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Comaniac - Holodox

by Neil Cook at 25 February 2020, 3:43 PM

COMANIAC (Company Of Maniacs), formed in Aarau, Switzerland back in 2012, have been playing their brand of Thrash Metal through Europe and beyond ever since, supporting some big bands in the genre, such as CORONER, METAL CHURCH, and OVERKILL, and appearing at some of the biggest Rock festivals on the continent like Graspop and Hellfest. This is their 3rd long player "Holodox".

The album is a mature, no nonsense collection of classic Thrash Metal tunes, with  modern fresh sound, in places a mix of Thrash and Power Metal, in a distinctly European style. There is enough speed and Thrash to get a decent mosh pit going, such tracks as the opening track “Holodox,” “The New Face Of Hell,” and “Narcotic Clan,” which starts with a wail of a scream are all straight ahead Thrash monsters.

Whereas tracks like  “Art Is Dead,” “Head Of The Snake,” are more technical in their structure, built on intricate guitar work, especially on “Head Of The Snake” which sounds like TESTAMENT playing with the IRON MAIDEN guitar attack. These may not be as aggressive tracks, but give us heavy, heavy music with melody, and shows these guys are not one trick ponies.

We then have hybrid songs like “Legend Heaven,” ”Love And Pride,”  “Under The Gun”  which do it all in equal measure.  These are three very strong songs, on an album of great songs. They are in equal measure intricate and progressive, but have sufficient bite and bang to keep the dedicated thrasher banging their head furiously.

Closing track “Bittersweet,” is exactly that, bittersweet, and most excellent. The vocal tricks on this song outstanding.  The slowest and most melodious song on the album, as far removed from the opening Thrash salvo as you can get.  This song works as well as any closing track I can think of. A very clever and mature track, but still heavy.

All in all, a very satisfying album.  Jonas Schmid’s vocal delivery is very adaptable.  At time a growl and a sneer, others a scream, and where needed understated, but always with clarity and definition, you don’t always get in this genre. And the interplay between Schmid and Mössinger on guitar works very well.  Makes me think of OVERKILL, ANTHRAX, MEGADETH, and others but distinctive enough to be considered alongside these bands, not simply following.

My only, very slight criticism is on some tracks I would like a bit more bass, but then I like a very bass-y sound.  This is a criticism though I would place on the doorstep of many bands in this genre.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Holodox
2. The New Face Of Hell
3. Art Is Dead
4. Head Of The Snake
5. Narcotic Clan
6. Legend Heaven
7. Love and Pride
8. Under The Gun
9. Bittersweet
Jonas Schmid – Guitar, Vocals
Valentin Mössinger – Guitar
Joel Strahler – Bass
Stefan Häberli – Drums
Record Label: Metalworld


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Edited 05 April 2020

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