SEAX - Speed Metal Mania / To The Grave

Seax - Speed Metal Mania / To The Grave

19 songs
71:49 minutes
***** *(**)
Iron Shield


No, no, no, the band name is not about sex. Seax is actually an Old English word for "knife". Founded by guitarist Hel in 2009, the Massachusetts based quintet has already released three albums. The two latest will now be re-released by Iron Shield Records. The package starts with the bandís most recent record Speed Metal Mania which is a perfect example of speed metal revival. Bands like Municipal Waste, Toxic Gama Bomb, etc. brought back vintage thrash metal sounds already many years ago, but itís only been of late that the less popular but more cherished by some (like me) speed metal sound is also having its second spring. The songs on Speed Metal Mania are not overly complex, always come with quite a fast beat, the guitars are searing themselves through your eardrums, as does the vocalist who switches between a snotty performance and mile high screams that make you believe itís 1985 all over again. The production is simple but adequate, adding to the authenticity of the music. Apart from a small instrumental in the middle of the album, you get nine times high speed metal that should appeal to every fan of the genre.

Disc number two is graced with the nine songs from the predecessor To The Grave, and what a disappointment that is. Not that this is a bad album per se, but the muddy production strips away a lot of the listening experience. Especially the cymbals sound as if they had been recorded with an overly cheap microphone. Another drawback is that this album comes with a different singer who doesnít even try to reach the high notes. The weird thing about this is that the vocalist from the third album also sang on the debut, which would have fit nicely as an encore to the only half hour long disc two.

If you like your speed metal very primeval, then you might truly enjoy the vintage retro sounds of Seax. Imagine for a moment the debut albums by Anthrax (Fistful Of Metal, 1984) and Exodus (Bonded By Blood, 1985), and you might envision the rowdy proto speed metal we get on this re-release, especially on Speed Metal Mania which I will rate with an eight. Subtract two points for its predecessor To The Grace.

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