MASSACRE — Aggressive Tyrant (review)

MASSACRE — Aggressive Tyrant album cover Demo · 1986 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
"Aggressive Tyrant" is the first demo release by US, Florida based death metal act Massacre. The demo was independently released in April 1986. Massacre formed in 1985, but the roots of the band go back to 1983 when drummer/lead vocalist Kam Lee, guitarist Rick Rozz and guitarist/additional vocalist Chuck Schuldiner formed Mantas, which would later morph into Death. When Lee and Rozz were ousted from Death in 1985, Lee formed Massacre with drummer Bill Andrews (Lee had now given up playing the drums and only concentrated on singing), bassist Mike Borders, and guitarist Allen West, which is the lineup who recorded "Aggressive Tyrant".

Stylistically this is aggressive and brutal death metal with strong thrash metal leanings, which isn´t surprising given the early date of release. Kam Lee´s vocals are intelligible deep semi-growling and the music is both fast-paced and heavy. It´s interesting to hear that West´s guitar tone is very similar to the tone he would use on the early Obituary releases once he joined them. I´m usually not keen on calling anything before "Scream Bloody Gore" death metal, but this demo comes close to me calling it just that. It´s still slightly too much in thrash metal territory to be labelled a 100% death metal release, but it´s damn close and you are arguably exposed to some of the early traits of death metal like the deep grunted vocals, the heavy and intense guitar tone, and the fast double bass drums.

The three tracks on the 10:42 minutes long demo are quite catchy and effective too, and the demo is also well produced considering that it´s an April 1986 extreme metal demo. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.
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