This review is from Martyr - X blog spot titled One Missed Reel blog spot, check it out here!
Massacre - "From Beyond"
Artist - Massacre
Album - "From Beyond"
Released - March 1991
Label - Earache Records
Genre - Death Metal
Track 1: "Dawn Of Eternity"
The opening track to Massacre's debut album "From Beyond" is a perfect way to open up this album as it gives you a clear idea of what you in store for, and that's a pure old skool late 80's/early 90's Death Metal classic. The opening of the track start with a slow start filled with wind and ambience and a opening ryff that feels like it would start off a cinematic fight piece in hell. From there on in the rest of the track rages into a solid fast thrash paced piece that has become the standard for all death metal.
Track 2: "Cryptic Remains"
"Cryptic Remains" is a perfect example (and my personal favorite track off "From Beyond") that metal music doesn't have to be compiled of complicated ryffs and off timing to be great metal. The great thing about this track is that although the ryffs are simplistic, the song is absolutely crushing nonetheless and showcases what the late 80's & early 90's were all about. The opening ryff is pure old skool thrash and quickly turns into a very crushing, yet simple, unforgiving evil ryff the commands your attention and leaves you unable to control that grin appear on your face once you hear it. Along with the double bass drums behind it, the main verse section is one of best sections in old metal, PERIOD. The vocals on this track, although the vocal style never changes throughout the album, is probably the best death metal vocals not just for the time, but even to this day. Not to mention that the solo on this track is absolutely killer and sounds like something of classic metal magic. Including the chorus & bridging ryffs, "Cryptic Remains" is not only probably one of the best death metal tracks i've heard, it's probably one of the best metal songs, period, that has been recorded.
Track 3: "Biohazard"
"Biohazard" starts out quick and to the point that Massacre know's how to play fast and play fast well. But the "Chorus" ryff is actually a pretty catchy ryff and yet again, shows that great ryffs don't have to be complicated. After going back and forth from the speed multiple speedy ryffs, at around the 2 and a half minute mark Massacre slams you with a abrupt slowing down that is very welcomed right before kicking it right back into high gear with not only traditional death metal one string speed picking but also a equally fast paced solo that all the speed lovers will love.
Track 4: "Chamber Of Ages"
In an interesting approach, "Chamber Of Ages" starts out as if its an intro to a whole other album. The first minute plus os this song is a very epic feel as if it were opening an epic battle from a fantasy or gladiator fight. At the conclusion of said opening its apparent that the band isn't slowing down, just merely giving you a breather. The 1st ryff kicks in full throttle and the double bass drum assault on your eardrums is on. The rest of the song, although not fancy or anything new, is a very enjoyable piece of speed & aggression. Most enjoyable part here for me is at 3:07 when a ryff starts in that you just know caused some mayhem in the pit when it started.
Track 5: "From Beyond"
The title track of the album starts out with a pretty standard guitar/bass opening, but what really catches your ears here are the drums. Nothing too fancy but there is a very nice drum solo-esque pattern going on. It's always enjoyable to hear a band who's drummer can actually play and not just be limited to beating the double bass drums out, although there is plenty of that, but im sure metal fans are fine with that. Sadly, for being the title track of the album, "From Beyond" isn't really anything special. But it is an enjoyable listen though.
Track 6: "Defeat Remains"
Here we are with another perfect example of simplicity sells. Straight out the get you get greeted with a more groove metal type track as here, the music on the track isn't really death metal, more like a great groove metal track with death metal vocals mixed in. Also at times, very reminiscent of the great Carcass. It's a great combination and a very enjoyable track to hear and would be a great driving tune.
Track 7: "Succubus"
"Succubus" opens up with a fast death/black metal ryff that is greeted with a more higher pitched scream when everything kicks in than we're used to on this album. This song, not really that many change ups, this song remains pretty much a fast pace all the way till the end. Nothing standout worthy on this track sadly.
Track 8: "Symbolic Immorality"
Straight forward death right here. Nothing fancy all the way up to 1:30 where everything fades out and the bass comes into the spotlight real quick with a nice little bass line with the guitars and drums kicking back in to deliver a pretty crushing ryff then after that section has done it's job its right back to speedy death metal.
Track 9: "Corpse Grinder" (Death cover)
Massacre closes out their debut album with a cover of Death's (which Massacre's vocalist was originally part of) is a cover of an early death song that was on Death's "Reign Of Terror" demo. The very beginning of this track is very reminiscent of someone having a psychotic break from reality from a horror flick with the guitars just being screeched and detuned to death. Once we get kicked in to the actual song, "Corpse Grinder" is absolute pure death metal with speed picking, speed drumming and lyrics about necrophilia, pure and simple. For old skool Death fans (The Band and the genre) and lovers of messed up lyrics. this track is for you.
Track 10: "Provoked Accurser" (Vinyl Release)
"Provoked Accurser" for some reason only found it's way onto the Vinyl version of the album originally. Which i cant understand cause this track starts off with another great Simplicity Sells example. The opening section reminds me of something you would find on Carcass' "Swan Song" or "Wake Up & Smell The Carcass", it's a great metal track with a great groove metal-esque opening then turns to thrash for mostly the remainder and going back to the opening ryff once or twice and has a very quickly played but not too shabby solo followed by another GREAT groove metal section that destroys and finishes off on a very thrash note.
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Standout Tracks: "Cryptic Remains", "Defeat Remains", "Provoked Accurser"
Final Verdict: Classic