Released: 2011, Dark Descent
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Those who are up on their death metal history will know who Paul Speckmann is and what his contributions to the genre are. His brainchild Master has been an underground institution for a quarter of a century, churning out new material year after year regardless of whether anyone else is aware or interested. But back in 1985 before Master even existed was Speckmann’s previous band, Death Strike. Death Strike recorded a single demo that year, FUCKIN’ DEATH, before disbanding, but man what a demo it was. Death metal wasn’t quite death metal yet, but the four tracks on that FUCKIN’ DEATH set the tone for what the scene would become – fast and heavy with a fuck you punk attitude.
Speckmann would continue those themes with Master, but FUCKIN’ DEATH would become the stuff of legend. Nuclear Blast re-released that demo back in ’91 with some bonus tracks, but as everything old is new again, Dark Descent Records has reissued FUCKIN’ DEATH on CD and vinyl – this time with the bonus tracks from the ’91 Nuclear Blast edition plus 4 rare rehearsal tracks, lyrics, new photos, and the original color tones of the original ’85 demo. Sure some might wonder what all the fuss is about, but for old school purists this edition of FUCKIN’ DEATH is a treasure chest of goodies.
The 8-studio tracks on FUCKIN’ DEATH are primal, raw, politically charged hostility. The tunes hint at elements of classic thrash, a la Venom, Sodom, and Possessed, but with the edginess and guitar gymnastics that would become associated with early death metal. Particularly tracks like “The Final Conflict” and “Remorseless Poison,” with their dense, dirgy riffs and ominous presence. They certainly indicate were Speckmann would be headed with Master’s body of work. The four rehearsal tracks are expectedly rough around the edges being 25 year old live rehearsal tapes, but their inclusion here gives this reissue some welcomed extra teeth. Death Strike may have had an all too brief existence, but FUCKIN’ DEATH still holds up. And while these types of releases aren’t for everybody, Dark Descent Records has done a great job in creating a worthwhile package for those who will appreciate it.