Urban legends. The stories we tell around campfires, or in tents in our backyards as children about horrid people doing horrible things because in some way shape or form the world had let a person down, and instead of just passing into shadow and dust like most of us their sheer power of will was enough to send them on a murderous rampage of epic proportions. Cautionary tales perhaps, ways of making kids not wander off by themselves at night into the forest, even just a way to make us feel more alive because it’s the very fear of being axe murdered to death that makes life so much more important, make us cling to it so much more tightly that in itself is the thrill of hearing them, they exist, and we can all name one or two.
The band we discuss today here are no strangers to this kind of head fuckery, even naming themselves after the legend of the ‘Cropsey Maniac’, a man who may or may not have existed. Was he a doctor, a Judge even? What happened that could turn a man thus? Did he possess a hook for a hand, or did he carry an axe instead and butcher those who strayed too far from the safety of the light, the fire, the very thing that in our mind can be a barrier between us and darkness incarnate. Who is to know. In 1981 a film called “The Burning” was released that certainly gave us an insight into what this kind of demented revenge seeking atrocity may have been capable of, and a very frightening glimpse it was, so then why would one be so inclined to name ones band after such a monster?
Pretty simple really with these guys, Cropsy Maniac, and it’s all about the horror, and through the last five odd years through various releases they have been ramming their very own particular brand of Death/Grind/Horror related brutality as far up the collective anuses of anyone who so cares to listen. It should come as no surprise to the regular reader of our stuff here at The Metal Wanderlust that we are also big fans of these folk for two reasons because we spend a bit of time sharing their stuff, doing interviews with them, and generally showing as much about their particular brand of ‘heavy as demented madman with an axe to your throat kind’ of shit to the world as we can.
The first reason is, well they are just fucking plain good blokes, and that in itself is enough for some, but if it isn’t then let’s go to the second reason..The music kicks arse! Do yourself a favour and go through their entire release list, and tell me if it is not at all akin to being fucked in the throat, with a large knife. Yes, this is nasty stuff they make, and not at all for the kiddies, and on this one, “Carnage”, they yet again turn everything up to eleven and just go right for the jugular in no uncertain terms. If a relaxing chat whilst cooking a few marshmallows around a campfire is what ye seek, then maybe go somewhere else, because Cropsy Maniac are waiting right outside that little circle of warmth and humanity to disembowel you at their leisure, and then run away laughing like a seagull does when it has not only stolen some of your tasty fries, but also decided to shit on your car as it fucks off to whatever hell they may come from.
Eight tracks of pure and utter nasty await. Some have soundbites, some do not. Travis Ruvo provides the sonic battery on percussion, Kevin Reece is the barking madman standing above you as you bleed out from several puncture wounds. Aaron Whitsell has taken a string from his almighty guitar and is pulling it through your best friends neck as we speak, and fucking Jonny Pettersson is that other sickening noise you can hear under the screaming of your soon to be deceased friends on a massive rumbling four stringed horror of immense proportions. My favourite track if I had to choose one or lose a limb like you will after hearing this, or if your brain doesn’t just wig out and make you run from the first moment, would be “Rabid”. Like a foamy mouthed big arsed feral dog this fucker just wants to rip you to shreds, as does most of this effort, and by the end of it you will be a literal, bloody mess. Cropsy Maniac are not trying to re-invent genres here, they are just dead set keen on giving you one hell of a last ride before your bladder tells you that just over there, behind that tree, would be the best place to go and evacuate said urine holding organ, before they bring the pain that will be the last thing you ever know as you leave this shitty world. Urban legends are one thing to be sure, and as terrifying as they may sound, the reality that IS Cropsy Maniac is far more scary.
As for the future with this lot? Maybe I have had a glimpse, or maybe I have joined them on a murderous rampage or two, who is to know, maybe it was my hand on one of those axes that took so much blood from your skull as it caved in under the blow of the hammer, the rock, the tyre iron.. All I can say is this. These sicko’s are just getting themselves warmed up. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but then I don’t really fucking care about tea at all, so just remember, don’t stray too far from that light, that fire. Enjoy your little stories, for who knows really, they may just be a big fat lie, or they may be true. There is only one way to find out. Come, let’s all go camping!
Rating – 5/5.