"Back From Beyond"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Well, progression is for pussies. That's what Massacre have discovered after about 25 years. "Back From Beyond" sees them creating an absolute sequel to their 1991 ground-breaking debut "From Beyond". The cover art is an approximation of "From Beyond", the music recreates the primitive Death-like riffery, the lyrical subject matter is exactly the same. Any shred of advancement for Massacre is shit-canned here. This is a band that has learned its lesson the hard way and gone totally back to the roots.

"From Beyond" was a classic down-tuned Florida death metal brutality, ranking right up there with Death's "Leprosy" and Obituary's "Cause of Death". If it had been a double CD, "Back From Beyond" would have been the second disc. One noticeable change here is that Ed Webb has replaced Kam Lee as vocalist. Kam's personal problems and antics have become pretty legendary over the years, so no suprise there. Kam will always be one of the archetypal death metal vocalists, no matter what. Mr. Webb is a more than credible replacement with extremely tortured screams, but not quite as deep and caveman-like as Lee's. But there's no reason any fan of "From Beyond" would object to him here.

The tunes seem faster than "From Beyond" but the Rick Rozz guitar sound is EXACTLY the same. The cat-strangling guitar solos seem to be identical in every track and also hail back to the Massacre debut. There's a feeling of doom in every track and the 14 original songs here sound like out-takes from "From Beyond"...which doesn't bother me that much. I've been craving this kind of primitive grue for a while now. As a bonus, you get a new version of "Corpsegrinder" and also the Death classic "Mutilation".

All traces of Massacre's odd "Promises" release from 1996 have been swept away. This is total oldschool death metal worship...accept it only on those terms! (Just as this went to press, we found out once again the band is shot with the departure of Terry Butler and Ed Webb. Oh, well...Dr. M)