July 30, 2020

Madhouse is a German heavy rock band that was formed in Hamburg in 1987 by vocalist and guitarist Karsten Krekow and fellow guitarist Thomas Gamlien. They recruited bassist Lars Rothbarth and drummer Paul Slabiak and released a couple of demos, Goin’ Crazy and Madhouse in 1988 and 1989 respectively. These garnered several positive reviews in the German music press but the band still broke up in 1991 before coming together again in 2014 – which led to a full reformation of the band in 2016 with all the previous members involved plus new man Didi ‘Shark’ Schulz taking over the singing duties. The first ‘proper’ album, Metal Or Die was subsequently released in 2018, again to positive reviews for their hard hitting and somewhat brutal Teutonic metal approach.

The follow up, Braindead, continues the approach seen earlier, being a loud and intense metal album that is both very heavy and frenetic. It is suffused with some really great guitar work and you can expect huge riffs and brutal solos; this is another of those albums that simply has to be played at maximum volume to get the most from it. Simply turn it up until your foundations begin to shake then sit back and revel in some pretty extreme hard rock excess. New vocalist Didi Schulz has one of those great voices with just the right amount of gravel that hints at long nights of hard liquor and cigarette abuse, with a delivery somewhere between classic metal voice and hip hop. A bit of a combination of Cypress Hill, Faith No More and the Beastie Boys, if you like! The album opener, Break The Ice, sets the template of what is to follow being full of energy and direct – nothing fancy here at all, just a metal band delivering metal in its crudest and therefore purest form. Intense, heavy, unrelenting and most importantly, great fun!  

Track List: Break The Ice (3:39), Never Say Die (3:38), Who Made You God (3:12), Poisoned Blood (4:47), Braindead (4:20), Save Your Soul (3:30), Last Man Standing (4:12), Knights Of Avalon (4:58), Oscar (4:48), Evil Fantasies (4:22), Psycho God (Remix) (4:24).

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