Released: 2016, FDA Rekotz
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
It’s a challenge to discuss any band that Rick Rozz is involved with that’s not Death or Massacre without mentioning Death or Massacre. I suppose it’s a both a burden and a blessing to carry that kind of a shadow, but it’s got to be tough to move forward creatively when neither of those bands are a thing anymore. But following the sudden dissolution (again) of Massacre in late 2014, Rozz intends to do just that with his latest band, The End and a new EP, AGE OF APOCALYPSE.
Rounded out by ex-Massacre drummer Mike Mazzonetto and newcomer Michael Grimm on vocals/bass, The End specialize in the kind of classic OSDM that you’d expect Rozz to be associated with. There’s definitely some Massacre in the musical DNA (it’s hard to shake), but the tunes are much looser and more groove minded, not too far removed from his and Mazzonetto’s excursion with M. Inc. Each of the four tracks are solid in their own right, but “Crawling Back to Life” and the thrashy gallop of “Inhale the Plague” are particular standouts. I wasn’t previously familiar with Grimm or his other band Death Before Dying, but he’s a great choice to front the trio. With an intelligible death growl a la Corpsegrinder Fischer, and a willingness to mix it up with witch shrieks and demon scowls, his vocal presence can be pretty charismatic. Mazzonetto also gets some room to flex, forgoing the constant double bass blasts for more intuitive jams.
AGE OF APOCALYPSE shows that you can still breathe new life into a presumed corpse. The End succeeds in delivering a platter of death metal that’s readily familiar, while still managing to sound fresh, inspired, and motivated. Massacre may be bound finally bound to the grave, but given the promise behind AGE OF APOCALYPSE, I don’t know that anyone will really mind.