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Madhouse - Braindead Award winner

Madhouse
Braindead
by Kevin Lewis at 03 July 2020, 4:45 PM

Teutonic Metal is alive and well thanks to the return of MADHOUSE! Originally formed in 1987 in Hamburg, Germany as a four piece with Carsten Krekow on vocals and guitar, the band went on extended hiatus in 1991. 25 years later, they re-emerged. After recruiting a full-time singer, they set out to write and record new music and revamp the old material. The most recent result of the new writings is “Braindead”, released June 12, 2020, on Iron Shield Records. In typical fashion, this is a band that moves through a variety of genres and uses a dual guitar set up with a power metal bottom end.

The first track that really stood out to me is “Who Made you God”. I have asked people that question before. That “don’t try to judge me” attitude still rears its’ head at times. Starting off with a yell, then going straight into a HELLOWEEN-esque ripper of a guitar riff, this is a very pleasing song for an old school metalhead. With the power metal base kicking into overdrive and pacing the song nicely, it’s paradise for a guy like me. “Braindead” is the opposite. It’s a slow starting hard rocker that begins with whispers, not yells. With a combination of solos and harmonies, the guitars are a satisfying mixture of heavy riff work and lighter intonations.

Never Say Die” and “Last Man Standing” both have killer openings and chantable choruses. With lots of variable bats, these are entertaining, but also interesting songs. This is not an indication of a progressive metal overtone, there is no hint of that. It’s just good old ability to change pace and keep the songs fresh and appealing. Lyrically, these are almost anthemic songs, making you want to stand and be counted as you march off to battle. “Knights Of Avalon” is another example of this. With the backing singers chanting “Avalon” in the background, you know victory is coming.

MADHOUSE has proven they have the talent to join the ranks of other bands listed as Teutonic Metal. Musically, these guys are definitely skilled. Put them on tour with ACCEPT or U.D.O. and watch as they really get the crowd ready for the next band. I can see them playing festivals throughout Europe as well. This is a fun, well produced record that offers a familiar sound with new personnel. They can hold their own with the likes of the greats. Some of their songs remind me of early HELLOWEEN from the “Walls of Jericho” era. This is an album that I will go back to on occasion and a band I would absolutely see live if they ever come to the United States.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Break the Ice
2. Never Say Die
3. Who Made You God
4. Poisoned Blood
5. Braindead
6. Save Your Soul
7. Last Man Standing
8. Knights Of Avalon
9. Oscar
10. Evil Fantasies
11. Psycho God (Remix)
Lineup:
Didi 'Shark' Schulz – Vocals
Lars Rothbarth – Bass
Paul Slabiak – Drums
Carsten Krekow – Guitar
Thomas Gamlien – Guitar
Record Label: Iron Shield Records
     


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