Album Review: Comaniac – Holodox 9 (Thrash Metal)

Written by Carcassbomb

  • Comaniac
  • Holodox
  • Technical Thrash Metal
  • Switzerland
  • April 3, 2020
  • 9/10

Welly well well, if it isn’t the second thrash album I’ve liked in the last year. This is an exceptional album where the guitars speak eloquent paragraphs while the vocals provide badass lines. There’s a lot of time for the guitars on this album and they’re more on the technical side of thrash which basically a requirement for me to enjoy it. I believe this is also bolstered by the fact that production was done by Tommy Vetterli who has also worked with Coroner – one of the few thrash bands I listen to. Due out on the 3rd of April and independently, to my surprise. 

Artwork by Ken Coleman

Here’s a cool tidbit from the promo kit: “While the band name COMANIAC is put together from the two words «company» and «maniac», the upcoming album «Holodox» is deviated from the prefix «holo»  (greek: holos, whole) and the suffix «dox» (greek: dox, opinion). «Holodox» stands for a person’s final belief, an idea to answer all questions, a rise from personal struggle onto a meta-level.”

There are three things I like about this album. First off, that’s some great cover art, considering it’s a genre infamous for abysmal outright shitty artwork. This one stands out and offers a glimpse of something ‘more’ to be found within Holodex.

Secondly the vocals are really good and have a level of fluidity that allows for a strong variety. It soars and dips in pretty chaotic ways with King Diamond level highs and mid to low ranges I don’t really have a comparison for – It’s less sing songy than a lot of thrash, there’s often a really forceful form of vocals that sound like he’s been channeling his special attack all track long and is letting it loose. It never feels stale or derivative, it’s pretty damn great. There’s a lot of different timings used and battling vocalist style parts as well, this is a masterful vocalist that actually contributes to the brilliance of the album. Lyrically it’s decent too with some energising choruses and foreboding versus. Primarily dealing with issues of strength and structured doctrine like the Catholic church.

Comaniac: Bandcamp / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

The third thing that I really enjoyed about this album is the guitars. Much like the vocals there’s a big range of things happening and the riffs are often even mimicked by the vocals so they work closely together. There are however huuuuge moments on each track dedicated to the flow of the guitars which take full advantage of the spotlight to deliver enthralling melodies with all the fixings like whammies. It goes beyond the expected definition of a solo and I’m always happy for it when it happens. There’s certain kinds of techniques that are just necessary in thrash but Comaniac don’t make them the focus of the album, rather they keep it as a structural part of the overall architecture, much like a building requires stability. The emphasis is placed on what they can do differently or at the very least, what will be the most energetic approach. 

Some tracks are better than others but I didn’t find any in particular to be weak, it’s a reliable album that will be a sure hit for both veterans of the genre and newcomers. It all ends with a gorgeous ballad that shows yet another facet of the vocalist which is cleaner vocals. I can’t say the bass or drums ever jumped out at me but they never fell out of place either. This is very likely to be my thrash album of the year.

9/10


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