Merauder “Master Killer” LP

Merauder - Master KillerOriginally released in 1995 and still hailed by many as the band's finest album, "Master Killer" was the debut full-length from New York's legendary Merauder, now getting the reissue treatment on thick 180 gram vinyl thanks to Reaper Records. In addition to all-new cover art (with what I assume are slain iconic references to Iron Maiden, Anthrax, S.O.D., Quiet Riot, Ozzy, and Megadeth, among others) there's also a big foldout insert with lyrics and a photo collage on the inside, while the other's dedicated to Merauder guitarist Javier "Sob" Carpio (who sadly passed away last year, R.I.P.)—with some liner notes from members of Stigmata, Terror, Earth Crisis, World Collapse, Biohazard, All Out War, Obituary, and Converge reflecting on his memory and/or their memories of this album and Merauder's history in the scene.

What can I really say, here? At this point you either know and love this band, or you're just not into this kind of thing. Hopefully there's a chance that a reissue like this can introduce the force of their work to a younger generation that's unaware of some of the roots of a lot of the stuff that's out there these days, I guess (after all, there are a number of bands whose sole intention seems to have been to replicate the style of this album), but whatever the case this shit's all gold to this day. They don't seem to get a terrible amount of credit for it since they were around for a good five or so years before finally releasing a full-length, but Merauder was definitely one of the earlier acts to really push "hardcore" into a way metal realm, but without sounding like a full-blown metal band. They've always had an immediately identifiable sound across the board—be it vocally, through their subtle grooves and rhythmic structures, or that fluid and melodic lead playing—and to me this album definitely represents the epitome of the sound that makes Merauder what they are. "Time Ends", "Life is Pain", "Mirror Shows Black", "Master Killer"... the album never fuckin' lets up, and it's got a great balance between chugging power chords and churning, thrashy midpaced picking patterns with just the perfect feel. You can't lose, man. I actually love this shit more today than I did back when I was 18. Go figure!

Merauder "Master Killer"
Merauder "Downfall of Christ"
Merauder "Life is Pain"

I don't know how many copies were pressed, but this thing's limited edition and I believe there are still some colored vinyl editions left (mine is a spattered swirl of black and pink), so if you're a vinyl junkie don't sleep on it for too long...

Get It

Reaper Records
Very Distribution


  1. I feel like an ass for writing this band off for so long. I guess the few kids who I know who are really into them, are also really into some really awful crap, so I just assumed that merauder was another one of those shitty bands. I was way wrong.

    9.17.2007 | By Carlzilla

  2. As someone who has only really gotten into Merauder in the past few months, I think this is a really good review of a really good album but there’s one point you forgot to mention: The Merauder anthology that was released by Century Media last year. It is another important part of getting young people into a band like Merauder, arguably more important than a re-issue of one of their albums on vinyl where most of the copies will probably end up in the hands of people who already liked the band anyway. Once again, good review, your work is always great… but it would have been nice to see the Anthology mentioned as it’s a great way for younger people to feel the greatness that is Merauder.

    9.17.2007 | By Give Blood

  3. I didn’t know there was an “anthology”, since I do already have the albums themselves, but I also didn’t know that stuff was hard to come by… I guess because I never needed to look?  I just saw on Amazon that the cheapest price for a used copy of the original “Master Killer” CD is $46.95.  Insane…

    9.17.2007 | By Andrew Aversionline

  4. “master killer” couldnt kill eddie..come on the cover art is fucking awesome otherwise. the shirt that came with this is badass too even though i have no idea where i put it haha.

    9.17.2007 | By phil d

  5. Useless trivia: Heaven Shall Burn covered “Downfall of Christ” (as well as Endstand’s “Destroy Fascism”) on their last split with Caliban.  Certainly felt like a shove in the right direction for me.

    9.17.2007 | By xGabrielx

  6. Dead Serious Records also put out a re-issue of Master Killer Lp last year, but i have to say that this one is so much better looking from the cover and art. I bought that D/S press copy so i didn’t order this one, but obviously i should have got this one too!

    9.17.2007 | By markusxKTL

  7. Could someone clear something up for me…
    What exactly happened to Sob?  I remember reading about and seeing tribute after tribute to him, but I never really found an answer to what happened.

    9.18.2007 | By hired goon

  8. Got the Meraduer discography CD a while back… it’s great of course, but what irked me was the non-inclusion of a lot of lyrics. Apart from that, the package as a whole is great.

    Mastar Killer is an awesome album.

    9.19.2007 | By Nail_Bombed

  9. Brilliant record- I got this when it came out, and have consistently listened to it ever since. There are very few bands or records from that period that stood the test of time, but “Master Killer” sounds as good today as it did in 95. Maybe even better.

    9.21.2007 | By finn mckenty

  10. this will be the most retarded comment you get on this—but it must be said. Calling your song “life is pain” is kind of stupid, when for probably 75% of the population (at least the chicks) the immediate association will be with “The Princess Bride.”


    9.21.2007 | By megan

  11. Any association with the Princess Bride is an awesome association.

    9.23.2007 | By Carlzilla

    Anyway, I have their first CD from Century Media and also have their first DEMO TAPE where they had another vocalist (cant remember his name right now)...
    Merauder IS a MUST HAVE and a MUST SEEN, even though you aint into metalcore or whatever…

    Check my old HC band called Libertad Ilegal (Illegal Freedom in Spanish)
    demo 2000



    10.15.2007 | By Javier LXI

  13. One of the best underground hardcore/metal bands from Brooklyn, New York I have this and other cd’s , So you won’t be disappointed, Mega Metal Dude

    10.22.2007 | By Mega Metal Dude

  14. HOw did SOB die?

    1.25.2008 | By Yo

  15. Merauder have the most unique sound of any of the NYHC acts.Crown of Thornz/district9/breakdown/subzero come close, but yea….I remember hearing merauder’s five deadly venoms and falling in love with that fucking album….Then I heard master killer, and put five deadly venoms down for months,while listening to master killer.Yoshimitsu also loves Merauder!...This album was the most influential albm of its time.I remember listening to this and Madball’s Set it off for years…Best fucking band around…Hardcore and visionary, thats why this album still stands the test of time, even some Pantera cds dont do that.Although, I did seem to find a lot of Machinehead influence on this album, a few riffs ive heard reminded me of machinehead and pantera together, but those bands are bitchin awsum, so who can complain if a few parts of this disc are a lil influenced.HELL CUNT couldnt even handle maerauder,too angry!.....

    2.23.2009 | By xJaredx