MONSTROSITY - "ENSLAVING THE MASSES" (CONQUEST MUSIC)
Monstrosity's "In Dark Purity" is among my most played CDs of this year. As you may recall from that review, I accidentally found the album in a record shop and I was instantly hooked. I don't know how Monstrosity is generally rated out there, but if you ask me they're hugely underrated. I think they are the very top of death metal to come from the US, but somehow people always think of other bands first. Wrong!
Unfortunately, it seems "Enslaving the Masses" will be 'blessed' with a similar total lack of advertising. I only became aware of the impending release when someone at Conquest Music told me, after reading my previous ravings about the band.
"Enslaving the Masses" is not actually a true new album. In fact it's a CD of old demo recordings with an added live CD.
The first CD allows you to hear what Monstrosity sounded like before George "now in Cannibal Corpse" Fischer left. The first five tracks are from the "Imperial Doom" sessions. They are the ones that sound best, and they are all very good. Then follow four tracks of rather less quality, from the "Horror Infinity" demo. In particular the title track sounds a lot like old Slayer. The last three tracks are from the "Slaves and Masters" demo, sound a bit better, and made it on "Millennium" in new versions. Verdict on the first CD: Quite interesting, not all very good quality recording-wise.
The second CD, the live CD, is what I personally thought was even more interesting. Of course each and every track they play is a fine one, but I was particularly pleased to find among them my favourites off "In Dark Purity" ("Destroying Divinity" and "The Angels Venom"). Vocalist Jason Avery does an excellent job, needs to be said. They wrap things up, after 11 tracks, with a live rendition of Slayer's "Angel of Death", which is very nice! The verdict of the live CD is not wholly positive, though: The snare drums are way too loud and the guitar solos have a tendency to echo. Other than that, though, you've got enough reason to get this CD if you're into good death metal.
The album is already available in the US, and should be released in Europe by the end of the year.
Click here to check out or buy this CD
Written August 2001
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