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.