8 Sep 2013

Master Fury - Circles of Hell [Compilation] (2013, Contaminated Tones Productions)


When you say thrash metal most people think 1980's USA. There are the essential giants like Slayer, Overkill, Testament and Metallica, and the hidden and forgotten gems like Holocross, Heretic and Powerlord. Formed in 1986 they only ever released 2 albums, the rough Hell Party album from 1988 and the barbarous Circles of Hate album from 1989. They went on hold for an unknown number of years and then had a brief reunion in 2010, but it wasn't before 2013 we would see another Master Fury release, the two albums compiled on Circles of Hell by Contaminated Tones Productions.

Master Fury has a very abrasive sound. Their approach to thrash metal is on the chaotic side of things and more focussed on speed and coarseness than anything else, making them probably one of the fastest bands at the time. Through the metallic din of Master Fury's aggressive guitars the amazingly precise riffs shine. Where Hell Party thrives on a coarse, simplistic thrash recipe building up to and colliding in the final mosh-inducing track "Riot" the second half of the compilation, the Circles of Hate album, takes a more technical and commonplace approach to the genre. The early material is distinguished by the near constant speed with which it is furiously provided. On Circles of Hate Master Fury were progressing as songwriters and were more comfortable with slowing down once in a while in order to build up momentum for a particularly epic solo or building atmosphere.

The band seems to have always favoured a trio-lineup consisting of the guitars and vocals of Digg Rouze and various bassists and drummers. As mentioned above Master Fury evolved as a band even if their was only 1 year between the 25-minute Hell Party and the slightly longer Circles of Hate. On tracks like Corporate War and Life's a Bitch they give way for their crossover tendencies fuelled by ferocious d-beats and gang-shouts, a style that wasn't at all present of Hell Party. I could imagine a song like Road Hog off of Hell Party being an early example of the Motörhead/Venom-inspired punky speed metal that has recently made a comeback, and there are more examples of songs that fit the bill as really good metal songs, but with the production being so muddy and deranged it's hard to make out anything other than a few riffs here and there, making the tracks hard to tell apart.

Master Fury already perfectly sum up their material with their name. Furious, fast as fuck thrash. The extremity of the albums put Master Fury somewhere in the grey area between thrash and death metal that had a couple of years prior been completely dominated by bands like Death and Possessed. Master Fury may not be the authors of the most original or memorable kind of thrash metal, but if you feel like getting your skull pounded by uncompromising riffs, powerful drumming and screaming vocals The Circles of Hell compilation is as good a way get your needs fulfilled as any. The combination of the two tracks celebrate an above-average band, though their material never quite achieves true classic or gem status. 7/10 guitars.





Tracklist:
1. Hell Party
2. Crash
3. Are All Men Blind
4. Time is Right
5. Semper Furious
6. Flat Against the Wall
7. Road Hog
8. Riot
9. Die In Your Sleep
10. Lies
11. Circus of Hate
12. Son of Man
13. Corporate War
14. The Way
15. Life's a Bitch
16. V.O.H.

Track 1-8: Hell Party
Track 9-16: Circles of Hate

MASTER FURY on MySpace
Contaminated Tones Productions official site

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