Massacra
Final Holocaust


4.5
superb

Review

by Spaten USER (8 Reviews)
December 20th, 2016 | 9 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Slayer's Show No Mercy translated into Death Metal

While in 1990 Death Metal had already taken hold in the United States with many of the classic bands being in the pocess of writing their most potent material, the year also saw the release of Final Holocaust, the full length debut of French pioneers Massacra, who, despite their geogaphical isolation from the American and Scandinavian scene, managed to put together an uncompromising album rife with the pure essence of Death Metal spirit.

Massacra's songs on this release are composed of a series of straight forward riffs, using the most simple Death Metal techniques. Making heavy use of simple power chord shapes and temolo-picked melody, typically without any further harmonization, these simple riffs gain their impact and intensity from context. With exceptional lucidity Massacra develop their songs as a series of riffs, with each riff representing a theme built of motifs that are either derived from previous riffs or introduce a new idea that logically expands the context of the whole song. Despite the simplistic and primitive nature of the song's constituent parts, the band manages to do this without sounding overly banal by carefully employing breaks along with manipulation of texture, tempo and rhythmic structure to forward their ideas. While the rhythm guitar is the compositional focal point of virtually all classic Death Metal, this tendency is especially pronounced on this record, which also reflects on the production. Rhythm guitar is especially prominent, with all other instruments being reduced to have a suppotive function and thus, lower relative volume. Guitar solos for example, which are often played in a classic Slayer-inspired noise style, although slightly more focused, aren't meant to grab your attention as much as they just add intensity to the riffing, occasionally even making use of multiple lead guitars playing at once.

At its core, this music is basically a soundtrack to combat in the face of death and on the verge of apocalypse, full of adrenaline and uncompomisingly violent. As such, I think it can be understood as a translation of Slayer's Sow No Mercy into the morbid language of Death Metal. This change of language alters the content insofar as it removes some of the fun factor of the music without losing any intensity while infusing it with a more nihilistic outlook. The parallels of these two albums at a content level are also prevalent at the compositional and technical level. The aforementioned tecniques of the riff craft and song writing can be tansferred to Slayer's debut with respect to the sub-genre from which it emerged in their superficially simple but remarkably effective approach.

Due to its avoidance of flashy superficial gimmicks, studio trickery and other distractive measures as well as its musical homogeneity, this album serves as a perfect case study for understanding how well written Death Metal appeals to the mind at a base level though lucidly organized riffs that develop over the course of the songs. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys classic Death Metal.



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user ratings (105)
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
sideburndude (4)
Ripping...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Spaten
December 20th 2016


235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

figured this could use a more extensive review (and a bit of attention)

bbgames
December 21st 2016


593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome review. You nailed what makes this album so great.

bloc
December 21st 2016


70186 Comments


Yes sir this is awesome

ShadowRemains
December 21st 2016


27766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

one of the better old school death/thrash jams

Essence
December 21st 2016


6692 Comments


album rules, yeah

Hawks
December 21st 2016


88105 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yep.

Astral Abortis
December 21st 2016


6731 Comments


Kills

Spaten
December 21st 2016


235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Only 67 ratings, this needs some more recognition..

ChaoticVortex
December 21st 2016


1596 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great record, rips hard.



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