Finding a niche alongside some other classic acts
After having their debut full-length effort Dawnbringer re-released through Abyss Records last year, Indianapolis (Indiana, U.S.) based outfit Maax have resurfaced and returned to the studio, with Six Pack Witchcraft the band’s new short stop-gap E.P. follow-up release before heading back into the studio to complete their sophomore effort in time for a release early next year (which is currently going under the name of Unholy Rock & Roll).
In the 12 months between releases, Maax have undergone a bit of a line-up change, with vocalist Tim Green, guitarist Brett Schlagel and bassist Jeremy Starkey (who is also a member of Necrophagous) making their recording debut this time around with the band alongside founding members Kyle Kreider (guitar) and James Brown (drums).
Despite the line-up, Maax appear to be a little more settled in terms of direction and sound on Six Pack Witchcraft, more so than anything heard on their previous recording, with their old school Venom/Motörhead/Bathory/Misfits/N.W.O.B.H.M. not only sounding more convincing and authentic, but the songs themselves sound better overall than anything they have written in the past by a mile.
The opening track Die by the Ax gives you a real taste of what Maax promise throughout the E.P., with their trademark muddied sound complimenting their thrashing black metal sound. The heavy and thick sounding riffs are simple and quite blunt in getting to the point, while the vocals are barked out and yet given enough melody to make the songs that much easier to get into.
Fire in the Hole is a definite stand out with its thundering bass lines, catchy melodic riffs in the background and its demonic backing vocals, while the fast paced Go Fuck Yourself and the noisy barrage of the title track Six Pack Witchcraft both pass by in no time at all, but retain the consistency of the former tracks in terms of catchiness.
Finishing off the E.P. is the chaotic bluster of Bastards, which is another stand out favourite, if only for its downright primitive thrashing groove and its fun lyrical content.
Six Pack Witchcraft isn’t about sounding innovative, cutting edge or forward thinking. It’s about thrashing out, pretending to be as evil as Satan himself and having plenty of fun while doing it. Maax’s last release was good, but Six Pack Witchcraft really is a step up for the band, and a thoroughly enjoyable one at that.
If the influences I mentioned earlier sound remotely enticing, and you’re looking for something along the same lines, then this new release from Maax comes highly recommended.