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The violence of a modern battlefield. Tanks slowly advancing towards the enemy lines. Soldiers march into certain death. Machine weapons firing. Bombs falling. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. This is the purest soundtrack to WAR.
Axis of advance made a breakthrough in this record. The music is absolutely skullcrushing, with J.Read (Revenge, ex-Conqueror) smashing the drumkit as if he is firing with the assault rifle. The drums are loud enough, whereas Wor and Vermin provide a noisy (but "phat" and powerful) wall of sound. Vocals nicely change from hi-pitched to growls, and the production is relatively clear (for this sub-genre, I mean!).
Somebody could ask a very normal question. "Why is this record different from, say, Revenge, Conqueror, Blasphemy or early Beherit?". I'll tell you. This album gets 98% just because it's so damn clever. In the middle of a relentless blastbeat, the song goes mid-tempo with a melodic part (NOT in the vein of fairy-melodic-death-metal-crap, but like a WAR ANTHEM) which makes your head go off while headbanging. You will hear smart changes that solely serve the purpose of transforming a run-of-the-mill canadian grind/black metal release to a goddamn MASTERPIECE without any doubt. Just when you are sure that you can't tell what the heck does the guitar play, there comes a progressive break (but still violent! do not misunderstand my words, I am not talking about progressive-regressive metal like Dream Theater) that simply sticks to your mind.
I will not mention standout tracks, because it is utterly stupid to mention all of the tracks...this is not an exaggeration. I absolutely mean it.
If violence in modern-age war somehow manifested itself, the soundtrack would be this release. Every single track in this release will make you think that you are in the middle of a battlefield, with no hope of surviving.
Consider yourself warned.
As if black metal and grindcore weren’t extreme enough on their own, Axis of Advance have fused the two genres together to create something of fierce brutality.
With machine like blast beats and rhythms, shredding black metal guitars high on distortion, demonic vocals and frightening sounds of war and violence, ‘The List’ is almost guaranteed to tear you a new one.
Despite some flaws in the band’s song blue prints, the music has an overwhelming sense of speed and fury. The drums feel mechanical as they beat rhythms out at stupendous speed. The drum rolls are massive and accelerated. The crunching riffs are imposing and menacing, as so are the chaotic solos, which seem to be thrown in there at random intervals. The vocals are heavy as it sounds like lead singer Wor is possessed, from screeching wails to indecipherable growling and hissing. All these aspects come together to deliver something unique and unsurpassable when it comes to fury and anger. This opinion is further enforced by the masterful lyrics that deal with many different aspects of modern warfare, from scenes of violence straight out of hell to fundamentalist’s religious fanaticism and jihad. Rarely does the music drop down to mid-tempo, and even more sporadically does it drop below that. Rare breathers are only succeeded by further pummelling, which to me is a good thing. But, as with most albums like this, there’s a catch 22.
To be frank, listening to ‘The List’ can get repetitive and boring during a couple of songs. That’s due to the fact that the uncontrollable banging can get extremely overwhelming at times and that some of the songs go on to repeat themselves far more than is necessary. Then again, I guess when you take grindcore’s ideology of short blasts of speed and force and combine it with black metal’s stagnant ideology of long, epic songs of unmatched power and ferocity, you’re bound to have a hole pop up in your formula somewhere.
This is not for the faint-hearted. But, if the prospect of a mixture of relentless grind and black metal ferociousness sounds good to you, then you can be sure that you’ll be headbanging well into WWIII.