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From Turku with hate - 90%

Felix 1666, August 27th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2011, CD, Dethrone Music

Axegressor´s second album shows a self-confident band. The guys saw no reason to change musical direction. In accordance with the debut, "Next" makes the hearts of old-school thrash maniacs beat faster. Thanks to an excellent production, the songs realise their full potential. The guitars are punchy and the drums sound clear and heavy. Nevertheless, the pumping bass is not in danger of being completely sidelined. Last but not least, the husky and unfriendly vocals fit very well into this musical bomb carpet. The man on the mic is in a stinky mood and he makes no secret of that - optimal prerequisites.

The aura of the music can be described as aggressive, hostile and dangerous. Thankfully, this does not appear false or artificial. Irrespective of this, the authentic attitude is not the only strength of the band. The talent for a stirring songwriting is their most distinctive feature. The running order of the nine songs does not really matter because they are all of the same kind. More explicitly, if you like the opener, you will enjoy the entire album. Fortunately, it is very easy to be fascinated by the first piece. While avoiding an useless intro, it points the way due to its unleashed guitars and its rapidly maltreated drums. The long proven thrash metal combination of sharp riffs and vibrant beats still works. This is also continuously demonstrated by the following songs. Without pausing for breath, they are taking the same line as the furious opener while creating an increasing intensity. To pick out the first among equals: "SS-18 Satan" gets the award for the most memorable riff. Furthermore, this musical grenade offers a sinister bridge while its chorus is provided with catchy staccato shouting.

But luckily there is no big distance between the best and the worst track on this jaw-dropping album. Honestly, I cannot tell you which song is the least convincing. I like them all, because these wild daredevils proudly raise the rancid flag of belligerent old school thrash. Acoustic guitars and other harmless things are not required. Quite the contrary, the band just wants to attack - and the guys do it in a very efficient way. This includes the songs with a slightly slower pace, too. This noteworthy balance constitutes the major improvement in comparison with the debut. "Command" offered the unbeatable self-titled band anthem as well as tracks that did not meet highest standards. It is therefore noted that Axegressor have improved without crossing the border of the genre. They know what they stand for - and to be open to foreign influences is not a value in itself.

It goes without saying that some people might be of the opinion that these stubborn guys from Finland know only one songwriting formula. That is something I will not contradict. These people are right in some way. It is obvious that Axegressor do not like changes. But who cares for that? The band members (and a high number of thrash metal freaks, if I am not mistaken) do not give a damn about such accusations. And their recently published third album shows again a self-confident band.