Nathaniel.

 

amazon.com
Death Strike - Fucking Death
One of those rare underground metal releases that might please quite a few metal fans today,
Ah, Paul Speckmann. The unheralded king of Chicago thrash metal in the mid-80s. Then his journey into the unheralded Death Metal arena in the early 90s didn't win him any favors within "mainstream" Death Metal circles. Maybe it was Speckmann's inability to play record company politics that forced his bands (Abomination, Master, Death Strike, and a few others) further into the trenches of the underground. In 1985 Speckmann's "Master" signed a record deal with the Thrash friendly Combat records and even recorded an album only to have it never released by Combat. Luckily Germany's Nuclear Blast Records took pity on Speckmann and not only released a few Master releases in the early 90s but also released (re-released?) this 1985 effort.

Speckmann (bass/vocals), Chris Mittlebrun (guitar), Kirk Miller (guitar), John Leprich (drums) comprise the entire Death Strike group. The lyrics are huge departure from the mid-80s norm of trying to have cartoonishly sounding Satanic lyrics or lyrics focused on flames and abstract death. The lyrics instead deal more with social/political issues and have a paranoid fascination with nuclear war (just like most people in 1980s and some bands like Nuclear Assault). The Death Strike sound is best explained as a cross between Venom, Motorhead, early-Slayer, Dark Angel, Celtic Frost, and some more punk influences. The album indeed almost has a Crossover aspect to it. So the sound crosses the sounds of the N.W.O.B.H.M., Thrash, Crossover, Doom and proto-Grind sub-genres. Muddied chugging guitars, super low bass guitar, and hammering mid-tempo double bass with the most dramatic drum strokes characterize this hilariously titled album.

The album has a very muddied production but is suprisingly crisp when it comes to the drums and the vocals. The drum intro to "Pervert" just proves this even more. Indeed the overall production might be this albums most interesting about it because it draws a valid comparison between Death Strike and another band from their neck-of-the-woods that has started to re-gain some recognition recently: Repulsion. It is short but certainly worth a listen because of its significant contrasts to the conventional Thrash metal sound of the day.

By Zander Haberstaft (Miami, Florida)

 
 
Live Reviews:
 
 

Konzert: Master, Bitterness @ Crash, Freiburg
Band(s): Master, Bitterness, Deaf Aid
Datum: 08.02.2008 Stadt: Freiburg

MASTER
Nun war es an der Zeit, den speckigen Bass auszupacken und sich den mittlerweile ewig langen Rauschebart aufzudröseln [vergesst den Weihnachtsmann!], denn jetzt lautete die Devise „Speckmetal pur“. Etwas mehr als eine Stunde folgte eine kleine Geschichtsstunde in Sachen Old School Death Metal, da Paule bei der Geburt dieser Musikrichtung quasi Pate stand. Gewohnt schnörkellos, geradlinig und direkt ging es daher auch bei den Songs von MASTER zu, bei denen Speckmann ganz klar im Vordergrund stand, während seine zwei Mitstreiter Alex und Zdenek an Gitarre und Schlagzeug zwar eine überaus solide Leistung ablieferten, aber definitiv nicht im Rampenlicht standen. In selbigem befand sich wortwörtlich Paul, der immer wieder durch witzige und ironische Ansagen sich selbst und andere auf die Schippe nahm, aber aufgrund seines brummeligen Genuschels wohl nur von den wenigsten Zuschauern überhaupt verstanden wurde. Zu den Adressierten gehörte auch der Mischer, der sich zwar Mühe gab, aber den Sound auch bei MASTER nicht wirklich retten konnte, sodass der Gesang viel zu leise war und auch Paul seinen Gitarristen auf den Monitorboxen nicht gut zu hören schien. Egal, mit „Slaves To Society“ und „The Final Skull“ gab es die Vollbedienung und gleichzeitig besten Songs des aktuellen Albums, während auch einige Uralt-Kompositionen wie „Funeral Bitch“ vom Debüt abgefackelt wurden, das für einige Bewegung im Publikum sorgte. Wer modernen, innovativen und ausgeklügelten Death Metal suchte, war definitiv fehl am Platz, denn hier regierte schlicht und einfach die Knüppel-aus-dem-Sack-Taktik in ganz großem Maße, was ja auch nicht verkehrt ist, da man – wie auch bei den Kollegen von BOLT THROWER – einfach weiß, was einen erwartet. Zum Schluss gab es eine ganze Menge Applaus, sodass sich Paul mit seinem ergrauten Haupthaar artig bedankte und der Auftritt von MASTER in Freiburg ein würdiges Ende fand.

