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The Axis of Perdition's 2004 EP "Physical Illucinations in the Sewer of Xuchilbara (The Red God)" is without a doubt one of the creepiest and most evil slabs of industrial black metal I have ever heard. Being a long time horror fan I can easily say that this little album is the soundtrack to the most horrifying nightmares imaginable. It guides your subconsciousness into hellish corridors of abandoned mental hospital, with decayed walls and tortured screams of the dead. The Axis of Perdition perfectly mixes black metal with industrial, dark ambient and noise creating truly eerie and suffocating mood that swallows the listener completely. The last song "Heaving Salvation in the Paradise of Rust" is especially memorable with its final hideous and bone-chilling screams "I'm coming home!". Still "Physical Illucinations..." demands the full attention from anyone who dares to check out the futuristic sound of TAOP. Overall, if you consider yourself a fan of experimental black metal bands like Blut Aus Nord or Spektr you will certainly enjoy sonic assault served by TAOP. Just use your imagination during listening and let the fear creeps in! One day you will understand why.
A perfect music for fans of Howard Phillip Lovecraft, gloomy horror films ("Session 9", "Evil Dead Trap") or insane Japanese cyberpunk cinema ("Tetsuo", "Death Powder", "Pinocchio 964"). Can't wait for their upcoming 2008 release.
Napero's autopsy dungeon, Finland
The subject is to a high degree black, although moderately tainted with the colour of a industrial sodium flood-light upon death, creating a grey, hopeless hue with a neglible albedo. The chaotic outward appearance conceals a considerably heavy and robust body, and the carnal composition varies from the relatively low-mass lower (bass) parts, through a heavily distorted middle, up to a high-pitched top with various discordant tones and chaotic organic arrangements. A heavy enigmatic stench, not unlike that of the Sewers of Xuchilbara, surrounds the entity, effectively concealing its true purpose and causing mild physical side effects in the cryptopsy crew, who at that point had already been affected by the first minutes of the audial onslaught of the subject.
The subject seems to be built around a robust, purpose-built dark metal skeleton, but various observations of anomalies are unavoidable. Specific membranes, i.e. the skins on the drums, have been subjected to above-average speed blastbeating, and have been marked by heavy wear. Their composition is definitely not natural, however, but show signs of digital or other artificial engineering. The upper register seems to contain enough sonic DNA for a great multitude of similar creations, but the subject does not seem to suffer from the abundance; on the contrary, several observers have noted it's enchanced capabilities in stalking its prey and scaring copious amounts of feces out of various careless listeners. Stringed components have been partially concealed, but reveal their constant presence occasionally in short, manic bursts. The overall construction hints at a methodological and skilled engineering, intent on creating an optimally menacing challenge to sanity to anyone witnessing the presence of the creature.
The internal structures of the subject seem to consist of intertwining layers of tissues. The topmost skin is capable of blending into urban or industrial ambience in an exceptionally sinister way, to a point where it becomes completely indistinguishable from the surroundings in a crowded crossroads occupied by trucks carrying loose industrial discards and tracked vehicles grinding a steel mesh underneath their treads. The membranes and layers beneath the very surface consist of complex and ingeniously crafted intertwined, turbulent mess, including necrotic (due to death), black and ambient tissues. The mass ratios of the different tissues vary across the length of the subject, the ominous ambience remaining as the topmost layer even after careful and thorough dissection, which proved unusually ineffective in penetrating the outer layers. The other types of tissue can be found by a more detailed study, but undertaking such an experimental and unjustified thoughtcrime was judged to both lessen the enjoyment derived from the experience of the subject's jagged flow, and to be completely unnecessary in the presence of such a mighty being. The cryptopsy crew was willing to enjoy the specimen without excessive analysis.
The subject's repulsive frequencies were found to be especially endearing when enjoyed in a small house in the middle of the woods at winter time, with a dusty bottle of a deep, heavy-bodied red wine, sitting in front of the dying embers slowly fading in the fireplace. The lights should be switched off or dimmed to the point of vanishing, the doors locked, and the heating of the house turned off. The use of hallucinogenics is not only unnecessary, it's also guaranteed to be fatal to the listener's sanity.
The being on the gurney is a huge construction, marvellously engineered into the meagre frame of an EP, and without a defined purpose or direction. It seems to know where it is going, however. It stealthily blends into the experience of being alive, turning it into a fear of something worse than death that lurks in the ruins of civilization. The initial repulsion felt by most of those contacted by the creature quickly turns into a morbid attraction in persons with the right kind of brain activity and vivid imagination, and later into an addiction in select individuals. The coveted specimens are rare, but definitely worth hunting for, and the reader is hereby adviced to keep his eyes open, lest the experience escapes. The rewards of listening to the alien construct are immense, and should be tried by everyone as a part of the journey into otherworldly insanity.
Dr. (Met.) Napero
Head of the autopsy crew
This isn’t your typical black metal band.
