A Method to Madness

Yet another new young thrash band trying their hand at the 80’s sound and feel.

Conniption hail from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and A Method to Madness is the bands debut self-released LP originally released last year. Though since I’ve received the album for review, they’ve been signed by Germany’s Rock It Up Records, who are to re-release the album later this year with a couple live bonus tracks, updated artwork and a different track listing.

As much as I wanted to rip into this one, these kids actually show a lot of promise. That doesn’t necessarily mean that A Method to Madness is a great album, but they seem to have a good deal of potential. Given time, they could turn into a fine thrash band.

Their influences are pretty obvious, and are for the most part the usual suspects. I hear everything from early Metallica (Kill ’em All) and Slayer (Show No Mercy), right on through to Overkill and Death Angel (The Ultra-Violence). One can even detect a healthy Judas Priest and Iron Maiden influence as well. They have that 1983 sound down fairly well, even if it’s a little rough around the edges. This vibe is reinforced by a good demo quality production job circa mid/late 80’s – everything is audible, though the drums seem pushed back just a tad. It’s really raw and kinda muffled sounding.

Vocalist Michael Brigham is nearly a dead ringer for Death Angel‘s Mark Osegueda at times – he’s got a good set of clean, yet slightly gritty pipes when he chooses to fully unleash them. Bassist Cody Dziuk is also a standout member – his bass jumps out of the mix, as he’s doing his own thing rather than mindlessly following the riffs, and what he’s doing sounds damn good. Brigham also splits ax duties with Bill House, and together they have some interesting riff ideas scattered around the album, and the lead work is actually rather exceptional most of the time.

Song wise, “Selective Amnesia” is the all out highlight of the disc, going through a multitude of switch ups and mood and tempo changes. From the opening march like drums and a riff that I can only describe as fun, but this soon gives way to an eerie sounding clean guitar and light pitter-patter of the cymbals. The vocals kick in at this point, and the eeriness is broken up by random sounding outburst of distorted guitar and drums which is fully realized midway through the song, as they take a turn toward Coroner-esque territory where it continues to build in speed and urgency till the end.

The drawback here is that the change ups feel kind of disjointed and come seemingly out of nowhere, and this is the biggest problem throughout the album. They’re loaded with great ideas – seriously, these guys sound so much more inspired than so many of these new thrash bands parading around – they just need to find a smoother way to tie all these ideas together, because the musicianship and creativity this band displays is pretty high. A slightly modernized production could do them justice as well.

Fuck it – this is a pretty good album. I didn’t want to say that, but it is. It has it’s fair share of flaws, but in the end it’s actually pretty enjoyable. No we’ll just have to see how that reissue turns out and how often I want to return to it. Worth checking out for sure.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
August 27th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Dan

    A conniption is something my sister has when she doesn’t get her own hotel room on family trips…

    …just saying.

  2. Commented by: Ian

    “A Method to Madness” is a decent album with some surprisingly killer riffs from an underrated group called “Conniption.” I saw them at the Rave in Milwaukee, and they are much better live.

    You could call ’em “Butt-Fuck Monkeys” and as long as the music is there it doesn’t matter to me, but I like their name, too. I mean really Dan, sounds like your sister is the problem, which sounds like your problem, not ours…

    …just saying.

  3. Commented by: Jason

    I liked this album a lot. It’s quite impressive for an unknown band. Overkill/Exodus guitars with Alice in Chains -type vocals.

  4. Commented by: judaskill435

    Killer album!!! No one does this shit this good! Keep it metal!!!!!!!! \m/

  5. Commented by: Jim

    These guys suck. I’ve seen them live a few times and it’s the same shit every time: No dynamics, a giant wall of mushy sound, and stage antics that bring back memories of seeing shitty ’80s hair metal bands when bands like that were actually relevant… in the ’80s. Especially awful is the bass player. The guy needs to learn how to EQ his bass rig because it sounds like an elephant farting into a plastic bag. And when they actually try to slow it down a bit you get a real sense for their musicality, which is essentially non-existent. Playing fast is merely a front to cover up their lack of skill.

  6. Commented by: Darrell

    I saw these guys at the Rave in Milwaukee, in January, and all I can say is Holy $%@#! I went there expecting to see your “run of the mill – local thrash band”. I was shocked and impressed. I went online the next day and bought their CD, “Method of Madness”. It is now part of my normal rotation. I takes a lot to sound just as good live as you do on your recordings, and Conniption nails it! Looking forward to seeing them live again!

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