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Released: 2010, Maple Metal Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Massive Slavery are a melodic death metal outfit from Canada who have just released their debut full length through Maple Metal Records. They feature within their ranks members of Decrepity and Descend Into Nothingness. I only hear one band I could liken Massive Slavery to at times and that would be Epoch Of Unlight circa 1999.
GLOBAL ENSLAVEMENT is tech-heavy, veering towards math-metal at times in its complexities. The heavily triggered syncopation displayed by drummer Pierre Alexandre Mercier is nothing short of both astonishing and jaw dropping. I know with this kind of music it's not really an option, but I would love to hear his performance minus the triggers. "MediAssassiNation" wastes no time in showcasing said drum work alongside heavy seven string guitars and scathing new school death vocals courtesy of Jonathan St. Pierre. I say "new school" because despite the technical abilities of this talented bunch, the idea of marketing this release as death metal just does not sit well with me. There is no ominous guttural subhuman morbidity to be found here. You couldn't lump this band in with bands like Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel or Hate Eternal. That isn't to say it isn't good because it is, it's just not death metal. There are core breakdowns from time to time and noodly (nu-dully) guitar warblings thrown in for good measure, leading me to believe that these guys would go over better with the shaved head, tattooed, pierced, vegan/straight edge crowd of odorous street panhandlers than your long haired, horror movie obsessed, dope smoking, hesher allegiance of badassed troublemakers.
Enough of new school vs. old school comparisons, it's the music that's important and we have ten very strong compositions on GLOBAL ENSLAVEMENT. "The Denial Of Man's Regression" is progressive and at times overwhelming with its complex tempo changes and advanced speed runs on guitar, even some catchy vocal hooks to boot. I'd imagine this tune must have taken a while to compose, as it's so all over the place. "Wider We Open Our Eyes" features melodic staccato leadwork over blasting drums on full kick and raspy higher register vocals. Riff after killer riff Massive Slavery are laying down the smack. "Humanity's Last Hope..." has some really impressive axework courtesy of guitarist Joel St. Amant, as a listener I have a hard time remembering there is only one axeman on this disc. There also seems to be some kind of lyrical apocalyptic/environmental theme on GLOBAL ENSLAVEMENT.
This is a great album from a very talented band, especially considering this is their initial offering. Great production value, great performances. There are some moments where I am a bit turned off due to the use of more modern influences, but that is just personal preference. I will definitely be looking forward to hearing what comes next from Massive Slavery.
2. Shade of Corruption
3. Global Enslavement
4. The Denial of Man's Regression
5. Destroy, Rebuild, Repeat...
6. A Cold Interlude
7. Wider We Open Our Eyes
8. Pull the Plug on Modern Civilization
9. Humanity's Last Hope...
10. Generalized Cyberphobia
Jonathan St. Pierre - Vocals
Marc Andre Barrette - Bass
Pierre Alexandre Mercier - Drums
Joel St. Amant - Guitar
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