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Sacramentary Abolishment was at least good in parts. The faggot tendencies that would define Axis of Advance were less frequent and when they did occur were masked by the lo-fi production. But now, 4 years later, as Axis of Advance, they've taken everything bad in what they've done in the past and made an album of it, and given it a production they can't hide behind.
Some people like to think that this is in the same vein as Conqueror, Revenge, etc. The kind of people that like the image of those bands but can't find it on the internet so they pretend they listen to it and use the reviews on this site for their opinion of the band. Fortunately, the music of the greats of this obscure 'war metal' genre never thought their music should be nothing but Amon Amarth - The Crusher with faster and more chaotic drumming.
A bunch of ludicrous song titles: 'Evanescent Judgement Of The Last Era', 'Absolute Conviction in The Accolade' combined with sickening wannabe-epic riffage (as said before, ala Amon Amarth) can never equal anything but pure shit. The only resemblence this album bears to the genre it claims to be is the fast and chaotic drumming, and thus if you're a nu-metal fan you probably couldn't tell the difference between Strike and War Cult Supremacy. I guess that's what led to AoA being classified as war metal.
I can't think of what kind of fanbase Axis of Advance are hoping for. If you like war metal, or even straight up black metal, you're gonna find the riffs too cheesy and Gothenburg sounding for your liking. The drumming makes the music sound a bit too extreme for the kind of people that like the cheesy Gothenburg crap. The only conceivable fanbase they could have is of posers who like to namedrop to make themselves look good, or think that fast music is always elite. However, if you like music, if you like originality, or coherence, or extreme metal, or abrasiveness in music, then stay away.
rtist: Axis of Advance
Album Title: Strike
Label: Death to Mankind
This is the first full-length album from Axis of Advance, a band which rose from the ashes of Sacramentary Abolishment.
I've often wondered why the S.A./Axis of Advance sound isn't more-imitated. They're certainly one of the more interesting and distinctive bands out there - lightning fast, thrashy Black Metal combined with precision instrumentation and complex songwriting. It may well be that this combination is a difficult thing for lesser bands to achieve, however.
This album is light-years ahead of "The Distracting Stone", which was previously one of my favorite albums. This is one you can play again and again, and still not tire of it. It's a concept album of sorts, about someone who must build two pyramids, in order to summon ancient gods to destroy the Earth. The lyrics that Axis of Advance have written to support this idea are quite excellent, making reading the booklet almost as interesting as listening to the album itself.
As for the musical performance, it's as any Sacramentary Abolishment worshipper would expect - brutally fast passages balanced by slower breaks, with Wor's insane screaming battering the eardrums. The precision of the guitar and drums is quite noteworthy here, as nothing seems overly sloppy, even at blistering speeds.
I've already mentioned the lyrics, but the music is equally well-written. It amazes me that a band this fast can be so cohesive. This album very rarely breaks down into "noise", even during the fastest sections - an area where even Sacramentary Abolishment had trouble occasionally. On top of this, the slower sections are perfectly placed to accent the hateful rage of the rest of the album.
This album is absolutely mandatory. Any follower of extreme metal should strongly consider picking this up immediately.
Standout tracks: "Evanescent Judgement of the Last Era", "Structural Interpretation via Superfluous Union", "Nix the Sphere"
Review by Vorfeed: http://www.vorfeed.net
This is nasty. Rarely has a band achieved such a balance of order and chaos on disc as on Axis Of Advance's debut full-lengther. While their sophomore effort The List is somewhat more compact and overall faster (as well as sporting a thicker guitar sound), Strike tops it slightly simply by mixing things up more and allowing the sound to breathe a little while still smashing you over the head with pure nastiness.
The music here doesn't really fit into any specific genre: it's a boiling cauldron of death, thrash, hints of grind, and an almost industrialist sense of mechanical clinicism smelted down into an all-encompassing metal war machine. Vocally, Wor's exhortations range from strangled rasps to a deep growl and an acrid bark, and they're mixed just right - not too loud, but not buried either.
The opener "Evanescent Judgement of the Last Era" is quite demented, a twisting, turning battle of instruments seemingly determined to tangle themselves into a mangled mess, but escaping with it's flow intact. Later on, "Structural Interpretation Via Superfluous Union" injects some bizarre angelic choir vocals into the shredding speed-assault, while "Absolute Conviction In The Accolade" is simply a nasty, uncompromising boot to the head, pure violence made sound. The drumming here, courtesty of the ever-demented James Read, is a savage display of kit abuse, as if he's not so much concerned with playing his drums as beating them into absolute submission. Meanwhile, the guitar/bass tandem jumps from one riff to another, dwelling on each one long enough to drive it through your skull, never sacrificing coherence in the process. This is high-brow music designed to sink it's hooks into the most bestial part of the musical consciousness.
Almost as impressive as the music are this album's lyrics. A complete concept album told from the protagonist's perspective, it tells the tale of an Astral journeyman visited by a vision of his destiny: to build two pyramids in the Egyptian desert, completing the work of the aliens who build the 5 existing ones, thus causing the sun to supernova and destroy the war-torn planet. With the help of a young boy with absurd telekinetic powers, he is able to go about his task, until an outside influence threatens to undo all his work... but I won't ruin a good story by telling you the ending. Suffice to say, the lyrics are top-notch, flawlessly written and a vital part of this album's appeal. Anyone with an appreciation for epic, chaotic-yet-ordered extreme metal owes it to themself to check out Axis Of Advance.