Muncie, Indiana’s outlaw brigade known as Maax have let loose a vicious, new beast into the neighborhood. The band’s new EP, Six Pack Witchcraft (Abyss Records) offers up five raging assaults of what can best be described as the bastard child of black metal (in the vein of Darkthrone and Celtic Frost), old school thrash devastation and a loyal nod to Lemmy and the Motorhead gang.
The songs found on Six Pack Witchcraft are catchy-as-hell and contain an aura of garage-born fury, in both style and all-around quality. “Die By The Ax” and “Fire In the Hole” blaze through the speakers with fist-pounding gang vocals intact and the songs that follow do so in similar fashion. The vocals keep a gravel-throated approach for the most part, complete with a generous helping of screams and black metal howls that could incinerate any church in seconds. The riffs and percussion induce rabid, swirling visions of Motorhead and Venom, dueling and clawing at each others’ throats for the last raspy word of annihilation.
It seems the only real low point on Six Pack Witchcraft comes during the attack of the bluntly-titled “Go Fuck Yourself”, in the form of an excessive amount of distorted muddiness that attempts to take away from a song that would otherwise be another thrashing gem on this recording. While a low-fi sound quality (reminiscent of that of the early black metal hellraisers) is present throughout the EP, it becomes a bit overbearing on this track. Aside from that, the EP has a strong, frenzied grip on its direction and commands the listener’s beer-addled attention.
At the end of the day, if Six Pack Witchcraft is a sign of what’s to come from the Maax misfits, then they should rest assured they have kicked their collective boot squarely into the door of metal with their brand of filth-caked thrashing fury. Don’t call them “core”. Don’t call them “elite”. Call them Maax!