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A New Era of Death is Florida-based death metal band Encephalitic Punishment's fourth album, released on March 28, 1994. It is the first album to feature Omar Espanzo on vocals, Greg Marks on bass and Kirk Newman on rhythm guitar, who joined the previous year. It also marks a significant change in style, with industrial and nu metal elements becoming a prominent feature of the band's sound; notably with syncopated drumming, downtuned guitars and yelled or screamed vocals.

After Robert "Ravager" Roener (vocals/bass) and Ivan Witowski (rhythm guitar) both left in 1993; guitarist Jeff Wagner and drummer Jayson Nielmar began searching for a new vocalist, rhythm guitarist and basssist. They found a new singer, though different in style from Roener, in Omar Espanzo (Asesino de Las Almas, Satánico Ceremonia). Espanzo officially joined only three months after Roener's departure, and recommended a bassist in Greg Marks, who was shortly after recruited too. The final member to join was Kirk Newman on rhythm guitar.

Though the record reached #54 on the Hard Rock Charts in November 1994, critics and fans were largely disappointed with the band's new sound. They disliked the radical departure from technical death metal of the Roener era into a more "commerically" inclined sound, with the band resorting to the popular style of metal at the time. Critics also disliked Espanzo' vocal approached, calling it forced, and making the band's sound change completely. Despite mixed reviews, A New Era of Death has sold over 450,000 copies and spawned two music videos; "Mechanik" and "Destroyer of Your World".

Reception

Though it was the band's most commercially successful record until 1999's Thymos Carcinoma, reviews were generally mixed or negative. The band was criticized for departing radically from their previous sound, which critics called a "blunder" and "messing with a good thing to make it better, but in turn making it worse". General criticism was the "forced" vocals of Omar Espanzo, the industrial sound of gutiars, and the syncopated drumming. Both Jeff Wagner (lead gutiar) and Jayson Nielmar (drums) have stated their dislike for this album, and said its bad result made them improve songwriting and stylistic change on their next record, 1996's H.A.T.E.

Track listing

  1. "Mechanik" - 4:33
  2. "Industrokarnage" - 3:55
  3. "Destroyer of Your World" - 6:07
  4. "Break You" - 7:00
  5. "Xenophobe" - 2:33
  6. "And Reap Your Soul" - 4:34

Personnel

  • Omar Espanzo - vocals
  • Jeff Wagner - lead guitar, rhythm guitar
  • Kirk Newman - rhythm guitar
  • Greg Marks - bass
  • Jayson Nielmar - drums
Production
  • Kurt Moryn - producer
  • Encephalitic Punishment - arrangement

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