MAXX12 - SPECIAL FORCES (Independent)


Ronnie Montrose? Long time I’ve heard about this man in our scène. In a time when I still had vinyl I used to have albums from this man. It was a very good album but I lost all my vinyl, a long story… This guitar hero committed suicide a few years ago but he’s still not forgotten. Anyway I received a CD from a band called Maxx12 and I admit I have never heard from them before. Strange because I read these guys are pretty known in the USA and I saw pictures of very crowded venues where this band played. The link between Maxx12 and Ronnie Montrose seems to be that Ronnie Montrose, former guitar hero, produced one the albums of Maxx12 before.

The problem is that I can’t really find out what this band is, where it is heading from and what this album really is. On their official website I see previous releases but not this one. It’s not “Raw” nor contains this the front cover from the ‘new’ album “Special forces”. I have only a black front cover with the band logo on it… I can’t even find if there’s a label or not… 16 songs on the new album? Well, I have 16 songs on this one… “Headed from the sun” is the new single? Okay, I see it here! And on the CD itself I see the front cover…. All a bit strange because I always like to know what I am listening to.

It only takes a few seconds to notice that we are dealing with some outstanding and professional musicians. This album is very strong produced and what you hear is American Rock, in a mixture with some strong standing US Power Metal. Maxx12 is a very varied band and delivers music that heads between the kind of ‘Hair Metal’ from the eighties all over to the true US Power Metal I am worshiping since ages.  I hear a fantastic singer and guitars that are blowing my brains out! I hear music that demands to be played at maximum volume!

There are but musical talents in this band. Singer Albert Mendez must be one of the most hidden secrets in our genre. This man grew up with Seventies and Eighties Rock and he contains a voice that might make him a big Rock star. T.M. is the name of the guitarist and he’s another secret to me. Yet he delivers some incredible work on this album. I hear spectacular leads and along with the bass player Jon Hampton and drummer Chris Sepulveda this band might become a rising band. I saw Four By fate a few weeks ago at the Alcatraz Festival, a band with former Rock stars whom impressed me on stage. Or do you know Where Angels Suffer? Another band that gave me a serious kick! Well, Maxx12 reminds me of both and impress me equally. This is also a harmonious band that delivers anything Rock and Metal fans are demanding for.

This is a very strong album with high rated song writing. This band knows how to touch the soul of the listener and only with their music they are making this album very atmospheric. It’s hard, even impossible to label the band but that isn’t always necessary. This is at least some awesome Hard Rock in a blender with some good melodic Heavy Metal. It’s a band that either White Lion or Dokken fans will like, but those who like Savatage or old Vicious Rumors will adore it too.

The professionalism drips out from the speakers with this release and there isn’t that much negative to say. The problem with this album will be impossible to find in the stores in Europe, Internet is the perfect solution. I gave this one spin after spin and I am still thrilled. “Lonely 2 lonely” for example, what a song, what an impressive vocal performance by Albert Mendez! Find out yourself how good this band really is and we can only hope Maxx12 will become a name in Europe as well. Check this out at:  

My Points: 90 / 100   


95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !

Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan

Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it

Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing

Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate

Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard

50- : Rubbish