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Maniac was a heavily expressed live band, which shows its mark in that the songs are designed with crowd sing-alongs from the very start. They even prepared cheer lyrics and stage talks. Then again this was an eighties release when metal pretty much lived on stages and in tour buses. The self-titled album is short and varied enough to keep the listener’s ears and interest throughout the album, and good enough to attract it in the first place.
There’s plenty of classical speed metal here, sounding a lot like Running Wild, Loudness and Vampyr. A lot like Savage Steel would do a few years later. The drums are the classic ones, no double-bass but an undenying rhythmic beat that often proves so much better. The guitars sound like one part Judas Priest-worship, one part Exhorder-worship and a pinch of sludge. You could say they use Running Wild-riffs with more space and time for each chord to sink into the brain tissue.
Bands from the eighties always had one slow song on the album. Maniac confirms the rule. God of Thunder sounds like the essence of “true metal” long before Manowar got their recognition. God of Thunder does however not remind as much of Manowar as of Wizard. In deed tempo, riffing, melody lines and vocal style are all very close. The bass could’ve been harder and more menacing, but you can’t get everything.
The vocals are over par. In deed the voice is no more than decent, but he sings well and does all ends of the scales without problem. They do have their similarities with the ones on Judas Priest’s Hell Bent For Leather album. Which could be summed up as good, not as good as Mr. Halford though. All in all, it's a consistent album that could be recommended to everyone into speed metal.