Released: 2005, Hateworks
On the road since 1988, Masacre are not a new band to the death metal world, yet their latest offering TOTAL DEATH may be your first encounter with the Colombian band. On their previous four albums, Masacre have written exclusively in Spanish with TOTAL DEATH being the band's first release to be written in English. Produced by Erik Rutan of Hate Eternal fame at his Manna Studios, this is Masacre’s most professional sounding release to date. Masacre plays brutal death and are among the leaders of the Colombian death metal scene. They have also been a huge influence on other Colombian death metal bands including Internal Suffering and Beheaded, who both play pure, blasting death. Masacre have more variety in their attack and while not overly technical, TOTAL DEATH was not anything special for me, amounting to great musicians playing generic music.
Singer Alex Oquendo is a solid death metal vocalist, perfectly fitting this band, but he possesses your standard hoarse death metal growl in the vein of Glen Benton or Chris Barnes, while his high screams are in the vein of George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. Colombian death metal seems to garner some of the best drummers in the biz and Victor Gallego is no exception. Gallego has excellent all-around skills, including great footwork matched with good hands that make him fun to listen to. Guitarist Jorge Londono plays a mean axe his solos and his solos highlight songs like "Slaves of Death" and "Soldiers of The Unknown." The riffs on TOTAL DEATH lack something and I felt I had heard them all before like re-hashed early Cannibal Corpse riffs as well as from other bands, however London's solos do sound quite good for a generic death metal band. "Wrath in Pain" sounds a lot like Six Feet Under, dumbing down the riffs a little from the rest of the songs. The next song has a rather humorous song title "Oh My God", nice and brutal, Alex chants "Oh My Fucking God" throughout the song. "Death Metal Forever" is a great anthem for us "death-heads" and I can imagine screaming the chorus in church while being shunned by god.
Drum-wise, there isn't a bad song on TOTAL DEATH, as Gallego's drums are the best part of the CD, but with only eight songs, TOTAL DEATH ends pretty quickly. For my first time hearing these Colombians, I must say I prefer their counterparts, Internal Suffering and Beheaded, though I can tell Masacre’s influence was big on these bands.