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Tyrants of Death
April 2006
Released: 2006, Iron Pegasus Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

Digging up the old graves seems to be highly in fashion nowadays... I mean, this has nothing to do with ´making tender and sweet love´ with rotten human torsos or anything, but how some certain labels have this extraordinary tendency to dig up some ´nearly´ long-lost underground metal recordings out from their dusty graves - and bring them back to the daylight again in a modern music format. I´m of course talking about such labels as Xtreem Music (the label of Abhorer, Funebre, Disgrace, Revenant, Demigod, etc.) Necroharmonic Productions (Fatal, Dr. Shrinker, Autopsy, etc.) and the likes. And now all of underground metal maniacs can also greet a German label Iron Pegasus Records for continuieng this great tradition as they recently brought us the legendary US deathsters Massacre´s CD titled TYRANTS OF DEATH that basically features all those essential demo + live releases from these ancient heroes of extreme metal.

TYRANTS OF DEATH basically offers nothing but a nostalgic trip through the band´s early days - and those of you who have been digging Massacre since those old days when the first chords of such songs as "Aggressive Tyrant" and "Mutilated" were catapulted through loudspeakers back in 1986, surely understand immediately why this release was worth releasing. Kam Lee and co. in Massacre were one of the heaviest bands that were out there back then, creating some infamous noises in the underground metal scene - and spreading like a vicious plague amongst a cultivated metal population. Massacre was also that band where such bands legendary Death Metal acts as Death and Obituary spawned from later on, and we all know already where those two bands´ paths led to, right folks?

On the TYRANTS OF DEATH CD you get to hear Massacre and how raw, unpolished and untamed a band they actually were, delivering their goods the best possible way they were capable of offering at that time, and all this strangely still appeals me quite a lot. I managed to get all these recordings on tape through the already extinct tape trading scene; some of them sounded really bad, some ok, but the bottom line was, all of their recordings - either live - or demo, still got my head for a wild headbanging rotation. So in that sense the nostalgic value of these recordings is undoubtedly pricelessly high - and I thank Costas from Iron Pegasus Records for seing the value and importance of Massacre´s demo -era releases. He has done a really cultural thing by putting this out; by the helping hands of Kam Lee, Michael Borders, Frank Stöver, Peter Ott and Laurent Ramadier without whom this release might not have been possible.

There´s also a nice selection of very cool, old Massacre pics from the early years included to this history lesson of the band; some vintage gig flyers of Massacre, an old Massacre drawing done by Kam Lee, two excerpts from interviews of both Kam Lee (done by Frank Stöver from the Voices From The Darkside webmagazine) and Michael Borders (done by Laurent Ramadier from Snakepit magazine), so you should seriously consider buying this particular Massacre -release rather than any of those low budget, shitty sounding and cheaply-done Massacre bootlegs that you may see floating around every once in a while (even if I do admit INFESTATION OF DEATH was a greatly done bootleg, put together by Japanese label Moritaka Records and limited to 500 copies). TYRANTS OF DEATH is really the only release you may need to get to know Massacre a bit better from their early days. So get it and remember: Posers shall burn in the pit, motherfuckers!!
Track Listing

DEMO 2 (recorded in November 1986):

01. Chamber of Ages
02. Clangor of War
03. From Beyond
04. Symbolic Immortality
05. Cryptic Realms

DEMO 1 (recorded in April 1986):

06. Aggressive Tyrant (*)
07. Death in Hell (*)
08. Mutilated (*)

BONUS LIVE MATERIAL (recorded live in Rock City, Tampa May 25th 1986):

09. Infestation of Death
10. Clangor of War
11. Aggressive Tyrant
12. Cryptic Realm
13. Perpetual Domination
14. The Traitor


Kam Lee - Vokills
Rick Rozz - Guitars
Allen West - Guitars (*)
Michael Borders - Bass
Billy Andrews - Drums

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