“Death Strike”

By Derelikt Waugh

 Are you looking for a dose of originality in your death metal? Well, you better look to a different band other than Massive Assault. These Dutch lunatics are more than a tad derivative, but I’m using that word in the most complimentary way possible. On their full-length debut entitled “Death Strike”, Massive Assault truly delivers the blood and guts, old school Swedish death style. What they are lacking in the originality department, they more than make up for with fat and memorable riffs, D-beat blasts and soulful, gravel-throated growls from beyond the grave. The playing on this ten-song hymnal of Hell is truly top notch, especially the extremely audible, fuzz-drenched bass work. The bass riffs are high in the mix, something that truly sets this album apart from the work of lesser “retro death” outfits.  

 I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite tune on this album, as there is no filler material whatsoever. All ten songs truly hit that good ol’ crusty, D-beat mark, decimating most other Sunlight Studio emulating clones in the process. Yes, Massive Assault uses a tried and tested death metal formula, but what really puts them high on the ancient pedestal is their ability to write crunchy, highly-addictive songs. While “Death Strike” sounds as though it could have come straight from the bowels of the early nineties (minus the excellent production), I think that it most certainly could be considered a modern day classic. Massive Assault’s sonic arsenal surely owes a debt of gratitude to old school gods like Entombed and Dismember, but when the overall package is this damn excellent, do their influences really matter?