Enttäuscht war sicherlich niemand von MASTER und von diesem Abend, aber irgendwie war dieser Gig auch wieder einmal die Bestätigung dafür, dass zwar fast jeder, der sich mit dieser Musikrichtung beschäftigt, Paul Speckmann und MASTER kennt, aber nicht viele die Alben tatsächlich im Schrank stehen haben. Schade eigentlich, denn nach einem Vierteljahrhundert extremer Musik ist es schon merkwürdig, dass MASTER immer noch lediglich Underground-Status haben und ihre liebe Müh und Not haben, selbst einen kleinen Club bis zum Anschlag zu füllen, während etliche andere und jüngere Bands viel schneller deutlich bekannter wurden. Das scheint Paul allerdings nicht die Bohne zu stören, sodass dies sicherlich nicht der letzte Auftritt seiner Band in unseren Breitengraden gewesen sein dürfte.
soulsatzero

Autor: Alexander Eitner [soulsatzero] | 09.02.2008 | 12:48 Uhr

 

Master, Nebukadnezza, some other bands, 2008-02-04

17/03/08 || MaxVonLaibach

Where and when: Camden Underworld, London, England, 2008-02-04.

As I tend to drink heavily during most of the concerts I go to, I’ve decided to stay sober on this one. The reasons for this were manifold: I wanted to save some money for merchandise, prove to myself that I can still have fun without beer and, most importantly, I have just recovered from a terrible hangover.
I’ve missed the first band completely, as I decided it was a better idea to stay and chat with a few people outside. But i’ve managed to get in for the second band, which was called Hebrew Slaughter, or Sarmatian Holocaust or something like that. It might not have been bad, but the guy at the knobs seemed like he had no idea whatsoever about what he was doing, thus spoiling any serious attempt ar reviewing the gig. The whole thing sounded like a guy being killed by a chainsaw, with the occasional drumkick heard in the background. Far from impressed, I went out for a cigarette.
Next band on schedule was Nebukadnezza, which sounds awfully trve and unfriendly, at least to me. Luckily, they turned out to be an oldschool thrashing threesome, and quite a good one as well, from what I could gather from directly under the stage. It was the simple, heavily hardcore influenced kinda thrash. As I joined the moshing I suddenly bumped into something soft. I looked around and realized that about half the people in the pit were chicks. Now, there’s few things better than a moshpit during a thrash gig, and one of them is definitely bumping into some nice tits while moshing in a thrash gig. All in all, the guys deserve a solid 7 outta 10 for their concert.
Finally, the moment we all have been waiting for. Mr Speckmann appeared with his bass and awesome beard and announced that they’ll be starting soon. A few minutes after that, all hell broke loose. The band played a good mixture of old and new stuff, all sounding the way death metal is supposed to sound- fast and heavy. No wankery, simple riffs backed with pounding drums and supplemented with the “Lemmy’s growl” brought out from the bottom of Speckmaster’s bowels. Again, the pit started almost instantly as the audience responded to the power of the music. Best thing of all, these guys are very down to earth. No “Trver than thou” bullshit, no growling in between the songs, they let the music speak for itself. Specklord lead the fray with his fantastic beard and the jokes he would occasionally tell the public, before jumping again into the fast-fingered bass lines and the trademark grunts that screamed MASTER! to us all. While Master on record is simply a good, original band, onstage they become really fucken incredible. They blew me away. They thrashed my ass to pieces. They truly dominated that night.
9/10

 

metal-rules.com
Headbangers Open Air Vol 9 - 14-15 th July 2006
The last band in warmup was the legendary Master from Chicago (or from Czech rep.) Anyway, Paul Speckmann and the rest of Master played one hour of their death metal and the did not disappoint me. Maybe too much of new songs which I did not recognise but even those new songs were easily recognised as classic Master styled death metal. Simple and crushing songs. And Speckmanns voice is still brutal, one of the best in death metal!

Oh yes, Paul Speckman is Master! The drummer and the guitar player did their jobs well but it wasn't a surprise, but instead it was that people were watching the whole hour. A very brutal outfit if you compare them to the other bands here but the deadly art this legend showed was something you're not seeing every year. They played many new songs and a few legendary classics and everything was perfect. Probably even the highlight of the whole festival for me. There were two (or was it even three) mike stands on stage and when one of them wasn't acting loud enough, Paul automatically changed to the other one with some funny words to get everything coming out with the full force. Speeches he made were very furious and some targets were old record company officers. Before the show Paul was busy in his merchandise desk while trying to eat his steak: everywhere there were fans taking pics with them with the Master, some buing records and the rest asking autographs. I hope mr. Speckman was able to eat his meal while it was still warm.

