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Speckmann Project - Speckmann Project
Review: Most people are unaware that the United States produced several seminal acts in the prototypical style of early underground metal before black and death metal had differentiated; this history is not commonly known in part because the American bands tended to ride closer to punk and speed metal than their European and Brazilian counterparts. At the forefront of this movement was the Chicago junta fronted by Paul Speckmann who, through varied lineup changes, created a spectrum of developing metal under the names Master, Abomination, Deathstrike and, for one summary album, Speckmann Project.
This album can be defined as a condensed assessment of the 1983-1991 work from the Speckmann junta because it comprises a "best of" from the most seminal works of Speckmann bands, and owing in part to changing styles and personnel, represents them in a consistent and updated format. Where earlier Speckmann sounded like a punk roadhouse band that had gotten ahold of the conceptual vastness that metal riffs express artistically (a reduction of all things to their fundamental elements projects a sense of abstraction and simultaneous minimization to the essential, an emotion that in music is both nihilistic and romanticist), the updated Speckmann Project uses muffled strumming and precise, rigid patterns to play out its internal theatre. It is as if Master caught up with S.O.D. while Deathstrike caught on to later Sodom, then both recombined for this release.
As the story of various Speckmann projects unravels, it becomes clear that this CD was a useful summing-up of the past before the renovated Master went further into 1990s style death metal, then with "Faith is in Season" incorporated death metal, hardcore punk and improvisational folk blues before returning to old school deathmetal roots with even more recent releases. This CD slipped out of the back pages of mail order catalogs and at the time of this writing is difficult to locate, but it is a powerful rendition of one thread of thought that propelled the early years of death metal.