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The New Elite

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Album Review

Master's 11th studio album may reference The New Elite, but its songs remain as old-fashioned as ever. Actually, "out of time" may be the optimal description for the group's favored brand of thrashy death metal — a holdover from the late '80s, when Master were first spawned amid the transition from one style to the other that dominated the metal underground. And while other bands of this ilk have since long imploded, evolved, or simply retired, Master live on virtually unchanged, preserved in amber so long as their chief visionary, vocalist/bassist Paul Speckmann, is driven to unlock the band's DNA now and then, and raise a few dinosaurs with which to gobble up the populace. To this end, Speckmann has been remarkably fortunate to rely on the same co-conspirators for all of a decade, and it's evident that the steady presence of guitarist Alex Nejezchleba and drummer Zdenek Pradlovsky throughout this period has something to do with the effortless-sounding historical preservation process on display across The New Elite. Just get a load of Speckmann's projectile-vomited growls, Nejezchleba's distorted riffs and dive-bombing solos, and Pradlovsky's frenzied but fancy-free battery as brutal, ugly, merciless hate bombs like the title cut, "Remove the Knife," and "Out of Control" demolish everything in their path. Far from preaching pure nihilism, however, most songs instead carry messages of individual resistance and self-empowerment in their agendas, as evidenced by "Rise Up and Fight," "Redirect the Evil," and "Guide Yourself." Sure, the basic format may not vary all that much from track to track (any ambition toward experimentation was of course discarded earlier on in this review), but if you seek humble heavy metal rewards reminiscent of simpler metal times, then Master will indeed become your master.


Genre: Metal

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Chicago-based death metal band Master has been the primary musical vehicle for journeyman vocalist and bassist Paul Speckmann since the start of the 1990s, but his first known sighting dates back to 1982, as a short-term member of local power metal hopefuls, War Cry, who appeared on Metal Blade's Metal Massacre IV compilation. Speckmann and his rhythm partner, drummer Bill Schmidt, soon fell out with their band mates over creative differences (the duo wanted to play more extreme heavy metal, the...
Full Bio

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The New Elite, Master
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Metal, Music, Rock
  • Released: Jul 16, 2012

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