ST. MADNESS - CANONIZING CARNAGE (Nasty Prick Records)
(Review by Stefan)
Album number 8 entitled “Canonizing Carnage” from Arizona, Phoenix originating St. Madness is a fact and with pleasure, I will give you an overview about what to expect from this product. I came in touch with the band for the first time along with their 2003 effort called “We Make Evil Fun”. The album had a lot to offer – variable to the bone, St. Madness took me, more than once, by surprise. Their dark and sinister lyrics spoke for themselves and again, there was so much variety audible that it was pure joy listening to these guys’ stuff! Pure Metal songs that blew me away with great force while other tracks came on in a total different style without losing the feel for technical skill… what I’m trying to say here is that I really became a fan of the band since that album. Three years later “Vampires In The Church” haunts me in my dreams followed by “Saintanic” in 2009. Listening to these three efforts, I stand by my position – St. Madness is a great US Hard Rock / Metal band. It’s unfortunate that they don’t get more attention in Europe! With this I want to make an appeal to check them out for sure… let roar your Google machine right on!
A while ago, frontman Prophet sent me the new album “Canonizing Carnage”, released through Nasty Prick Records and allow me to say right from the start, this 17 tracks loaded output is their best album so far! As much as they surprised in the past, the more they do right now. Besides the intro, at least fourteen new songs plus a cover from Pink Floyd ‘Comfortably Numb’ and another one from Metallica’s ‘Seek And Destroy’. Damn right, they got me by the throat again!
The cover of “Canonizing Carnage” reflects a church ablaze and the sound quality is very good… no doubt about, St. Madness brings a higher form of darkness and evil in style. At least 74 minutes of playing time and according to my own feelings, there are no boring moments in promotion here. First song is a dark intro called ‘Prayer For The Doomed’ before the real work begins with the track ‘Not Of This World’. Along with a dark and sinister undertone, this is a first slap in the face. About charismatic frontman Prophet, he’s still a great singer/owner of a unique, very clear and intelligible throat. Nice guitars and galloping tempo’s during the entire song… what’s next? Partial speed velocities and groovy tuned guitars on ‘My Name Is Lester’ make the song a real pleasure to listen to. Explicit lyrics and a quite strange song structure as soon as ‘She Used To Be My Girl’ starts to play does remind me on Pantera every now and than.
One of my faves is ‘M.D.B.’, a piece all about Metal To The Death And Beyond. The mentioning of legends like Dio, Priest, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Maiden, Ozzy, … speaks for itself. I hear a nice ‘right finger tapping’ during the solo guitar part and fits perfectly with the song’s identity. The titletrack roars like thunder – great, speed up guitar lines and Mr. Prophet using his throat real deep and dark… awesome! Dared or not, the cover from Pink Floyd ‘Comfortably Numb’ ain’t that good as the original version but still able to keep my attention optimal. ‘AZ Woman’ has a melancholic touch with and a twist of symphonic/atmospheric passages. I’m touched by the great melodic guitar solo! ‘Whipping Post’ – what a fantastic track featuring powerful Traditional Heavy Metal elements! The dragging tempo during ‘Energy Vampire’ works contagious and ‘Hunting Humans’ reflects what St. Madness is all about, I’d like to define as expect the unexpected!
Fans of groovy guitars should check out ‘Fuck All That’ followed by a short, played from the heart instrumental called ‘He’s Dancing On His Grave’. ‘Silver Tongued Devil’ is another fave of mine I’d like to put under the category of Classic US Heavy Metal. For some reason, the main guitar riff does remind me of a song from US Metal legends Hawaii called ‘Beg For Mercy’. After so many bands covered Metallica’s “Search And Destroy’, St. Madness is next in line. Am I waiting on a song like this played by so many other bands in the past, I say No! But okay, I heard bands playing the song in much worst circumstances and have to admit that the version of St. Madness is really good but that’s end of story to me. For example next track ‘’The Beginning And The End’ is what I expects from these guys. Pure and straight forward US Power Metal and to end in their new album “Canonizing Carnage’ in beauty, they created ‘All I Have To Give’… fans of Iron Maiden will be pleased!
Leading vocalist Prophet and fellow band members can be proud on their newest output “Canonizing Carnage”. I want to make myself clear again, St. Madness must be heard outside the US as well… read this discussion and spread the word around that these guys are able to bring on more variation than some of the nowadays Metal bands will ever do… I’m sure ‘bout that! I’ll point my personal sign of evil and a lot of dignity and respect to a very promising band called St. Madness – Great album available at: www.stmadness.com or www.reverbnation.com/stmadness
My Points: 96 / 100