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The Human Machine
October 2010
Released: 2010, Pulverised Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

To be honest I lost track of master after the first three albums. I always admired Paul Speckman, enjoyed those records immensely and respected his pioneering role in the Death Metal community. For whatever reason, Master has always struggled with record labels and distribution, most of their catalogue is exceedingly hard to get in North America. Allegedly unhappy with living in the US, Paul made his way to the Czech Republic and re-started his career after half a decade. Then an impressive string of six studio albums in the last decade and now finally here we are with THE HUMAN MACHINE. After countless line-up changes he has settled in with some Czech buddies and has actually had a stable line-up for the last four albums!

Lyrically speaking, Paul must be seriously pissed off at the US, the police and authority in general because he has been singing about this, anti-establishment theme for years and years now. The man gotta lot of hate, which translates well musically into some pretty relentless and punishing Death Metal. Not content to simply sing tales of guts and gore, he finds more fear and horror in the state of the world these days. The cover art reflects this sentiment quite nicely. So do cuts like ‘Supress Free Thinking’, and ‘It’s What Your Country Can Do For You’…in fact pretty much all the lyrics on the entire album express some degree of anger towards authority.

Paul has quite a unique voice and it is good to hear his gruff but not completely unintelligible vocal style again. He still sounds pissed off and probably is. Backed up by Alex on guitar and Zdenek on drums these guys make a hell of a lot of noise for three-piece! Power-trio indeed. Master still has that raw, fast loose, sloppy and smoky, punk-tinged attack reminiscent of Venom and Motorhead. Everything is almost out of control, but not quite. The whole album is damn fast and it sounds like Zdenek pounds the hell out of his drums, not just blast-beats that blur by. It’s not that technical, not a huge amounts of quirky time-changes and complex arrangements, the riffs are simple and effective.

Master pretty much bludgeons you, much in the way the state police (in certain countries) might if you look at them the wrong way. Relentless and punishing, THE HUMAN MACHINE has quickly re-ignited my interest in the band. If you are a long-time fan and supporter, you will be very happy with this uncompromising slab of raw Death Metal.
Track Listing

1. The Human Machine
2. It’s What Your Country Can Do for You
3. Twisted Truth
4. True Color
5. Suppress Free Thinking
6. A Replica of Invention
7. Faceless Victims Expelled
8. Worship the Sun
9. The Lack of Space
10. Impale to Kill


Paul Speckmann-Vocals, Bass
Alex Nejezchleba-Guitar
Zdenek Pradlovsky-Drums

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