Personally, I am not much into thrash metal, but I was offered to give Back From Beyond by MASSACRE a listen. As usual, I head into any album with an open mind, giving every band, (heard or unheard of,) a fresh start. In this case, I liked what I heard, but, at the very minimum, it reminded me of exactly why thrash metal has never been my forte in all of metal music.
To be fair, out of the few albums that I have reviewed thus far, Back From Beyond was by far the heaviest album to date. With vocal screams that can make the hairs on your neck stand at attention and with guitar riffs that make the listener feel like they are being thrown around in a tornado, thrash metal was made for the fan of fast, circle pit inducing, windmill headbanging culture. How do I know this? Well, aside from the circle pit, I caught myself windmilling a few times during the playing of this record. The only downfall that I can take away from this album in particular is that through the fourteen tracks, it sort of felt like the songs ran together and did not vary as much in style as what I am used to. Being unbiased though, I still think this is a solid effort.
To be a band that has been active since 1984 (yes, 30 years,) MASSACRE shows the signs that they have not lost a single step in the progression of thrash metal. In fact, if you are like me and are just getting into them now, this may be a band that you did not know you even liked. After only a few loops of Back From Beyond, I knew that MASSACRE was worth it. Currently, this four-piece from Tampa Bay is still going strong with this album as the proof. Take it from me, someone who is newly exposed to the band and would absolutely give the album another play through. MASSACRE signed to Century Media records in 2012 and Back From Beyond is the first full-length record to be released since their reformation that same year. In fact, in 1991, MASSACRE released an album entitled From Beyond, which leads me to believe that Back From Beyond is supposed to resemble the band picking up from where they left off with the same lineup during the recording of From Beyond.
Over the years, MASSACRE has featured members of notable bands such as DEATH, KREATOR, and OBITUARY. The track record of talent that has come and gone speaks for itself. Don’t call Back From Beyond a comeback, these guys have kept the ball rolling and really do keep true to the thrash metal style.
A few tracks that stuck out to me the most as I played the album multiple times were songs like “As We Wait To Die,” “Darkness Fell,” and “False Revelation.” Through these songs, I felt as the listener that the riffs just ripped harder and hit heavier than the other tracks on the album. Now, having said that, the other 11 songs are nothing to bypass at all. Also, it helps on these tracks that Ed Webb’s vocal patterns seem to compliment the music, making the overall sound heavier and the listener more vulnerable to let loose and windmill headbang during the duration of the tracks.
As a final judgment, I believe that this was a solid album, but like I said, it seems as I am always left wanting more in general from the thrash metal genre. This is an album worth listening to and maybe even worth purchasing if thrash is more your scene.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “As We Wait To Die”, “Darkness Fell”, “False Revelation”
WRITTEN BY MR. REESE