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Maniacal - Life is a Dark Chain of Events

Life is a Dark Chain of Events
by Louise Brown at 08 January 2019, 11:37 AM

MANIACAL is a Thrash/Groove Metal band from Port Piria, South Australia that formed in 2008. To date the band has two albums to its credit; "Buried In Hell" which was released in 2010, and "Life Is A Chain Of Dark Events" which came out in 2012. Their music's main themes are atheism, war, revenge and hate as well as death. Given the fact that their many influences include SLAYER, PANTERA, FORBIDDEN, LAMB OF GOD, and DECAPITATED, it's hardly surprising that the band tends to focus on the darker side of life.

"Life Is A Dark Chain Of Events" opens with an appropriately-titled track called "Intro" which features sound bites from various broadcast news agencies talking about crime and violence. It sets the tone for track two, "This Means War". The song begins with power which is carried quite well throughout the entire track. Vocalist Andy Kite promises retribution and it sounds like he means it; extremely convincing vocal delivery. The background music keeps pace nicely even in those places where the tempo slows down considerably. Track three, "Release The Demons" is terrific! Angry, hectoring vocals and dueling guitars make the song echo with rage and convince you that Hell is about to be unleashed. I listened to it three times in a row before moving on to track four, "So Much Hate". I wasn't sure if I would like this one based on the title. However, it became quite clear that the song very well-crafted with just the right balance of power and pace as it powers its' way along.

"Kill Me" is the fifth song on the album. Slower-paced and ominous from the start, it reminded me of older SLAYER in many respects. The guitar riffs, Andy's growling hoarse-sounding lead vocals and the pounding drumbeat fused with a strong bass line create a combination that few metalheads could resist. It's one of those songs I would recommend without hesitation. The sixth song "I Am My Own God" might be intended as an ode to atheism, but the title itself touches on the Satanic creed about being one's own god in the world. Unfortunately, the song isn't quite as good as the ones before it. The point about religion being a negative thing gets mentioned so often that you find yourself losing interest in the message it is attempting to convey. Even the great yet far too brief guitar solo didn't win me over.

"Corporate Slaves The Weak" seethes with resentment towards the establishment as it points out the divide between rich and poor in modern society. While the point could be easily belabored the band manages to avoid doing that. The lyrics and music blend perfectly into an anthem that will have most metalheads singing along loudly. I would have to call the track another one that should be heard by a larger audience. Track eight, "Drive My Madness" is also fast-paced, yet doesn't stand out as much when compared to some of the previous tracks. It's neither particularly great nor particularly bad; it's just not as catchy as the other songs were. By contrast, "Life Is A Dark Chain Of Events" is much better. The ninth track begins slowly then builds gradually to a glorious explosion of NOISE. The vocals are furious adding to the driving beat and fast-paced guitars in the background. I would pick this song to represent the entire album, that's how good it is.

The album features two bonus tracks, "Woe To The Fallen" and "Buried In Hell". Track ten, "Woe To The Fallen" has a more Black Metal sound to it which I enjoyed a great deal. Very quick-paced and even more aggressive than previous tracks it might tempt you to hit "repeat" a few times so that you can enjoy it more than once. The final track, "Buried In Hell" is even better with its venomous-sounding vocals and outstanding performances by guitarists, Kane Sampson and Dave Hawkins. Bonus tracks tend to be afterthoughts, but neither of these felt that way.

MANIACAL should receive far more attention than they do if "Life Is A Dark Chain Of Events" is any indication of what they're capable of. Dark, full of rage and hostility, and fast-paced the album is a great example of what Thrash Metal should sound like.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. This Means War
3. Release The Demons
4. So Much Hate
5. Kill Me
6. I Am My Own God
7. Corporate Slaves The Weak
8. Drive My Madness
9. Life Is A Dark Chain Of Events
10. Woe To The Fallen (bonus track)
11. Buried In Hell (bonus track)
Andy Kite- Vocals
Kane Sampson- Guitars
Dave Hawkins- Guitars
Layne Anderson- Bass
Sam Verco- Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 01 February 2023

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