By Sheena Muir, freelance journalist, formerly of 'Terrorizer' magazine and 'Live for Metal' online.
Well, for one thing, vocalist Twister has an amazing voice (a range of over four octaves), combining the dark romance of Peter Steele, the bluesy punch of Cornell, the passion and feel of Vedder, the knowingness and edge of Jim Morrison, and the brutal energy of any death vocalist you'd care to mention.
And he's more than the sum of those parts, having a hugely distinctive style of his own - he growls, grunts, shouts, roars, sings like an angel - but, above all, he sings - the exception rather than the rule in today's metal scene. And his lyrics are quite remarkable - aggressive, acerbic, poetic, cruel, aching, vulnerable, honest - self-aware without descending into self-consciousness - and brilliantly compressing meaning into form.
Live and on record, Twister is an incredible stylist - his bravura delivery, phrasing and technique are to die for. And I don't think I've ever seen anyone dominate a stage like he does. He is the heart of Maxdmyz, a master craftsman with an exquisite ear for both melody and noise.
If Twister is the band's heart, guitarist Skizzy is its brain. Like Twister, he has combined a mastery of classic rock, with a keen contemporary sensibility. His sound and style is a heady synthesis of the power and directness of Rammstein, the weird energy of Iommi, and the sublime fluency of a Sambora or a Vai. But what truly distinguishes Skizzy is his love affair with guitar, which shows itself in spades when he plays.
Bassist Prof Moff is the band's soul, with influences ranging from Pink Floyd to Kill Switch Engage. His playing is both sensitive to nuance, and insanely heavy - in equal measure. He brings verve, energy, good looks and a likable irreverence to Maxdmyz's live performances - but, more than anything, it's his sheer musicianship that appeals.
And, as for Jay Tatnell, he's the balls and bowels of the band. With a personality somewhere between Moon, Budgie and John Henry Bonham, he matches each in innovation, eccentricity and sheer heaviness, respectively. Tatnell's influence range from Square Pusher to death bands that I've never even heard of - and he is, quite simply, mad! But what a truly breathtaking drumming talent - he is absolutely amazing. The power-crazed magic of Lombardo, and the technical economy and accomplishment of Derek Roddy - but Tatnell blends these elements into a crazy potion of his own, which makes for incredible drumming by an incredible drummer.
But what really marks out this band? Well, it's the music - it's that simple! The quality and breadth of the song-writing ability of each member is astonishing. The tunes are catchy, intelligent, moving, unforgettable, visceral, orgiastic... you just have to check out this band!
Join us at Alt-Fest and find out for yourself!
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