There are quite a few of bands in the history of extreme music that deserve much more recognition than they got, for various reasons that would take too long to get into. Master
is one of these bands; having formed in 1983, this band's primal approach to extreme metal, born out of bands like Discharge
(and Death Strike
, which is really for all intents and purposes, the same band under a different name) would record demos and even an aborted full length album in 1985 for Combat Records, but the label pulled the plug and the record wouldn't see the light of day for almost 20 years. Despite
that, Death Strike
's demos, alongside the fact that the unreleased album was leaked to the underground - would go on to become heavily influential upon the direction of both death metal and especially grindcore in the immediate years since.
1991's On The Seventh
showcases the band in arguably the best form of their lengthy career. Despite
having been released in 1991, On The Seventh
Day... showcases a band tha. The riffwork is simple and heavily rooted in both punk and thrash metal, with drum patterns that follow suit. Even the overall vocal delivery of Paul Spekmann avoids the full on death growls we're so accustomed to, instead having much more of a very harsh shouted style.
What makes On The Seventh
Day... such a great record is due to how focused and well crafted these relatively simple songs are. Master
(or Paul Spekmann, really, the only consistent member in the band's history) have always known what they are good at, and the band executes these songs with fury throughout the album's running time. The riffs are incredibly well crafted and memorable throughout, and while the songs are similar in style, the band's overall approach is varied enough to avoid being overly repetitive. The songs in and of themselves are pretty simply constructed, driven by a handful of bludgeoning riffs and relatively straight-forward verse-chorus structures, but again, it's how well the songs are executed that make them great. The shifts between riffs and rhythms, while simple, are extremely well executed throughout all ten of these songs. Counterpointing the rest of the band is the lead guitar work of Cynic
/Death guitarist Paul Masividal, whose well constructed, memorable soloing works for this album in the same way James Murphy
's more elaborate and structured leads fit on Obituary
's Cause of Death record. The solos are well implemented throughout the record.
Indeed, the album is filled with tight, spirited songs throughout, from caustic opener "What Kind of God
", the bludgeoning "Heathen
", brusier "Used", and monstrous closer "Submerged In Sin
" are all filled with bludgeoning, memorable riffs, powerful vocal patterns, and solid drumming that does a good job at keeping things going. The performances on this album, while not technical in the least, are tight and furious throughout its running time. The only reason why I don't give this one a somewhat higher rating is a quibble with the mix; the bass drums are really way too loud and have a horrible, clicky tone that really sticks out like a sore thumb. (some equalizing can solve the issue, but still)
Regardless of that, On The Seventh
Day... is a well written, great album all around from beginning to end. Definitely one to get if you're a death metal fan, or one who wants to understand the history of death metal as a genre.