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Antisocial axegression - 80%

Felix 1666, April 16th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2010, 12" vinyl, Doomentia Records (Limited edition)

Axegressor hail from Finland. They have released three full-lengths so far and already their debut "Command" made clear that these guys have the right attitude. The line-up is definitely free from any form of nice sons-in-law and the group's general sound is characterised by hostility and ugliness. A crucial factor for this appearance is the raw, robust and husky voice of lead singer "Johnny Nuclear Winter". Don't think that this name is moronic. In terms of absurd humour, his former pseudonym - Hellvis Perversley - remains untouched, but that's another story. In a nutshell, these Finns are great. Furthermore, their self-mocking mindset must be mentioned. The lyrics of the closer, which is simultaneously the band anthem, leave no doubt: "We're not perfect / To play like the pro's / Not classically educated / We're not one of those". Well said.

By the way, Axegressor play heavyweight thrash metal. The band has enough courage to break with a few unwritten rules. For example, many newcomers follow the "Fight Fire with Fire" dogma, but the opener of "Command" does not deliver an orgy of velocity. Instead of bowing down to this stereotype, the first song comes with the easiness of a miner who was forced to work 24 hours underground without any break. The rasping guitars generate a very authentic metal feeling and the integrity of the formation cannot be doubted. Yet it goes without saying that the Finnish bullies also like to shift into overdrive. Better still, they manage the fast rhythms very well, too. Thus, it does not matter that a few parts of "Barricade Command" and "Axegressor" sound very much alike, to express it politely. Apart from this minor flaw, I like the approach of the formation very much, because the here presented debut sounds dynamic and avoids monotony. Moreover, the band anthem marks the climax of the album. "Axegressor" is swift as an arrow, unstoppable and impressive with regard to its maximum pressure.

Production-wise, the album surpasses the expectations. This is not the sound of debutants, but of extremely experienced and capable musicians. The guitar is the star of the ensemble, although the voice takes the bull by the horns as well. Yet the sharpness and the energy of the six strings ensure them the dominant role. The drummer prefers rather simple rhythms, but his precision and power reflect his technical skills in a sufficient manner. Last but not least, the man with the bass guitar is not fobbed off with a minor role. His instrument is audible and provides the songs with a resilient base plate. Indeed, the mix of "Command" pushes the album on a higher level, although the compositions themselves are already good or even fantastic. The stubborn fanaticism of the petulant band members is tangible and makes me grin happily. The conviction and liveliness of thrash squadrons such as Axegressor appear as a life insurance for the entire sub genre.

Purists will love this album, because the artists saw no reason to mix different styles. One does not find elements of black metal and death metal ingredients are also missing. Furthermore, I have already mentioned that the vocal performance leaves a masculine impression and it therefore has nothing in common with the legions of speed metal eunuchs that shatter our nerves with their constant screaming. Axegressor add a mean melody from time to time, for example in "Strangled by Life" and they have a good instinct for the right balance between ferocious and rather heavily stomping sequences. Hence follows that external, "non-thrashing" extras are not necessary in order to pen a strong album. Moreover, the pretty conventional song patterns also do not hurt the excitement. Axegressor might be antisocial and they probably stink a little bit, but "Command" delivers a vinyl which is filled to the brim with thrash, a printed inner sleeve with the lyrics as well as one of these typical old school collages and a poster where the vocalist attempts to kick the beholder in the face. Nice try, Mr. Nuclear Winter-Perversley.

Sharpening my hidden teeth - 70%

autothrall, February 22nd, 2010

I have some vague recollections of this band's EP Axecution from a few years, but the Finns arrive here at their first full-length. Axegressor is a band performing heavier thrash metal which often borders on death, and Command has a military aesthetic which falls somewhere between Hail of Bullets and cult thrashers At War and Sodom.

The mix of this album is vibrant and fleshy, catapulting even the band's more mundane riffs to headbanging fury. I personally found the faster material on the album to be its strong point, such as "Damage-Inked" (haw haw), the brutal "Barricade Command", and the flawless "Iron Will Executor" which recalls all of the very best elements of Sodom or Dead Head. The band's namesake track "Axegressor" is also fun, and for the slower material there were a few points of "Servants" that rocked.

'From the world they close the doors
the whores of evil clad as sheep of god
practice their foul vocation
troops of doom – spill the blood!'

This is not a technical band, the riffs are blunt and straightforward, conveying to you the perils of war and archaic metal silliness simultaneously. Fans of traditional European thrash metal will no doubt enjoy the band's no frills writing. The album sound's great, but there are few songs here which are laden with truly memorable riffs, so plenty of room for the band to improve.