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MAAX - "Unholy Rock & Roll" (CD)

MAAX - "Unholy Rock & Roll" CD cover image

"Unholy Rock & Roll" track listing:

1. Coldest Steel (3:06)
2. Fight With Fire (3:12)
3. Unholy Rock & Roll (4:14)
4. Do What Thou Wilt (5:24)
5. Maax (2:45)
6. Rot 'N' Roll (5:23)
7. Purge of Depravity 2 (The Pentagram) (2:25)
8. Overthrone (4:57)
9. Black Thrash 'Em All (3:38)
10. Deliverer (4:42)
11. One More Time (5:20)

Reviewed by on November 12, 2011

"[Maax] is a throwback to a time when it just didn't matter, metal was just cantankerous, boisterous and loud."

Maax returns with "Unholy Rock & Roll," the band's second album and follow-up to 2009's "Dawnbringer." It’s easy to see that this Indiana five piece draws its influences from the unholiest of the unholy Venom (perhaps a little too much influence) with a hefty dose of Motorhead. Maax is black metal the way it was originally intended, satanic fueled rock from the depths of Newcastle....check that, Indianapolis. Maax is what Blasphemy would have sounded like had the band been tolerable.

With the sonic assault "bursting out" and the beaten evil vocals of Tim "raising the dead," the band literally reinvents "Welcome to Hell" and "Black Metal" from the ultra catchy distorted riffs right down to the muddy production values. It is true black 'n' roll and a whole lot of fun to listen to if you can tolerate the debauchery for 45 minutes. Lyrically, the band would make Lamashtu blush, invoking evil, Satan, violence, drinking, sex, and motorcycles in a nefarious cacophony of rancorous, repugnant, maniacal hedonism. The band is unabashed in its viewpoints...as the track "Maax" will explain.

Maax does nothing intricate, progressive or anything that would be found on the cover of Guitar Magazine. You won't find corporate endorsements or glamorous press photo shoots. Maax gets the formula though: keep it simple, stupid. They are a throwback to a time when it just didn't matter, metal was just cantankerous, boisterous and loud. You play...you drink...you throw up the horns...you drink...you urinate on the crowd..you drink...you destroy the stage...you drink...you leave. It is brutally honest and brutally played.

The most memorable of tracks include "Fight With Fire," "Unholy Rock & Roll," "Maax," "Rot And Roll’" and "Black Thrash'Em All." Are they well played? By highly skilled musician standards, probably not. However, for the fan that loves metal pure, unfiltered, underproduced, and honestly played with a talent level slightly higher than that of early Venom...f**k yeah! Unlike other critics who spew negative reactions when a band fails to show an annual progression and consistently invent "new ideas," this one prefers when metal is just metal and stays that way. With no disrespect, if you want different, there is a dazzling array of jazz to keep you occupied.

Highs: brutal, honest black 'n' roll from the depths of hades...

Lows: ...but there can be only one Venom!

Bottom line: "Welcome to Hell"....Maax plays metal with "No Remorse!"

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)