The Makai - The End of All You Know (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Makai

The End of All You Know (2007)

Seventh Rule

The Makai play metal like how Mastodon plays metal -- they're aren't going to be pinned down to just one subgenre, breaking out with sludgy riffs to double-time thrash breakdowns, featuring both screaming and growling counterbalanced with math-y riffage and melodic guitar chords. Regardless, it meets the Seventh Rule criteria: It's loud, heavy, and it's got a groove.

These dudes roll out from California but would probably be more comfortable in the bleak valleys of Norway. The imagery all comes back to Norse myths and doomsdays and battles with dragons and hell demons. Not surprisingly, the band doesn't shy away from Iron Maiden-style riffs, made apparent on "The Hound of Hades," which finishes off with some of the best thrash riffs I've heard in years. Content at playing in all tempos, the Makai really make their mark playing at the extremes. The transition between the thrashy "10th Labor of Hercules" to the heavy low-riffed "Battle Hymn" changes things up and makes them interesting. One can only listen to so much thrash at once, but at the same time, stoner metal bands can get boring.

Listening to this album is truly frightening. I mean, this is scary ass shit. Both vocalists are terrifying to listen to. Each note sung is like listening to someone sandpaper their own vocal chords. The riffs are brutal and heavy, and there's just enough guitarmony to level the band and give them footing in the classic heavy metal scene. The band is well-rounded and knows their shit.

Other standout tracks are "Lady of the Lake," another slower tune, and "Spilling the Blood," which kicks shit off with some killer half-time guitarmony and features thundering double-bass drum kicks.

Well-recommended for anyone who wants to make their parents cry during a road trip.