Master
Saints Dispelled

Paul Speckman, (bass/vox), a long staple in the mid-west death metal scene, has been around since the 80’s with his main band Master. Some may be unaware, but some years ago, frustrated with the living costs in America and politics, packed up his shit and relocated to the Czech Republic.Buthere are still nods to their earliest US-based material, like their best album, in 1991 On the Seventh Day God Created… Master.

Saints Dispelled is the 15th Master album, which is insane, Time flies and if you like The Human Machine and The New Elite from the mid 00’s will really enjoy this new album. Inject some new blood in the band with Peter Bajci on drums and Alex “93” Nejezchleba on guitars, this makes Master strictly from Czechia now. It will be interesting to see if Master performs at all in the States, any longer, or strictly, will remain in Europe with their live gigs. Hell, I’m not even sure if Speckman tours.

The promo contains 10 songs in 50 minutes and “Destruction in June” begins with an excellent guitar riff and Speckman’s signature throaty scream /growl, the death/ thrash metal is on full display with some excellent double bass drums and Speckman’s vocals truly are on point. The galloping speed is pure and classic old-school death metal. In some respects, this album could have been released in 1990 because the nods are to that time/late 80’s brutal music. The classic speeds and rhythm section makes this a dynamite opening. The guitar solo in the middle of the song takes me back to 1990. Plenty of headbanging moments on this album opener and the squealing ending guitar solo calls to mind classic Slayer, for sure.

“Walk in the Footsteps of Doom” opens with a classic death/thrash gallop and the drums sound is really taking me back to the classic death metal time period of yore as well as Master’s signature drum sound with the double bass and not overly complicated drum beats. It works, just like Bill Andrew’s simple drumming on the Death albums worked, and this has a Bill Andrews style of drumming for sure, which is cool, because Bill drummed for Master many moons ago. More guitar solos on this song and again, similar nods to classic Slayer, in some respect, but the end of this song has some very creative guitar melodies and excellent drum rolls and the cymbal hits are meant to shred eardrums. The title track has a very similar speed to the prior song, “Walk in the Footsteps of Doom”, and the chorus parts over the double bass drums at the 1.55 section work exceedingly well.

“Find Your Life” starts slower in nature with the pounding double bass and stop and start riffing and then the song picks up speed to the classic Master speed. Very cool guitar melodies on this song and the song has increased tempo shifts where the song slows down and then speeds up and those guitar melodies, previously mentioned, add a melodic flair to Master, during these moments. The guitar riffing sounds like a damn razor and is very well-produced, truly excellent.

“Marred and Diseased” has an interesting drum beginning, reminding me of “Power” from Agnostic Front’s Victim in Pain album. The drum pattern seems like an homage and then even with the brief bass guitar slide coming in, then that is where the similarities end. As the classic Master death metal galloping takes over with the rhythmic patterns we have grown accustomed to over the decades.

The rest of Saints Dispelled plays out very similarly and we are talking about Master’s no-frill death/thrash metal, and while you will not find overly complicated song structures, you will find very memorable songs with plenty of headbanging and throw-up-your-horns moments. Master has released many albums over the years and some better than others, but Speckman has always made sure the albums sound like Master. This is a fun and enjoyable album that I will go back to multiple times, because it’s classic-sounding, memorable, and well-played.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
January 22nd, 2024

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