Maniaxe have been creating havoc on the Melbourne live scene for over ten years. Masters of the old school thrash sound, the regularly pack out any venue they play having garnered many dedicated fans. Comprising of Gabriel Morcom on bass, Daniel McCusker on drums and Dave Poulter on vocals they have two previous demo’s and an EP under their belt. In July of this year they finally released their long awaited full length album ‘Canticles Of Corruption’. Produced by respected Melbourne record label Hellfire Records, this album is 10 tracks of hardcore old school thrash metal goodness with an extreme edge. Intro opens the album with an intriguing mix of gentle acoustic guitar overlayed with demonic, distorted vocals that give an unsettling feel. Then we get straight into it.
Maggots Of God immediately hits you with fast paced thrash riffs and heavy beats. The feel is upbeat but brutal, interspersed with attention grabbing guitar solos. Poulter’s vocals have an almost blackened touch to them which gives the band a bit more of an edge. The song never lets up or loses speed through the different parts creating that old school aural assault the band have become famous for. This continues in Heavy Metal Onslaught. This song does exactly what the title says it does. Pure heavy metal riffs backed up by heavy drums that never relent. Morcom’s bass work on this track really stands out, giving the riffs a different edge. I have heard this song live and it is definitely a ‘pit creator’, and that energy permeates throughout the album version. Then we launch straight into Black Death Saviour. As the title implies, this has a blackened death tinge through, and a very heavy feel. Aggressive yet catchy, the guitar solo on this track really ups the ante. The riffs are still thrash but the whole song is more extreme, reminiscent of early Venom and Bathory.
Next we have Apocalyptic Vision. This song is pure 80s heavy metal. With a marching pace, rolling blast beats and their signature killer riffs this song somehow ups the energy and pace of the album. This song has an epic feel, and is quite atmospheric. You can’t help but headbang along. This leads into Six Shots Of Vengeance. First we hear a short voice sample that leads into a heavy, raw sound. Slower paced but still with a kick, the guitars take on a more extreme edge in this track. The riffs are fast but melodic and there is this epic feel to the track. This track is the most extreme sounding one yet and really grabs your attention even more. This leads into Impaler, which starts of with ghoulish scream leading into a deep and heavy intro. Of course the pace soon picks up but keeps that heavy blackened feel. The drum work on this track is outstanding as McCusker switches up between a fast paced march and brutal blast beats.
God Save The Antichrist starts out with a chant. This song opens like a black metal song, the spit out lyrics telling of agony and the Antichrist. The fast tempo and thrashy riffs ensure the bands signature sound comes through and the whole track is very attention grabbing. Chants and a ghoulish scream end the song. We head straight back into 80’s thrash territory with Hypnosis. As the title suggests, it has a hypnotic pace throughout but never slows down. Lyrics of demonic possession are framed by soaring riffs and this even features a bass solo. This song has lighter and heavier parts but never lets up, feeling almost like a musical attack. We finish off with Hail Goatlord and the band saving the best for last. All things the band have made themselves known for are taken to the next level here. The old school thrash really shines through but that darker, extreme influence comes out to play. The song has many different parts that showcase these different influences, and really shows off the skills contained within the bands members. We end on a riff/cymbal splash combo and a spooky laugh.
This album does not have a weak spot. It never slows down & is unrelenting in its wall of sound. There is a signature sound that threads throughout pulling it all together. But each song has its own difference, and little bits of various different influences and genres cleverly shine through. The album is well produced but isn’t burdened with an overly polished feel. The production has captured that wild feel that inspires moshing when played live, and this album really showcases why the band is so popular on the Melbourne scene. If you love heavy metal, extreme metal and fast paced thrash I highly recommend you get your hands on this album.
You can purchase your copy of ‘Canticles Of Corruption’ HERE.