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A very diverse Master album - 85%

morbert, November 11th, 2007

This Master album holds death metal, thrash metal, even some punky moments and a country song. I will not go through all songs here but just a few to give you an indication.

The album starts off with the thrashy 'You'll be blamed' which is reminiscent of the earlier Collection Of Souls album (though catchier) and with Abomination tendencies. Also a song such as 'Sign Up' is very old school thrash metal with those typical harsch Speckmann vocals. 'The Serpents Tongue' is a straight forward uptempo death metal tune and same goes for 'Whatever, Wherever, Forever'.

Ninth song 'The Perfect Family' comes closest to the d-beat Master we got used to from their first two albums. A very nice surprise is the song 'Pistols, Whips and Coyotes' which refers a lot to Macabre in terms of riffs although sounding slightly simpler because of the drums. Had Dennis The Menace played on this song nobody would have noticed it isn't Macabre.

The punky attitude of the album becomes most obvious on songs such as 'Rights of Life' and 'Envy' (which almost sound like 1987-1991 era Sodom). Most notable song is the punk song 'Another Day in Phoenix' which even has some clean vocals and incidentally is one of the highlights of the album. I also should not forget to mention closing song 'Ring Of Fire'. A Johnny Cash cover including the trumpets. Speckmann's vocals sound a lot like German band Schelmish who, by the way, also covered this song.

'Spirit Of The West' is one of the most diverse and surprising Master albums yet. A personal favorite in their discography. But I can imagine the album isn't brutal enough for some fans wanting a typical Master death metal album.