Maniacal – Buried In Hell (Independent)

Port Pirie in South Australia isn’t a town that’s known for much. Mining, drinking, fighting, lead poisoning… oh yeah, and a leader of the opposition came from up that way too but not much else. And musically, well you could count the bands on one hand and still have four fingers and a thumb left. Until now, that is.

Maniacal have defied all logic, all sense of place, all boundaries of sensibility and formed in the middle of shithole country SA, back of nowhere with nowhere all around, and what’s more they’ve come up with an album of old school thrash metal that hits all the right buttons and hits hard.

I’ve gotta admit I was stunned when I first threw this disc on. The sound is so beefy, loud, hard and powerful that I couldn’t believe I had the right album.  This isn’t the sound of some kids mucking around nor some wanna-be cover band trying to gain some credibility.  This is a genuine kick arse devil’s horns, faded denim, patched jacket, head banging, beer swilling thrash/speed metal classic. 

Opening track Severed Thoughts starts with a teasing 30-second atmospheric build before launching into some good old fashioned punch you in the face and kick you while you’re down metal, a la Slayer, Metallica, Megadeath – hell, you know the style. It will never get stale when it’s done properly, and these fuckers are doing it properly.

Powering through Live Or Decay, and Drowning Yourself In Blood before the pace takes a half step back for Suffocation, Hypnotic Fear, it then kranks the pace back up to maximum. The band just goes hell for leather until the sweaty, beer drenched, gut bursting scream of title track Buried In Hell finishes you off. 

From the look of the band, these aren’t boys, these are men with some history and that shows in the sound and style. 

Production-wise this is a surprisingly powerful effort too – don’t be fooled into thinking this is a demo effort. This is an album, fully furnished, totally finished, no fucking around, no patchwork, no “later we’ll do it properly”.  A professional effort all fucking round, this is great stuff. If you’re a fan of the old school, you’ll want to give these guys a listen. And more than once too.