Review Summary: Mini-albums are never usually this good. Compliance Is Compulsory demonstrates how refined Madman Is Absolute's sound already is. Catchy, heavy and somewhat technical whilst always remaining memorable, this is well worth a look for any metalhead.
It is quite uncommon for bands to release truly excellent mini albums. Such as this case with most of today's metal scene, respect is garnered mostly when a band breakthrough's with a superb debut album or highly impressive sophomore effort. EP's are usually the kinds of things which show promise or potential - not a truly refined and noteworthy style and sound. However, Glasgow based metal outfit Madman Is Absolute
have indeed produced a marvelous mini album in the form of their first offering, Compliance Is Compulsory
Madman Is Absolute are quite an interesting band. The four piece create a racket akin to a fair number of metalcore acts. Yet there is a certain level of technicality and groove which makes what they do that extra bit special. Guitarist David Sandford plays some extremely catchy riffs, balancing melody and aggression perfectly. There is your typical level of chug-chug riffs. But tracks such as 2839
and All In All
boast some supremely catchy and at times technically proficient riff workouts. Tony Newall's vocal style is frantic and unrelenting - his style is that of a deranged shout as opposed to any kind of scream or growl. Every now and again he does unleash some unexpected growls upon the listener; to be honest, I don't see why he doesn't do it more often. They sound awesome.
The rhythm section is aptly handled by bassist James Wright and now former drummer Martin Doyle. Doyle is quite a sporadic drummer and delivers an interesting array of beats and fills. His speed is noteworthy and the way he locks in with the guitars is definitely cool. His double bass work breaks the conventional molds in that his patterns are very varied as opposed to simple blasts of speed or constant time keeping with two feet. Overall, instrumentation wise, the band are spot on. Everything is tasteful, never over-the-top and retains all the necessary qualities to make for a listenable and enjoyable album.
In terms of their songwriting ability, Madman Is Absolute are also definitely on form. They craft memorable songs - the hooks are certainly catchy (not in the vein of a mainstream type rock/metal band though) and there is a good level of variation. Serenity
is a definite standout - it gives the listener a breather from the intensity of the other tracks. Rather than being instantly forgettable and cliched 'calm' instrumental, it takes the listener by surprise. Atmospheric to say the least, slightly haunting to say another.
As far as mini-albums go, this is one of the best I've heard in a very long time. Seven tracks, all of which are great, proves just how rewarding it is when you search for the smaller, lesser-known acts. A true testament to quality UK metal, Madman Is Absolute's Compliance Is Compulsory
is a definite recommendation for anyone who is looking for something that mixes originality with tradition in a fresh, innovative way. Definitely worth checking out.
All That Remains
Visualise and Attack
But everything is well worth a look.