MAXXXWELL CARLISLE – Visions of Speed and Thunder
Killer Metal Records
MAXXXWELL is a guitarist from the United States and he has been active as a solo artist since 2009. He is also a member of the legendary 80’s heavy/speed metal band HELLION. Actually he played the guitars in the last official release of the band under the title “Karma’s Bitch”. “Visions of Speed and Thunder” is his third full length album and it comes 5 year after the release of his sophomore album under the title “Speed Force” (as you have noticed MAXXXWELL has a thing for speed).
THE COVER: The cover is something that the fans of science fiction will appreciate (I certainly do). It shows a spaceship with its rockets bursting out in front of a dark sun. I think that the cover is a good depiction of the band’s sound and also of the song “Visions of Speed and Thunder” that is included here.
MUSICAL STYLE: Well, most of the times I am “afraid” of the solo releases of virtuoso guitarists. Most of them forget they apply to people who might not know much about music except enjoy it and they create albums that mainly have a teaching value and they show off their skills instead of creating songs that we, the simple metal fans, will enjoy to listen to. MAXXXWELL, though, is not this kind of musician since he creates songs first and above all and uses his talent and technical skills only up to the point needed in order to give more depth and detail to his compositions. I can say that MAXXXWELL as a guitarist is closer to such guitarists like David T. Chastain, Criss Oliva and Chris Broderick (JAG PANZER). The compositions that are included here musically belong to the genre of U.S. heavy/power/speed metal.
COMPOSITIONS: The album includes 11 songs from which 4 of them are instrumental (“Thunder Fortress”, “Duet for Electric Cello and Electric Guitar in A minor”, “Axis Accelerator” and “Speed Force”). Also there are some songs that were included previously in past releases of the artist and he decided to re include them here (I don’t know the reason, but I hope I will find out in an interview if we can do one). Musically now he moves on the path of heavy/power/speed metal and the trademarks of his sound are the screaming guitars, the melodies, the galloping riffs and the long yet needful solos. The listening of this album made me realize that MAXXXWELL builds his songs in the way that JUDAS PRIEST did in their amazing “Painkiller” album which means heavy and full of speed compositions with screaming and brilliant solos. Also I can recommend this release to fans of bands like HELSTAR, SEVEN WITCHES, CHASTAIN, CAGE and when they become more melodic like in the song “Thunder Fortress” to the fans of RIOT.
CONCLUSION: This album has all I need and want to listen to from a heavy/speed/power metal album coming from the U.S.A. It has speed, melodies, great riffs and almost in every note it screams out the words heavy fuckin’ metal… Also I loved the experimentation in the composition “Duet for Electric Cello and Electric Guitar in A minor” where MAXXXWELL manages to combine perfectly 2 different instruments that somehow find a common ground on the heavy metal sound. All in all this is a release that has it all and the more you listen to it the more you will love it.