By Jason Wellwood
For starters, I was not expecting MAAX to sound this way. With an album name like ‘Six Pack Witchcraft’, a name that may or may not be taken from a comic book character and a picture of a bunch of guys in black and denim…I was expecting something more akin to straight up, dirty, beer drinkin’ metal. Not this slab of relatively lo-fi blackened thrash. Head nodding and foot pounding from song one, Six Pack Witchcraft does incorporate some more hard rock elements to their songs, namely the verse/chorus/verse structure and the Ozzy Osbourne like riff in ‘Fire In The Hole’. ‘Six Pack Witchcraft’ is a full speed ahead, red lining, sing-a-long track that will have you pounding your fist on the bar, and possibly your pint glass as well. For ‘Go Fuck Yourself’ the band moves back into a more old school black metal feel with production so thick you’d almost think the band had recorded with the microphones set up on the other side of a mattress. Honestly, that’s my biggest complaint with this album: the production. I’ve never been a fan of the ‘recorded in my parent’s basement on my fisher price recorder’ sound of black metal and I think MAAX do their songs a disservice by having the mix so muddy here. However, for you black metal fans it’s probably a plus so take that criticism for what it’s worth to you.
Don’t get me wrong though, this is a fun record whether you’re a Motorhead fan or lean more towards early Darkthrone. I doubt many will find it essential but it’s definitely worth a few spins to go along with your pints and will certainly whet your appetite for a full length from these guys.