Thursday, 28 July 2011


And here’s great, little known Polish band from the prehistoric times of 80's / 90's that I think is worth checking...
They’ve been called MANSLAUGHTER! This death metal horde started quite early, already in January 1988, in Staszów – first under the name EXHUMATOR and then SACRATHOR. Most likely the first line up was Szczur - Guitars, Vocals, Balon – Guitars, The Bill – Bass and Adam – Drums (who was soon replaced by Hajduk). This line up recorded "Exhumator" demo in 1989, but to be honest I don’t know anything about this material and this period. I guess this demo tape wasn’t really released in the underground (due to poor quality?) and MANSLAUGHTER’s real debut was demo 1990 titled “Zombie's Night”. These five tracks were more into thrash / death metal direction, with some unconventional ideas and rather bad production. Anyway this demo (as well as few gigs that were played in Poland, in such cities as Staszów, Tarnobrzeg, Sandomierz) gave the band some recognition and soon MANSLAUGHTER continued their crusade, recording third demo – “Infernal Madness”. This tape was recorded in October 1991 in local ZDK WSK Studio in Rzeszów and contained three killer death metal songs plus intro. Demo was self released first, but soon CARNAGE Records spotted a good band on a horizon and – just like they did with many other bands (like ARMAGEDON, BETRAYER, GHOST, VIOLENT DIRGE etc) this great label decided to release the demo on professional tape, giving it new layout, although leaving the music untouched (I mean the label / band didn’t re-master it or whatever). It was great decision as the demo was really promising and honestly it is one of the best materials recorded in Poland at that time, in my opinion. I’ve got no clue what happened then, but suddenly the band disappeared and never recorded anything else… A shame as “Infernal Madness” demo is absolutely wonderful piece of death metal and surely the band deserved more.
Zombie’s Night (demo 1990)Recorded: Unknown
Recording line up: Szczur - Guitars, Vocals, Balon – Guitars, The Bill – Bass and Hajduk - Drums
There isn’t really much to say about this demo, to be honest. Not that it’s such a crap that I don’t wanna waste my time and even write about it, not at all… Actually I have to say I quite like it, as it’s got its charm and character, something very typical for those early times. But at the same time it’s so typical and unoriginal that it takes really only few words to describe it. “Zombie’s Night” contains five tracks and all together it’s about 15 minutes of music. The production of the demo is very primitive, raw as hell, but I don’t know if that’s because it’s a rehearsal recording or just a badly equipped studio… Probably the latter, as it’s not as chaotic as many rehearsal tapes from that time. Anyway, MANSLAUGHTER performs really cool thrash / death metal and I have to say that nowadays this music sounds so archaic, so outdated that I just love it ha, ha! You won’t find any young bands nowadays that would play like that, with similar sound and style. This music reminds me very much many other Polish bands, VADER’s “Necrolust”, for instance, or THANATOS (pre-TRAUMA)… Razor blade sharp guitars, mutilating with cool speed, shrieking vocals and thundering bass… and musically something between old school German thrash and death metal. This is fuckin’ cool demo. So what that it sounds bloody primitive and unoriginal? Who gives a damn, as long as it kicks ass and has such cool songs as “Count of the Dark”? By the way, despite having English titles I have an impression that all the lyrics are in Polish!
Best song: “Count of the Dark”
Final rate: 60/100

Infernal Madness (demo 1992 – CARNAGE Records)Recorded: Recorded in October 1991 in ZDK WSK Studio in Rzeszów
Recording line up: Szczur - Guitars, Vocals, Balon – Guitars, The Bill – Bass and Hajduk - Drums
I can easily understand why CARNAGE Records did go for MANSLAUGHER and decided to re-release their demo on professional tape. This is more than just a decent material and the only thing I can see as disadvantage in it is that there just four tracks here. Hmm, actually one can say three, as the opening song, “In Waiting For”, is kind of introduction; it is slow, atmospheric track, which is about to put you in correct mood and it does work well (it also has half spoken / half growled vocals). Then we’ve got the title track, which is rather mid paced death metal song based on massive, heavy riffs, but their arrangements and style are really simple. This band doesn’t go into complex structures and technical playing; rather concentrate on straight forward, but not too fast death metal heaviness. To some point they remind me BOLT THROWER, as well as few Polish bands, such as early BETRAYER, ARMAGEDON or GHOST. But none of these comparisons should be seen as weakness of MANSLAUGHTER. This band really knew well how to compose great, catchy death metal tracks. Sure, one may see this opening song for instance as little monotonous, as during these five minutes not much happens, but I can assure you this is really cool, crushing track, with very grim feeling. And then “The Fighting For Life” starts in similar tempos, so it doesn’t differ much from the previous song. But it is OK. “Religious Slaves” is probably the most energetic track; the tempos are little bit faster, bit more lively. And it is the best fragment of the demo. It also has some surprises – like an intro (with kind of religious choir) and short acoustic passage. Also I have to underline the fact that the production of “Infernal Madness” is very good; fat and brutal, little bit raw, but all instruments – including the drums and bass – sound absolutely well and give MANSLAUGHTER music an extra point. With all that “Infernal Madness” is one of my favourite Polish demo tapes from the early 90’s.
Best song: “Religious Slaves”
Final rate: 70/100

No comments:

Post a Comment