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Paul Speckmann - Masterpieces (CD)

Paul Speckmann
by Grigoris Chronis at 04 October 2005, 3:33 PM

Paul Speckmann must be a 'local hero' of the first wave of Death Metal. Maybe history didn't reward his hard work over all these years (nearly a quarter of a century playin' music) but for the ones who know him - not only from his Master 'deeds' for more than (officially) fifteen years now - his contribution to Death Metal, as it was developed from the late 80's, can be judged as at least 'noteworthy'. Masterpieces presents a collection (100% the meaning of the term included) of all his bands/projects throughout the last 20 years, plus two brand new Master recordings with the current band lineup. Who could ask for more?
While Master breathes life for two decades in total, it was War Cry's Forbidden Evil track - featured in the Metal Massacre IV (1984) compilation - that rolled the fire. Written by then band mate Steve Ahlers, the Metal Blade Records compilation opened up the way for 'revamped' Master to sign for Combat Records in order to record a debut album that wouldn't take its place in the record shops' shelves, due to the outfit disbanding in the middle of the recording sessions. (Note: This record would finally see public 'air' in 2003, via the From Beyond label. In addition to the 1985 track listing, also featured were three songs from the 1991 demo plus the bonus Cut Through The Filth tune, previously available on the Death Is Just The Beginning II compilation).

Carry on: Prior to Nuclear Blast releasing the official Master same titled debut album in 1990, nearly after the first lineup disbanded in 1985, Deathstrike was the first 'real' band Speckmann would build up, then changing back to Master again. Funeral Bitch was a short-lived project with Alex Olvera, followed by Abomination with Aaron Nickeas. Abomination recorded their first full length together with Master and The Fleishe tour with Master/Abomination/Pungent Stench would include Nickeas on drums for both Master and Abomination, with Speckmann as bassist/vocalist too. Jim Martinelli (Burnt Offering) played guitars for Master and Dean Chioles handled the six-string for Abomination. Complex, huh? The rest is Master history and slightly out of the scope for this release.
Masterpieces: a gathering of Paul Speckmann's 'activities' from 1985 'till today. Two songs from the Deathstrike days, in the vein of Venom, Sodom, Celtic Frost and every other band with 'that' sound, accompanied by filthy, deep throat vocals. Then, Funeral Bitch and Mangled Dehumanization from the Master debut. We won' t chat over this, since this album can easily be entitled as a 'milestone' for what we then knew as Death Metal (no keys, no females, no misery).
To continue: The two Abomination cuts (taken from the 1991's Tragedy Strikes album) are again 'ghosted' by an old-school filthy Thrash feeling - with a clearer production, I dare say - while Heathen and Latitudinarian come from the 1992 And On The 7th Day God Created Master release. Same goes for these two, also. Added on the bill is the Cut Through The Filth tune (see 2nd paragraph for details), an Onslaught-like song with an eerie feeling, plus two songs from the Martyr project that Speckmann founded along with Skull and Christopher of Czech Republic's Krabathor; Murder: The End Of The Game was the name of the album.
If you are familiar with Speckmann and Master's history then you should get this one and add it to your 'library' (also check last note). If you're not, you MUST get this one to add it to your 'library'. Paul Speckmann himself chose all these cuts to be included in this kinda 'best of career' compilation. Otherwise, anyone would oppose to the track listing crying for his favorite e.g. Master song. I only wish the album booklet would have featured much more than only photos…
We should be proud this man's been on the loose all these years.
Note: I didn't comment on the two 2004 Master cuts on purpose. Why should we even write a word for something obviously 'great?

4 Star Rating

Master - The Line Too Kill (New Track)
Master - He'll Probably Win (New Track)
Solutions - Fatso
Abomination - Blood For Oil
Abomination - Pull The Plug
Master - Funeral Bitch
Master - Mangled dehumanization
Martyr - Kill With Me
Martyr - Crooked Teeth
Master - Follow Your Savior
Deathstrike - The Truth
Deathstrike - Re-entry And Destruction
Master - Cut Through The Filth
Speckmann - Remorseless Poison
Master - Heathen
Master - Latitudinarian
Paul Speckmann - Bass & Vocals
Record Label: Twilight Vertrieb


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