Edition: 60
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Album reviews:
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01. M.A.O.A.
02. Thrashing The Blind School
03. Ritual Killings
04. S.T.C.
05. Merciless Machine
06. A Drop Of Hell
07. Suicidal License
08. Rushed Death
09. Up For The Massacre
10. Redemption
The motto of that classic Testament ripper First strike is deadly has been seriously taken to heart by Mexican thrashers Strikemaster. On their first full-length cd Up For The Massacre (2006 on Blower Records), the thrashing trio crank out the crunchy stuff like the nineties and Göteborg never happened. ‘No pussy effects were used in the recording of the album, only sweat and blood’, it says in the booklet credits. There ya go! If you’re into the early phase of Exodus, Dark Angel, Destruction and the origins of thrash metal, then you’re in for a treat with this album full of mean riffs, high-speed speed chases and aggressive Don Doty-like vocals to match.
The difference between Strikemaster and other bands that try to (re)capture the thrash spirit of the mid-eighties, however, is that these three guys are better at their craft than a lot of their young colleagues. That is partly due to a certain feeling for melody and the classic hookline, but also to musicianship. These guys combine extreme aggression with some damn fine playing, with even some highly interesting bass parts thrown in here and there. Guitar solos may not always be in tune with the rest of a song (you know; Hanneman/King-style), but the sheer energy of it all just makes you want to bang your head against the stage, or, in this case, the speakers. In keeping with the music, the raw production kicks ass too. From the music to the packaging, the entire affair is so drenched in thrash attitude, that you’d be easily fooled into thinking that this was released in 1986.
Any thrash maniac will love the shit out of a speed number like Merciless Machine, that has ‘Destruction-Schmier tribute’ written all over it. And I challenge you to remain calm during the equally merciless onslaught that is A drop of hell, or during the powerful title track with its razorsharp hookline that would reel in a killer shark. Why bother with toothless melodic death crap if you can have your daily dosis of honest-to-God adrenalin frenzy from Commander Chávez (drums/backing vocals), Colonel Camou (guitars/lead vocals) and Sergent Diego (bass/backing vocals)? If still in doubt, check out some of the tracks online here: www.myspace.com/strikemaster666.
Lyrics, of course, are way out there, as if Paul Baloff lent a bit of his ‘kill-all-posers’ craziness from beyond the grave. ‘Booze in mayhemic amounts, bourbon and beer/My liver’s been stabbed, crash the party it’s over/Severe brain concussions, to coma and then dead’. You get the picture – true thrashing poetry from the bottom of the bottle. Even the hate list (‘Ultra hateful speed fuck offs to the following bastards’) printed on the inside of the tray card is in the spirit of things, and man, do they ever mean it! Okay, enough with the yodeling: all old school thrash compadres get this disc immediately.

  Rating: 85 /100

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