From the metal underground of Chile comes one of the more brutal bands in a long line of young thrashers. Though they’ve been around since 2003, Evil Madness released their first album, “Maze of Souls”, in 2010 and they use it as an opportunity to deliver some very primitive raw thrash. These guys are undoubtedly fans of early Sodom, Destruction, and Celtic Frost, where razor-sharp guitars, simplistic riffs, and putrid vocals reigned. The only fair semi-modern comparison would be to Colombia’s Witchtrap, but Evil Madness definitely has their own flair to things.
The best place to start is the vocals. As you might imagine, they’re hard to decipher and very rough sounding. In fact, it’s almost as if the singer was singing too loudly for his microphone, or he was singing too close into the mic. This is apparent because the vocals often sound unclear and somewhat crackly. This technique was obviously done on purpose to achieve a certain effect, and it works within the context of the album. Behind these shouting vocals are riffs that won’t amaze, but certainly are appropriate. Many of them take influence from the NWOBHM, but are played faster and with more aggression. There isn’t a lot of stereotypical downpicking or chugging on this album; instead, the band uses a lot of those early death metal riffs where there is tremolo picking on one note that is accented by a power chord at the beginning and ending of each new note. This is where the Witchtrap comparison comes in, because both bands use a lot of the same style of riffing. There isn’t a lot of melody on the album, though there are guitar solos and a few flares of lead guitar. In general, however, “Maze of Souls” is meant to be a punishing affair from start to finish. As you might expect, this means the songwriting leaves much to be desired. There are some cool riffs (such as the mid-paced ones found in the middle of “Poison”), as well as the odd catchy chorus (“Mad Attack”), but you won’t find yourself with much recollection of the past 40 minutes when this album is over. The drums are relatively solid (though a bit predictable), and the bass pops out at times, but ultimately, it is the energy and passion of the band that make this album worth hearing. If you crave raw black/thrash, “Maze of Souls” is essential listening.
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3.75/5 or 75%.
Written by Scott