Saturday, March 10, 2012

Massive Assault-Death Strike

Amongst, tens and thousands of new death metal releases, Massive Assaults ''Death Strike'' stands out by the edge of a sword. Despite the more thrash oriented name and album title, this a death metal album and you can picture a vivid sight of what it sounds like by the album cover. There is a hint of Entombed and other usual Swedish suspects and a nice punk atittude that adds lots much heaviness and aggressiveness to the music. Another note would be that if you are searching the same dark, cryptic atmosphere that bands like Macabre and Disma delivered than look somewhere else, but if you want some skull fracturing death metal which is concise and effective, look no further.

As I mentioned before the album immedeatly kicks off and pummels the listeners pace to the ground with pure punkish savagery. Unfortunately that's pretty much the best thing that the album can offer. The spectrum of variations isn't very extensive and there is little technical skill or musicianship. Though if you push that aside the album is a very solid release. The bass is exceedingly audiable and the riffs and crusty and crunchy with a sort chunky sound applied to the guitar tone. The tone enables the riffs to obtain a cool Swedeath aspect and groove especially heavy sounding with the dense feeling. The songs are short and efficacious, kind of like many hardcore punk and crossover bands that have short but all in all, powerful tracks. The album gains some of it's heaviness from the distorted, thrash tinged mid-paced riffage, especially seen on the song ''Turning Tides''. The song has a much more doomy, nonetheless crushing(yet still failing that tinge of blashemous evil) structure that evocates a graphic image of ancient death/doom monsters Asphyx, Cianide and such. The song ''Pride'', like the aformentioned is a slower track compared to the widespread sound of the album, though in a much different way that draws more influence of a more evil sound(yet still not very graphic), essentially worshipping some Swedeath masters like Gorement, Sorcery etc.

After first couple of tracks the album starts to lose its efficiency though after a certain point the music manages to keep capturing an amount of fascination and interest for the listener until the end of the album. It clearly shows that Massive Assault did not delve into the depths of their imagination of the album but have managed to split a large quantity of necks. With lots of crushing Swedeath groove, this crossover-tinged album leaves a slightly memorable mark on the listeners ear. The album eventually manages to top numerous bands with its most delicately crafted heaviness and aggressiveness but fails to achieve what bands like Nocturnal Torment and Charon have achieved. The lack of evil is a big gap on the album but the bulldozer assault saves it from entirely destroying the energy on the album. The dynamics are great but no better than moshable track played in an underground show place that grabs hold of the crowd only until the end of the show.

Operation Atrophy
Driven Towards Death

Rating: 81%

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