Massacre
Resurgence

You know the saying, right? “Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one”. Well, I guess that would be damn near doubly true when it comes to reviewing/critiquing. All I know is that when this asshole saw the new Massacre album, Resurgence, was up for review I jumped at the chance to cover it. It’s not that I have been on the precipice of fanatic high expectations, but being a long time fan of the classic debut, From Beyond, and even the follow-up EP, Inhuman Condition, I was more than curious to see what the now legal owner of Massacre, vocalist Kam Lee, had up his horrific sleeve. Plus, if truth be told, I rather enjoyed the previous Massacre album, Back From Beyond, featuring both Rick Rozz and Terry Butler, though I’m not even going to comment about sophomore LP, Promise.

So, what does this asshole have to say about Resurgence? Well, it’s a damn good album. Not an overall great album, though I would say there are some pretty great parts found within and throughout the album. The opening trio of “Eldritch Prophey”, “Ruins of R’Lyeh”, and “Innsmouth Strain” all have some stellar moments that really do bring the vibes of old-school Massacre into the fray. Yet, I guess considering the recent backstory to Massacre and the soap opera styled drama that eventually led to not only this new Massacre platter, but also the recently released Inhuman Condition debut, Rat God, the real question most of us fans want answered is, “Is Resurgence a better album of Floridian death metal than Rat°God”? As far as this asshole is concerned, no.

No friends, even though Resurgence is a good and enjoyable album, heavily steeped in the ways of old-school Floridian death, I’m afraid it just doesn’t quite grab me as hard nor does it bring the feeling of old-school Massacre  to the degree that Rat°God was able to do. Regardless of Kam Lee’s performance, and being a big Kam Lee fan I think his performance on Resurgence is pretty fantastic, the man still bringing the Chris Barnes of yonder gutturals with a Barney Greenway ferociousness, the album just doesn’t produce the freshness that Inhuman Condition‘s  Rat°God achieves. That’s not to say that Resurgence isn’t a success, I just feel that it would be more successful and garner less comparison criticism if it had been released under a different moniker altogether.

Honestly, considering that Kam Lee, guitarist (one of three on Resurgence?!?), Rogga Johansson, and drummer, Brynjar Helgetun made up ¾ths of the lineup to my favorite “Rogga” act, The Grotesquery, I don’t see why they just didn’t release the album under that moniker. I mean there is more of an actual tie to The Grotesquery than to Massacre if we’re being honest. Sure a little tweaking would need to be done to the Resurgence material in places, though a bit more experimentation and stepping outside the box would have been allowed, and some more moments like the Cradle of Filth-ish intro to “Eldritch Prophecy” would have definitely been more welcome. With a few changes here and there Resurgence would have been a stellar continuation of The Grotesquery legacy. The artwork, the Lovecraft themed lyrical take, all of it would have worked and stood on its own brilliantly. As it stands now, releasing Resurgence under the Massacre name puts a lot more scrutiny on, as well as that aforementioned comparison critiquing, up against the album, overall hurting it in the long run. Maybe that seems unfair and a bit harsh, but I calls ’em likes I sees ’em. And I don’t see how one could fairly review Resurgence without pitting it against Rat°God, the release that would have been the new Massacre album, musically at least, if things would have panned out differently.

I guess I should be grateful that things worked out for both camps the way they did, for because of it we get two good albums, yet can you imagine the release we would have gotten with the musical murderings of Rat°God mixed with the monstrous vocals of Kam Lee? Holy shit, that would have been the bee’s fucking knees right there. As it stands and for all my down talking of Resurgence, the album is actually far better than a lot of the drivel that passes for old-school death metal nowadays. I especially dug the   Denial Fiend influence found on “Servants of Discord”.  Rounded out by guitarist, Jonny Pettersson (Heads for the Dead, Henry Kane, Wombbath, Nattravnen), guitarist, Scott Fairfax (Memoriam, Cerebral Fix), and bassist, Mike Borders, the band ends up containing too much arsenal for the battle taken on. With three guitarists, we either need some extreme heaviness (Whitechapel) or some lead-tastic flourishings (Iron Maiden). Of course this would be stepping further away from the Massacre sound which would have me probing the question even further of why not releasing the new album under a different band name entirely.

In the end I guess it doesn’t matter too damn much what this opinionated asshole thinks as some would say that I don’t know shit from Shinola, so take the following as you will…Will I add Resurgence to my physical collection? Of course, I will. Will I reach for it more often than the classic debut From Beyond? Not a chance. More than  Rat°God? Probably not. What about Back From Beyond? Will I reach for Resurgence more than that album? Maybe…probably…only time will tell I guess. Resurgence does feature Kam, though Back From Beyond had both Rozz and Butler, soooo….

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
November 1st, 2021

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