Album Review: Strike Master - Death based Illusions
Reviewed by Neil Bolton
Let’s give this New Mexican thrash band, Strike Master a go! Wait... What?... Formed in 2005? Well this must be their first release? Wait... What?... They;ve released six albums? Well they must have just played a couple of underground shows in Mexico? Wrong again... with loads of live appearances including support slots for King Diamond, Overkill and playing with Slayer on their farewell tour. Wow! Well that’s it then, they must be rubbish. Thankfully that’s incorrect once again, they sound really good. Yet I have no idea why I have never heard them before.
So here we go, with a four track E.P. Strike Master make quite an impression. The first track 'Strong as Hell' starts with Pach on the bass guitar taking the lead and promising something more. This promise is delivered with the bass upfront and personal in the mix. An old school thrash riff follows and you get the picture. Shouty vocals, but clean, not a death style grunt, they hit you in the ear drum, and then you realise it’s not that the bass guitar that is full on, its the mix.
They are only a three piece, but the mix is perfect, it has all three instruments and the vocals pitched just right. Clever hooks and massive riffs demand your attention.
Second track 'A Corpseless Soul' starts with the now classic acoustic intro and then we are thrashing again, still in the same familiar excellent vein. There is a video out for this track right now, check it out at the bottom of this review. 'There Are Never Enough Knives' follows this and we are straight into the melee again, these three Mexicans do make a good noise. With vocalist Col. Kmu sounding angry but appealing. Accompanied by Picos on the drums as frantic as throughout the E.P.
The final track 'Cosmic Owl Ritual' finishes this short set of songs leaving the listener wanting more. So that’s what I did, I have now delved into this glorious band’s back catalogue and can say what I have heard is good metal and thrash, but not as polished a sound. Plenty of people will say a rougher sound is better for this type of music, I would venture to say if it sounds better, it is better.
I am sure I am not the only person who is new to this band, and with the large amount of metal festivals appearing in U.K. venues I hope they are brought over and introduced to an even larger audience!
Strike Mater release 'Death Based Illusions' on November 17th.