Title: Vindictive Miscreant
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Release date: 28th November 2018
Country: Czech Republic
Format reviewed: Digital Promo
When it comes to the thrashier side of death metal, only a few bands have been able to do what MASTER have pulled off for so many years; releasing one after another consistent and putrid blend of death and thrash metal. “Vindictive Miscreant” is this Czech based trio’s 14th full length release, on top of the various EPs and splits they’ve released over the years. While the band has always melded genres, their latest release embraces a slightly heavier thrash element while still following a similar format from their previous work. “Vindictive Miscreant” delivers a constant assault of shredding guitar and hammering drumming while also featuring some exceptional bass work to go along with the lovingly grotesque vocals we’ve come to expect from Paul Speckmann.
The title track starts things off with “You’re nothing but a Vindictive Miscreant!!”, throwing the listener back to early releases with spoken word openers. Things heat up quickly with a landslide of heavy thrash infused death metal riffs that repeat continuously throughout the track, ending off with the first of many killer solos. The next several songs in line follow a similar formula with MASTER unleashing a pile of straightforward, easy to digest, but irrefutably fantastic shreddage mixed up with a well placed breakdown or guitar solo to keep the head banging.
A change of pace comes half way through with “The Inner Strength of the Demon” which starts with a dirty bass lick followed up by a straight up thrash gallop! The song evolves nicely throughout, working diligently to change up the shredding progressions while also showcasing some of the best growls from Speckmann on the album. After a bit more of the same, “Engulfed in Paranoia” kicks it up a notch again delivering some more heavy whiplash inducing moments with and a bit more groove than you’d usually get from a MASTER album. Things ends strong with “Stand Up and Be Counted” which delivers the best bass riffs of the album on top of the thrashy drum and guitar progressions we’ve come to expect. “Vindictive Miscreant” wraps things up with a traditional full speed fury, gifting yet another burning solo before ending things off on a dime.
While the band’s vocal style can be an acquired taste, MASTER have certainly always been able to deliver great albums and “Vindictive Miscreant” is no exception. Although the album cover art offers a lot more color than usual, the band continues to follow a familiar yet incredibly successful formula of the deathy thrash metal they bloody well helped pioneer. This album is full throttle from start to finish. Even though there are a few repetitive moments throughout, the band successfully changes things up when needed. Adding to this was the fact that they did a great job of engaging the listener along the way, with almost every track contributing a technical, compelling, and furious guitar solo for our listening pleasure. My favourite song on the album was definitely the closing track, with the stand alone bass and solo work tipping the scales. While a few songs have a bit more groove than expected at times, this album is definitely worth a listen. MASTER yet again provide a top notch and gritty death thrash experience that can be easily embraced by any fan of both genres. 8/10 Metal Yeti
8/10 To Greatness and Glory!
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