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Let's Start A War
(System Shock)

Paul Speckmann played a key role in the Death Metal formative years, with bands like TERRORIZER and ENTOMBED acknowledging him and MASTER as a major influence. And both MASTER's first effort and the one and only DEATHSTRIKE album could be considered classics even today, thanks to their intensity and to a simple but effective song writing style. Unfortunately, Speckmann's career has spiralled down throughout the years, because of bad business decisions (too much records issued in a very short time), and the constant struggle Paul has to fight to simply exist as an artist. I admit I follow his career only remotely after the two aforementioned albums, until today and this "Let's Start A War" release. Even if I have total respect for Paul Speckmann, I can't view this new offering as an achievement, far from that. MASTER have never played Death Metal in the pure sense of the term, rather a form of down tuned heavy Thrash, and this style is to be found again here, no problem with that. But I am sorry to say that "Let's Start A War" is an anaemic album, without stamina. A shame really when you consider how much energetic sounded the first MASTER album, and when I heard the band playing a lousy Blues tune ('Purchase A New Handgun') I understood at once things have gone too far. In fact, on the 11 songs on offer here, four only could be salvaged from this wreckage of an album. 'Dictators' somewhat rekindle with the glorious DEATHSTRIKE days, while 'Cast One Vote', 'American Freedom' and especially 'Disturbed' clearly sound like classic MASTER tracks. The rest is easily forgettable, to begin with the awful 'Miss Misery' and 'Watch What You Wish For' songs, the writing process was obviously rushed here to say the least and to stay polite. The overall production gives way to a lot of power and dynamic to no avail though, just listen 'Command Your Fate', a song obviously planned to highlight the crunchiness of the guitars, the result is a poor buzzing instead of a biting crunch. Lyrically, Paul Speckmann continues with his anti-American crusade, but whatever the level of validity of his political stances, I hate preaching in music as I consider myself able enough to think on my own, so I will not discuss that any further. From all of the above you understand this album is far from being a top priority purchase, I hope Paul will "open his eyes and clear his fucking mind" to come up with a the classic I know he is still able to write, because the war promised here has turned out to be a mere skirmish.

Edouard Vergriete

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