By Dr. Abner Mality

MADHOUSE is one of about a gazillion German power/thrash bands that arose in the late 80's to flood the worldwide metal market. Almost all of these bands hit the comeback trail after a while and MADHOUSE is no exception. These Krauts play an unoriginal brand of fast headbanging metal that is often hamfisted but impossible to dislike. If you don't have sky-high expectations, you'll find some fist in the air type metal fun here.

You could probably call MADHOUSE a thrash band and I wouldn't disagree too strongly. They like to play fast and hard and they come at you with all guns blazing on first two tracks "Break The Ice" and "Never Say Die", Guitars are screaming everywhere and singer Didi "Shark" Schulz could never be called a great singer by any stretch of the imagination. But again, the guy's got chutzpah to spare...he just bellies up to the mike and hollars for all he is worth throughout the course of "Braindead". Despite the thrash leanings, there's also a lot of good old German power metal in HELLOWEEN mode, which especially comes across in the copious amount of twin harmony guitar work here. Anytime the velocity of the song drops, MADHOUSE loses a lot of power. Cuts like "Who Made You God" and "Poisoned Blood" are in this style and come across very hackneyed. But just when you're ready to write the album off, a strong track like "Last Man Standing" or "Oscar" comes along to grab your interest again.

"Braindead" is solid heavy metal entertainment in German style, never threatening to be classic but enjoyable in a pure and basic sense.