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Label: Volcano Records

Date: December 11th, 2020

Eight years old Italian quintet returns at the end of this pitiful year to try and offer a relief. Three years after their debut album, Maddox have spawned its follow up and another attempt to step onto the big scene. Why big scene? Let me explain.

With music such as presented on “Lifegram”, the one way is to the mainstream. Bigger concert halls, opening for the mega stars of alternative music scene and ultimately headlining some major festival. Now, for all of that to become a reality, there is a long road ahead. Especially considering the almost impossible task of getting to the top in this day and age. However, Maddox seems to have taken the right path at the crossroads and picked a genre that just might get them there.

Of course, I’m talking about a modern outtake on metal. Not quite nu metal (though it takes more than enough influences), but as close as possible, without actually going for rap and scratching the innocent vinyl. Some might even call this groove metal. Cannot exclude such connotations either as there is a whole lot of groove used on “Lifegram”.

Still, the best I can come up with is a combination of Disturbed and Metallica (from their mid to late stage of their career). There’s also a notable intake of hard rock, such as performed in those dingy, smoke-filled pubs across USA for instance. Stone Sour is another good example of where Maddox is taking their fans.

As is usual with bands of this particular genre, the most prominent aspect of Maddox’s music is rhythm. Drums and bass guitar set the entire tone of these eight tracks. Supported by the heavy riffing and tough vocals they give out the rage that is pretty much exploding out of the speakers throughout these 32 minutes of music.

As it seems, everything is going according to plan of “Lifegram”. But that is not entirely true. The one thing Maddox actually lacks is the hook. All of the mentioned bands who obviously had an influence on the Italians’ sound had a way of creating memorable tracks. Be it with rhythms, guitars, or simply memorable choruses. Maddox have not yet reached this level. While their songs are all good and leave an impression, as soon as you stop the album everything disappears. In other words, however commendable their creativity is, it still lacks a step to reach immortality.

Now, taking into account that Maddox is coming from a country with virtually no tradition with modern, or groove metal and this is only their second album, there is time and potential for improvement. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for them. Furthermore, this is probably the best album of this persuasion I’ve heard coming from Italy. Take it to the international level boys, would you please?

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