German, vegan, and straight-edge, Maroon comes out of the gate (after their minute introductory track, “Catharsis” finishes) furious and full of the Cookie Monster spirit. The double-bass comes out fast and furious on this disc, but seriously, just because you can hit them 200 times in a minute doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do it. In fact, “The Worlds Havoc” just has Nick’s drums create the same sonic mush that an over-distorted guitar will make out of an otherwise clean track. Cutting down heavily on the double-bass and finally allowing the guitars to take their rightful place on the title track, Maroon finally sounds like a real band instead of someone amazed at the new instrument ey’s gotten. “Watch it All Come Down” is the perfect example of a band trying to excite with a long instrumental introduction that only shows that they are unable as musicians to keep the listener’s audience. To be fair, after Andre begins singing, the guitars come more to life but are still held to a high amount of repetition instead of experimentation.
The most common track for Maroon to take on this album is one in which Andre gruffly takes the microphone and the two guitarists move between generic metal licks and nu-metal riffs, creating for a paint-by-numbers experience that really excites no one. In fact, the only bright sections of the CD are when Maroon blatantly cops another band’s thunder. For example, the guitar lines for “At The Gates of Demise” sound like rejects from Megadeth’s classic “Rust in Peace” album. Another major issue with the disc are the uninspired extended lead-in to Maroon’s tracks that more often than not just seem as if they should be in a load screen for some third-rate shooter. When the band threatens to break out of their Cookie Monster, dredge-metal, such as in the track “Chosen Fate”, the guitars snap back from the promising punk/thrash metal riffs into nasty and blunt riffs that just lie flat across the track.
Add the fact that this album is over a year old to the many criticisms raised about this album and you should have a valid check-list of reasons not to buy “Endorsed By Hate”. Buy some classics – Megadeth, Morbid Angel, Deicide, or just look around your local scene for a heavy band. Chances are that either option will bring you face to face with a band that is leagues better than Maroon.
Top Tracks: None
Maroon – Endorsed By Hate / 2005 Abacus / 11 Tracks / http://www.maroonhate.com / http://www.abacusrecordings.com / Reviewed 27 January 2005