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Acid > Maniac > Reviews
Acid - Maniac

Classic Female-Fronted Early Thrash from Belgium! - 94%

razorfistforce, January 3rd, 2013

Belgium's Acid first appeared on the international metal radar screen with the release of their debut album "Acid" in 1982. However, it would be the band's second and arguably most revered album 1983's "Maniac", that cemented the band's reputation as an up-and-coming early thrash metal force. In terms of the timeline and historical scope of thrash/speed metal history, the years 1982-1983 were quite early in the game, with the majority of the bands who would come to define the thrash metal genre (in the mid-80's) barely even out of the starting gate. Put simply, Acid were ahead of their time. No doubt about it.

They also positively kicked ass musically and featured one of the raddest (but sadly, lesser known) female vocalists in metal history. Vocalist Kate De Lombaert in many ways beat Doro from Warlock to the punch, but never achieved the heights of fame that Doro enjoyed. However, as a vocalist, Kate sung like a pissed off but still sexy sounding Doro (before Doro had an album out with Warlock, keep in mind). Kate De Lombaert also had an awesome stage prescence, dressed in full leather, with bullet-belt, black panty-hose and a seductive red cape. She was also quite pretty (in my opinion, more attractive than Doro) and many a European metalhead's dream. But just by the way she fronted Acid you knew she was one tough chick with a true metal heart and the vocal chords to match it.

Acid played complete over the top double-bass driven early thrash, with killer tunes and a tons of attitude. Opening track "Max Overload" is the perfect track to begin the album with as it demonstrates all of Acid's powers. With its driving double-bass, fast guitar riffage, and very catchy and slightly melodic chorus, the tune is a sample-platter of what's to come. "Max Overload" also allows room for Kate to demonstrate her range of vocal stylings. By track two Acid is already going for the listener's throat with the supremely heavy double-bass assault of the title track "Maniac". This tune features searing guitar leads, a killer chorus, and excellent vocals throughout.

The third track, "Black Car" is a bona fide early thrash/speed metal classic about an outta control satanic car on a hit and run mission. The chorus is a heads down double-bass attack with the guitars slicing like knives. As a side-note, "Black Car" would be released as a 12" EP in '84 and feature three totally wicked non-"Maniac" LP tracks. While "Black Car" demonstrates Acid in pedal to the metal, over the top proto-thrash mode, the band never lost sight of the importance of melody and catchy chrus hooks, as tunes like "Max Overload" and "America" prove. "America" starts (and ends) with a melodic intro before kicking into a full-blown Motorhead on speed juggernaut of primitive thrash as guitarists Demon and Dizzy Lizzy, bassist T-Bone, and monster drummer Anvill headbang their way to hell while Kate goes wild about how Acid is gonna tear the USA apart when they play their (sadly, I don't think Acid ever toured the USA). The next track "Lucifera" is an ode to Satan's vampire daughter and is absolutely badass with its evil and explicit lyrics, driving double-bass and dramatic chorus.

Nowadays, Acid may sound very basic to younger listeners, but for '83 this was extreme stuff. And for those of us who just love clasic 80's heavy metal, Acid were pure headbanging magic as the raging final track on the album "Bottom's Up" demonstrates. This tune will get any party going and I guarantee your friends are gonna be yelling "who IS this....it's freekin' AWESOME!". In the end, "Maniac" doesn't have a single bad tune and the album's production perfectly captures the high energy, power, speed, and crushingly heavy Acid sound.

So don't hesitate, if you love classic hard-drinkin', double-bass assaulting, skull-crushing riffage from the early 80's, you'll love Acid-"Maniac"! They are a band that truly deserves a larger degree of attention when discussing heavy metal (especially early thrash/speed metal) history. They had a female singer (in '82-'83 there were still only a handful) who had a killer voice, and they were ahead of their time in the speed and double-bass assault departments. And they wrote GOOD songs! If they had been from the UK or US instead of Belgium they'd be full-blown legends...But that's okay, they can remain a little-known treasure for us metal junkies and historians of all that is heavy. Acid are a cult that once you join you'll never wanna leave...Max overload indeed.

Nicely done speed metal - 85%

HellionMetallion, February 5th, 2010

Acid was a little great band from Brugges, Belgium. Influenced by the likes of Saxon, Motörhead and AC/DC, they decided to explore into faster and more aggressive fields previously spotted by maybe only Venom. Their self-titled debut album showed an incursion to the aforementioned fields, with remarkable speed and satanic-related themes. Sure they helped to pave the road for a wilder creature named thrash metal.

Maniac is more consistent and solid than their debut. They really improved here, sounding more convincing in its approach. It's a linear album and there are no big variations between songs but nevertheless you can easily remember each one.

I'd say the best of Maniac is its drumming, thunderous and pounding, no doubt about it. Double bassdrum moments are really fast. This guy named Geert really gave a good dose of speed to the album. Now, solos aren't that spectacular, they're ok and add some thrill but by no means are awful or embarrasing. And the bass ... buried but still there. Vocals, delivered by Kate De Lombaert, are nice and add some originality because there were quite few female fronted metal bands at the time — another of those was Bitch.

Max Overload is the (full of stamina) opening track that contains a catchy and thrashy riff. Black Car is a nice mid-to-fast number; they did their only videoclip with this song. America and Lucifera continue in the speed metal vein a la Motörhead, which still sounded fresh and original for 1983.

Prince Of Hell And Fire is sandwiched between two behemoths, being No Time the most rampant of both (and my favorite off the album). It's noisy and rather slow-paced. Helps you take a breath after the agitation generated by the previous tracks and simultaneously prepares you for the final assault provided by Bottoms Up. About No Time, its double bassdrum attack is ludicrously fast and dense, creating actually a wall of sound that crushes some skulls in its path.

It's really nice to hear a good metal blast from the early eighties, to know from where heavier genres come from. Shame that their next and last album didn't make it and soon after Acid fell into oblivion for a long time, but at least they gave us Maniac.

Clunky But Charming - 75%

brocashelm, December 31st, 2008

Despite being perhaps the first European record to have what would soon be coined the Metallica sound, that being a general velocity slightly beyond the means of Motorhead or Accept, Belgium’s Acid are hardly a household name. Their self-titled ’82 debut is a touch daft, good listening for a nostalgic chuckle but pretty dated all the same. Matters got a lot more serious here, with faster tempos, heavier applications of riffs, and a much better job from singer Kate who sounded way too mellowed out first time around. “Max Overload” does have the kind of speed we’d soon hear on Kill ‘Em All, although the guitars have little of the overkill, leaving Acid sounding like a heavy Eurometal crew with an emphasis on quickness. “Maniac” is a little trickier with it’s arrangements and is the better for it, while “Lucifera” is pretty damn over the top with it’s sexy occult lyrics and more speedy riffage. Meanwhile, “Black Car” which was issued as a single offers more tasty guitars piled on each other like a sinister double Belgian burger. Achieving some good sales in Europe couldn’t win Acid a worldwide deal, although they’d persevere in the metal market ‘til round about ’85 when their embarrassingly awful Engine Beast album sank them for good. But really, Maniac is one of the heavier and harder Eurometal gems of it’s day, and deserves to be heard. Bearing in mind that Living Death’s abysmal Vengeance Of Hell debut was right around the corner (another early but atrocious European thrash metal nugget) Maniac actually looks damn good by comparison.