Axis of Advance - _The List_
(Osmose Productions, 2002)
by: Adam Lineker (
It is hard to believe that a band that makes music this good would call one of their songs "Shitter", but here it is. Having said this, Axis of Advance possess one of the most awkward names in metal history, but forget the ill-conceived conceptuality. _The List_ is an infusion of savagely performed and progressive black metal, forced brutally through low-fi production. With a decidedly early black metal guitar sound, the treble heavy shredding is underpinned by a powerful, thumping bass that sounds absolutely essential in giving the Axis some guts, especially as the drums sound particularly raw. On top of all of this we are given an effective vocal performance that has some light shades of Abbath Doom Occulta. Musically, Axis of Advance transcend their technical limitations with ease. Relentless and powerful, the songs judder along but feel quite absorbing, especially as there is some genuine fire in the performance. There are all kinds of subtle and aggressive moods explored through usage of unusual musical features. The ambience can be cold and suitably militaristic but also can seem chaotic and violent. The crafting of the material on _The List_ is remarkable. The riffs are well put together in effective progressions, making this enjoyable and absorbing. There is also some mastered use of well layered and unorthodox melodics, despite the metal's merciless nature. With innovation and strong musical awareness, Axis of Advance work in a palpable sense of melody amongst all the chaos and cold riffage and behind all of this they sound totally heartless. _The List_ is a superb feat from one of the most unremarkable looking bands on my promo pile this month. It is a shame that they could easily go unnoticed... (hint -- check this out!)
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