 
 
Interviews
Knac.com's " Subversive Radio At It's Finest Manic Metal " with Special Guest Paul Speckmann of MASTER



http://ironroom666.podomatic.com

Terrorizer UK 2009

Freshly signed to Pulverised, a label with a proud pedigree of extreme metal releases packaged and promoted with pride, death metal original MASTER are working on their tenth full-length. If Chuck Schuldiner was the godfather of death metal, vocalist/bassist PAUL SPECKMAN was the biological father overlooked in a messy divorce. The man himself took Terrorizer's questions as he preps his latest orthodox offering.

You've been more active with Master this decade than perhaps you have the previous two put together, are you feeling more inspired?

“I always find inspiration in the crazy world around us. But, yes things have picked up ever since I moved to Europe back in 2000. It has always seemed to me that Europeans have always been staunch supporters of metal in general and of course Master fall into the category.”


How has moving to the Czech Republic helped? Was it good to step outside of the scene you'd come up through?

“Well, when I left the USA to join Krabathor, the scene in the US had become stagnant at least for Master. I mean even in the early days, there wasn't much support for the group. People have always been more interested in the copycats. Stepping out of the American scene was the best move I could have ever have made. Because of this I tour Europe, America and other countries repeatedly year after year.”


How are things working out with Pulverised?

“It's a bit early in the game to tell, but so far, so good, so what! The label are doing all they can at the moment. Things will pick up of course after the album is recorded and released. I have complete faith in Pulverised. I can certainly see that they are a workhorse to be reckoned with. The label are continually growing and I am glad to get the chance to be a part of it.”


What stage are you at with the album?

“The artist Eliran Kantor has just finished the cover for the new CD called 'The Human Machine'. It is definitely a killer piece of artwork. Mr Kantor is currently working on the completion of the back cover as well as the entire layout. I look forward to see its completion very soon. As for the recording, this will happen sometime later in the year. This is why I was a bit surprised to hear from the mighty Terrorizer. You realise I am sure, that this title for your magazine comes from a track of the same name on the first Master demo, which also went on to inspire Terrorizer, the band featuring Jesse Pintado, RIP brother.

“I have written about ten tracks and guitarist Aleš Nejezchleba has about six tracks to offer me at the moment for the new CD. We will get together after the next tours of Mexico and South America with the drummer Pradlovsky and begin the arrangements for the CD. This is really the first time where we are taking our time on an album. But expect a killer production on this one of course.”


How's it going to sound? Do you have any surprises lined up for us?

“It will sound like Master always do: killer and aggressive. I suppose you'll have to wait and see. It will definitely be an original Master album. We never change for the trends as most of the successful scene does. Master still play the same original style we always has since the incarnation of the band in 1983. It certainly surprises me that many of the bands today jump on the current trends, and have success with this. For me there is nothing like the original bands.”


Any details you can share?

“The CD will be called 'The Human Machine' as I said earlier on in the interview. People have become slaves to the greater machine called the government in every city of the world and it's a real pity to see this bullshit. Big brother gets stronger with every waking moment and soon freedom for the masses will be a thing of the past as George Orwell predicted in 1984. Soon the masses will have a rebellion or it's finished.”


When are you going to make it back over to the UK?

“Funny you should mention that. We played the UK this year in the spring to small crowds. The best show was in Aberdeen and it was quite clear that for the London show and Leeds, the promotion was at the bare minimum. I cannot understand why anyone puts on a show and refuses to promote it. It seems like a waste of energy to me, but this is the metal business around the world. Many promoters are lazy pigs and the bands suffer unless you're a big name. Master are certainly an underground original band and sometimes this has its pitfalls."

 

 

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Downloads
 
- Free mp3 from the album "Slaves of Society" In control 
- Free mp3 from the album "Four more years of terror" Betrayal 
- Wallpaper "Four More Years of Terror" Download
 
 
Downloads
 

- Promofotos Paul 2007.zip [1,5 MB]
- Promofotos Master_fotos.zip [900 KB]
- new Master Logo new Master logo.tif [2 MB]
- old Master Logo old Master logo.jpg [150 KB]
- Cover Master - Four more years of Terror master_four more years.jpg [230 KB]
- Cover Paul Speckmann - Masterpieces paul speckmann_masterpieces.jpg [160 KB]

 

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