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The Witchhunt
October 2013
Released: 2013, F.D.A. Rekotz
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: UK Team

Legendary Death Metal pioneers Master are back with their twelfth record, The Witchhunt, released through FDA Rekotz. Band leader Paul Speckmann, now making his residence in Czech Republic, is still at it after 30 plus years in the business, with a career that includes working with bands such as Death Strike, Abomination, Speckamnn Project, Funeral Bitch and Krabathor, among others. In the last few years, Master have consistently released good albums and this new record continues in the Thrash Metal/ Death Metal vein which Master is known for. They have also included blast beat sections here, a tendency that the band have used in their recent record to great effect. The production on this record finds the guitars using a mid-range distortion that gives the record a characteristic Thrash Metal sound.

The Witchhunt opens with its title track in which the drums provide blast beats and then switch to a Hardcore Punk influence beat with guitars and bass providing Death Metal riffs on top. Speckmann's vocals are his usual grunting style that lies somewhere between Death Metal and Thrash Metal, and driving home the cynicism included in the lyrics.

On "Another Suicide", the band employs a guitar riff that has a bit of a Black Metal vibe mixed with the band's Death Metal approach, while Speckmann's growls the lyrics on top of it all. Drums switch here between the more Hardcore Punk fast beats with Death Metal inspired double bass drum beats. Other times, the band may engage in more Thrash Metal inspired moments, such as "The Parable" and "God of Thunder" (definitely not a cover of the kiss classic) where guitars may remind listeners of Dark Angel and Sodom. "Wipe Out the Aggressor" is also among the more Thrash Metal influenced numbers, similar to the band's own classic "Pay to Die", but adding a bit of the Death Metal influence during the guitar solo section. "Remove The Clowns" is a more Death Metal number that finds the band using blast beats and more guitar tremolo picking than in previous tracks. There are a number of slower numbers included on the record, such as "Raise Your Sword " and "Manipulated to Exterminate", which tend to use slow and heavy rhythms that build up to faster tempos.

This latest release from Master continues in the vein of consistently effective records such as last year's "The New Elite" and "The Human Machine", in which the band have a more aggressive approach. This is quite impressive when you consider just how long the band has been around, yet are able to still make an interesting record full of great songs. This record seems to straddle the line between the band's earlier, more Hardcore Punk influenced beginnings and later more Death Metal releases like "On the Seventh Day God Created... Master". This is recommended for longtime fans as well as people who are not yet familiar with Master's (and Paul Speckmann's) music.

Review by Titus Isaac López
Track Listing

1. The Witchhunt
2. Plans of Hate
3. Another Suicide
4. Waiting to Die
5. The Parable
6. God of Thunder
7. Remove the Clowns
8. Raise Your Sword
9. Wipe Out the Aggressor
10. Manipulated to Exterminate
11. The American Dream


Paul Speckmann Bass, Vocals
Zdenek Pradlovský Drums
Alex "93" Nejezchleba Guitars

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