|Review: Metal Maniacs|
Issue #: January 2003
Year published: 2002
Web site: www.metalmaniacs.com
333 Seventh Ave., 11th fl.
New York, NY 10001
USAPrice: $4.99/C$5.99 (Canada)
Review online: December 8, 2002
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3/5 (60%) (2 Votes)
This publication hardly needs introduction, and probably not much more publicity, but I've trashed it for a long time because it had gone downhill pretty bad. However, I've been buying it for the last few months and I must say that it has gotten a lot better - in fact I now enjoy Metal Maniacs more than a Canadian metal publication that I had been reading for years and has gone downhill (name witheld...) There's still a bit too much emphasis on the writers' political opinions but at least in the end the music wins (e.g. Zahler's review of Grand Belial's Key's "Judeobeast Assassination". Nothing to lose sleep over, but was it necessary? Anyway, minor detail. The one thing that annoys me in this magazine is that interviews and articles are often broken into parts (i.e. the infamous "continued on page xyz" crap. I'd rather not have to go forward 50 pages just to read the last third of a page.
The team has changed a bit, and now includes, among others, Unrestrained! writers Adrian Bromley and Kevin Stuart-Panko. It's always cool to read someone you know in a printed mag - hehe. The interviews are of the Question/Answer variety (like on this site), which I prefer to the now ubiquitous "editorialised" interviews where the interviewer either quotes the interviewee literally or paraphrase him/her, with some added comments that are often superfluous. I guess I'm saying the interview style on this site probably won't change at least for a while. :)
Lots of stuff covered in some 120 pages that make up this issue: News bits, interviews with Limbonic Art, W.A.S.P., Novembers Doom, Napalm Death, Agalloch, Atreyu, Bloodlet, Vomitory, Rage, Onward, Rotting Christ, Myrkskog and Star One. Not a long list, but most of the interviews span several pages, rather than the usual half page to two pages in most mags. This issue also seems to include more album reviews than usual, along with the mandatory demo reviews. The zine reviews are still there and, sign of the times, webzines are now covered. There are reviews of some festivals such as Wacken, Bang Your Head, Rock Machine, Classic Metal Festival, Furnace Fest, OzzFest (oh my...), With Full Force and Hellfest 2002. Thankfully the magazine chose to publish Adrian Bromley's review of the Classic Metal Fest, rather than the pile of steaming crap that Gromen wrote for BW&BK. Let him handle the fests with the big name bands where big labels can give him freebies, and let the real metalheads handle the underground and the bands that have passed the test of time for their material rather than good publicists. I'm done with that one for now.
A few posters are included, and there's also a couple of contests (a guitar and some Osmose stuff), plus the inevitable Maniacal Mail (sometimes funny, sometimes pathetic), and the classified ads.
A very good issue for a magazine that had bottomed out not so long ago. It seems like the rejuvenated staff is on the right path. As long as they keep steering clear of the mallcore crap. ;)
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