MAAX (U.S.) “Unholy Rock & Roll” DIGI CD review by

MAAX (U.S.) “Unholy Rock & Roll” DIGI CD review


By Martin Harris 

The distinctive cover art on this release is reminiscent of booze infused biker rock and metal which is actually not too far from depicting the musical output of Maax. An investigation into the bands previous output reveals that their debut has a more serious black metal side compared the 2010 EP which set the scene nicely for the thrash ‘n’ roll infested wrangling of the sophomore effort. The bands music focuses on the blackened side of things in terms of the riffing and vocal styles but sits extremely comfortably in heavy metal on the bass angle. Opening tune is “Coldest Steel” and immediate thoughts of black thrash appear due to the snarling vocals and the slightly chaotic structure of the song. There is also a sleaze façade to Maax’s music that sounds weird but works in a way that Gehennah, Inferno, Bewitched did on their debuts only this is much cleaner to listen to. Next is “Fight With Fire” which has a decent Araya type scream and very early Slayer like speed riff. The riff is intensified further as the song changes gear and is out into the fast lane. Vocals remind me of Legion (ex-Marduk) being throaty and rasping but transparent to decipher. I’ll never tire of hearing motorbike revving to start a song as the title track is given this and the first signs of black thrash ‘n’ roll are manifested. The bass solo is excellent creating that dirty filth texture of someone like Motorhead or even early Venom, an influence that pops up on “Do What Thou Wilt” and is very close to “Welcome To Hell” on the riff. Namesake songs are trademark for this style of metal and Maax are no different with theirs which has a 70s/80s Motorhead driven riff after the opening of cans and the sound of the band members gaseously evacuating their stomachs. The Venom touch still potters about in this song with the catchy beat as it does on a lot of songs here. “Rot And Roll” is a cracking song and weaned purely out of AC/DC on the riff only much heavier and with Priest and Saxon hooks added to create a decent heavy metal tune to bang your fucking head to. I know people who will also say this has Montrose riffing which they will either agree with me or not when they hear this song. Ah the acoustic interlude, very heavy metal, very retro and very relevant for this release as it serves as the gateway to “Overthrone” which is a far nastier and uglier song overall. The double kick and blast work to bolster the fury of the song with the barking vocals. The closing trio of tracks on this album follow a similar template with “Black Thrash Em All” leading the way as the songs title hints before “Deliverer” brings about some Frost/Hellhammer hooks. Closing tune “One More Time” is prime heavy metal with a blackened edge. The lead is excellent and prolonged and extremely tuneful, hummable even, in a 1980s manner. This was a welcome addition to my end of year reviews and with end of year lists looming this is going to be a close one in my top 20 or 30.

Review link:

Maax links:




Last fm:

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store:




Last fm:



Other links:

To purchase MAAX “Unholy Rock & Roll” DIGI CD and other Maax merchandise go to:

To preview a song from their 2010 release “Six Pack Witchcraft” go to:

and to preview a song from their debut album “Dawnbringer” go to:


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