Just take that warning before you push the manhole cover off the street and descend into the Sewers of Xulchilbara. If you’re expecting to hear a Xasthur-like hypnotic black metal band, or a brutal black metal band like Gorgoroth… don’t bother with this disc. Not to say that those styles are tired or outdated (I’m a huge fan of The Funeral Of Being and like albums; same for Twilight of the Idols (In Conspiracy With Satan), etc) but this is just a leap beyond them, on a whole ‘nother plane of musical excellence and sheer, outright dementia.
You were warned.
The Axis of Perdition is a duo from England, and this was their… third release, an EP (originally intended as a split with Blut Aus Nord) with fully original material rather than the usual remix/rerecording/b-side crap that most people put on their EPs. This is the rare EP that surpasses many full-length albums in terms of succinct brilliance. But enough fellatio, let’s get into the sewer.
This album is terrifying, and that’s the best one-word description I could think of. Listen to it at home, at night, with headphones, when there’s nobody around. It’ll scare the shit out of you, and that’s a guarantee.
The production is clear-as-crystal, which is funny considering the nature of the music that’s on it. The guitars are tuned to a ‘static’ setting that still allows for some measure of riff coherency, and yet is anything but an easy listen, and there are numerous samples (from Silent Hill 2 and 3, mostly) and industrial/techno sounds rollicking around in the background. The drums are hollow and echo-y, and the vocals ring with malice and sorrow, and are draped in effects out the buttocks.
The Axis of Perdition does not adhere to many black metal standards- sure, the riffing is mostly tremolo, and sure, the vox are high and creepy, but the composition of the songs and the arrangements are distinctly affiliated with experimental industrial (not that beat-heavy stuff, the weird side) and avant-garde rock. The biggest connection this band has to black metal is the atmosphere.
This album is focused on atmosphere to a degree that’s almost insane, and god-DAMN, this atmosphere is scary. It creates a nightmare world of filth, rust, and insanity, where the corridors you run through are made of flesh, the doors obscene festering wounds that drool strings of pus. Where the people that walk the earth aren’t really people, they’re just… things, horrific things of disease and deformity that lurch staggeringly toward you for reasons known only to them. I swear to you that after listening to Physical Illucinations… just ONCE, I was becoming paranoid about the windows… and the doors… and every noise I heard, really.
My favorite songs? There are songs? I really couldn’t tell you. The album works so well as a whole that it’s as though there aren’t any songs in the first place. Everything flows, in a chaotic and discordant sort of way, if that makes any sense. Despite that, the opuses titled 'Where the World Becomes Flesh' and the very last song are my 'favorites,' the former being as close to a straight-ahead black metal anthem that The Axis of Perdition will ever get, and the latter being an all-out assault on the senses.
But by all means, do pick up this album if you want to hear something that just loses all the clichés in black metal, something that just destroys 99% of what’s out there. This is another attempt to push black metal into the future, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t successful.
One last note: This makes Blut Aus Nord’s 2003 opus, The Work Which Transforms God, look like a Raffi album in terms of creepiness. Buy it before all 666 copies are sold out.
(originally written by myself for metalreviews.com)
Welcome to the wonderful realm of The Axis! Just when you thought your fake-ass Darkthrone albums couldn't be topped by any 'blacker' band, you hear talk about the raging new band from Middlesborough, England, The Axis Of Perdition. For those who have had experiences of true horror, you will know again when hearing this EP entitled 'Physical Illucinations In The Sewer of Xuchilbara'. It begins with a more power electonics mayhem (=sever noise attacking your mind) which reaches to the second opus entitled 'Where The World Becomes Flesh', beginning with a sample from the Silent Hill soundtrack. Why? These fellows are mostly influenced by the horrors of Silent Hill, the most horrible game yet produced. This EP is very noisey, quite too noisey for most people, but I feel that it is most nessecary in recording something dealing with such mental disorder. If you like power electronics, chaotic (math) metal, or psycho soundtracks, you'll love this EP! The guitars keep the chaotic path heard in the earlier record, 'The Ichneumon Method'. With many off-tune notes, this band reaches deep inside your veins like a fresh razorblade! Many multi-string patterns (NOT constant powerchord shit) make it very flowing, able to reach deeper and deeper inside your head. This EP is never to be played with the lights on! The programed drums are less insanely fast than on predecessing album entitled 'The Ichneumon Method' making it easier to digest, and better fitting. But of course you will realise on the fourth opus, 'Pendulum Prey: Reciprocating Horror', the more than overwhelming noise insanity includes the 'drums' programed to something like a thousand beats per minute. The peak of this record is definatly the production, especially that of the vocals. Singer Brooke Johnson combines several screams though each other with the most morbid FX you can imagine. The insanity grows worse with the screaming of war sirens and Johnson crying "When I hear the sirens, I'll finally know I am home... I'm going home, I'm going home". I myself just CANNOT take the insanity of 'Pendulum Prey...'. This is a top-of-the-line institional recording, made to send you to the depths of your own abyss, no matter what!
Important note!: There is nothing industrial about this band, nor is their really anything black metal about it. It is just chaotic noise at its best!
The band is planning to play live for the first time in September, in their home of England.