Axis of Advance

(Osmose Productions)


MARK: 92/100


The doctrine indicates that: unpredictable human malfunctions beyond levels of basic psychological hypothesis/treatment are to be observed and rectified swiftly. Treatments for abnormalities and deficiencies monitored compromise the tricategorious:
1) Increase workload
- 2) Decrease workload - 3) Starvation
This is what the 2nd studio album on Osmose prods by the Canuck brutal masters deals with, and be sure it's unbelievably stunning if compared to "The List", which only partially convinced me. Now Axis of Advance have become one of my favourite acts and so will it be to you, owing to a lyrical approach and execution rarely seen in today's cliché-ridden quagmire, and these are not just promoting words by the label or myself, there are sound reasons to witness them.

In the beginning, you'll think the Swedish Death guitars a là early Entombed might mean a weakening of the sound, but Axis like to play with your minds and it's a task for Revenge's confirmed miraculous session drummer J. Read (who would be so crazy to shun his services?) to run you over with his rippling drumwork, based on mad and hallucinating time patterns owing a lot to his main band. Only the Entombed-like slowdowns will make you stop thinking of being on a train about to run off the rails; chopped times, multiple riffs, aggressive vocals able to cut more easily than a surgeon's blade. If this ("Of One to Conflict it") is not a massacre, then will you please tell me what the hell it can be?
Exaggeratedly twisted riffs matched with raw malicious vocals are the core of "Revolution Decimation"; isn't it wonderful. The Revenge drum style used one more time makes me think that it's become a school trademark by now, but, oh, I can't think anymore, let me re-listen to these ear-piercing axe solos!
The headbanging in my room starts again after the first seconds of "Veiled Cast of Judgement", rife with superb drumming and demonic doubled vocals; if possible Axis of Advance have been capable to render Revenge's proposal even more extreme here, even though there's a middle slowdown, however rather short.
A majestic Doom/Death beginning with Black metal screams for "Wrath Pounding" relieves us for a while, but the above-mentioned fast-mincing formula is utilized one more time to make this another pearl of true heavy brutal Death metal, a sheet anchor in these times of triggered digital Death metal. Another syncopated slowdown preceding Abhorrence-influenced drumming and an ending blaze of Hell descended on Earth is closed by an urticant axe solo, brief as usual.
The half of the CD sees the lengthy "God-Eye Command", starting with divine vocals on a mid-tempo; after that a Megadethian riff engages on a brutal Death/Thrash tissue with Black vocals telling of the concept based on "The Big Brother" theory foreseen by Orwell lots of years ago and brought back to modern times by a bunch of sci-fi directors. A long Doom-Death structure played by guitars sounding like the ones of the best My Dying Bride lead us to the finalé, full of humps and classically ferocious. The brain-washing refrain is repeated at the end; can you handle the storm?
"In Wait Lie" doesn't change the style, made invincible by the thick wall of sound built by the bass and the rocky, lively drumwork, including a vast use of all tom-toms and the snare drum; The infested and chipped vocals are gonna be a success in the live dimension.
A swift martial beginning for "Cube of Odium" anticipate an abysmal kind of old-school Death metal that gives my back thrills; J. Read plays with a lot of fantasy and technicality, while the guitars have nothing to do but circularly sawing without mercy, while Black devilish vocals and whispered ones are alternated to some growls. Some more Doom-Death and again odd times in drumming; great! As if it were not enough a middle infernal guitar solo prepares us for the completely unsmooth ending. A new way of playing Death metal has been perfectioned, so as to make your already damaged hearing nerves burst irreparably!
Without any pauses comes the turn for the unbelievable "Masterrorder", adding a catchy Black and Roll part to the whole, repeated using innumerable voice techniques.

Unbridled violence, paroxystical speeds, supreme skillness and a songwriting more various than Revenge permit Axis to have in their hands a record 5 times better than the already not bad "The List", also thanks to Henrik Larsson's recording, at the helm of the Berno Studio. Notwithstanding its only 37 minutes, this album is a must-have.


-Landline (MCD - 1999)
-Strike (CD - 2000)
-The List (CD/LP - 2002)
-Obey (CD/LP - 2004)