Sunday, 7 June 2015

Manic Abraxas - S/T (Album Review)

Manic Abraxas cover art

Album TypeFull Length
Date Released: 29th May 2015
Label: Self Released

Manic Abraxas – S/T - Track Listing:

1.Weed Gallop 05:42
2.Grim Grey Stone 09:26
3.Lurker On The Threshold 08:14
4.Free The Witches 06:33
5.Old Mans Mountain 08:45

Band Members:

Dallas - Guitar/Vocals
Dj - Bass/Vocals
Trevor – Drums


Manic Abraxas sound is a heavy stylized lo-fi take on all things Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal. As the band play a sound that's high on Fuzz, Reverberation and distorted riffs. Its 38 minutes of heavy pounding sonic blasts which is held together by a stripped back approach compared to other bands.

Opening track - Weed Gallop - sees the band open their account with a down-tempo and lo-fi approach to all things Sludge/Doom Metal. The vocals aren't the most polished but it suits the overall mood of the album. It's a very heavy affair as the rhythm section takes centre stage through out the album as Manic Abraxas take a commanding presence on proceedings. There's a few subtle extended guitar solos towards the end of the song as the band take a Sabbath style approach to mood and atmosphere.

Second Track - Grim Grey Stone - carries on the bleak tone with the almost semi-acoustic setting giving way to impressive instrumental work and vocals to match. It's a slow-paced affair and this may put people off who don't like things played at a slow pace with the band focusing more and more doom and gloom atmospherics. The sound can be a bit repetitive at times but Manic Abraxas play a great riff and you think where this album will take you next. The vocals take a more sinister and harsher turn as the mood becomes ever bleaker.

Manic Abraxas is a band with style and substance as this is an album that may take a few listens to fully appreciate. When the band decides to go all out crazy with hazy psychedelic rhythms, the sound of the album takes a more reflective mood. Manic Abraxas deserve credit for including as many different sounds as they possibly can. If you dig Electric Wizard, Sleep and Sabbath then these psychedelic riffsters are worth checking out. Most of the songs run between 6 mins to 9 mins in length. Third track - Lurker On The Threshold - is the standout track on the album as once again the band takes their time building up the tension with distorted riffs and hazy vocals. Manic Abraxas have a hypnotic drone based atmosphere running in the background. When the band speed things up bit you can detect a slight High On Fire influence in both vocals and riffs.

The bass guitar is the main instrument of choice here as everything comes from the powerful bass line from bassist - DJ. The album feels it was recorded in a 70s recording studio as it sounds vintage to the core. I mean that as a compliment though the band offer slabs of modern Stoner despairing riffs with enough power to unsettle some listeners nerves. The final two tracks - Free The Witches and Old Mans Mountain - offer the same lo-fi excitement as the earlier songs though the mood ventures into darker territories. This gives Manic Abraxas the chance to play some of the albums heaviest riffs and melodies and once it's all over you can't stop but pressing the play button once again to fully experience this doomy lo-fi slab of demented goodness.

Words by Steve Howe

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