The Axis of Perdition - _Deleted Scenes From the Transition Hospital_
(Code666, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (6 out of 10)
Weird just got a whole lot weirder with this second full-length from The Axis of Perdition. Its predecessors (_The Ichneumon Method_ and an EP titled _Physical Illucinations in the Sewer of Xuchilbara_) already were more than a little on the odd side of things, but _Deleted Scenes From the Transition Hospital_ far exceeds them in that respect. Apparently inspired by Lovecraft and the "Silent Hill" series of games, _DSFtTH_ mixes cold, futuristic black metal (including a very obvious drum machine) with industrial-tinged, deranged atmospherics. The catch is that the emphasis is actually more on the atmospheric side of things this time around -- which is a risk not a lot of bands tend to take in this genre.

_DSFtTH_ certainly tries its damnedest to provide anything but an easy listen. Dissonant guitars (occasionally bearing a vague resemblance to some slower sections of present day Blut Aus Nord), pretty insane vocals and unnerving noises abound throughout the album, and no effort is made to captivate the listener with catchy riffs or breaks. There is not even any real emphasis on instrumental aggression. In other words, it is pointless to go into this sonic hallucination with any conventional musical expectations; The Axis of Perdition simply refuse to cater to any of that. On a couple of occasions, hints of recent Ulver can arguably be found (the end of "Pendulum Prey" and the whole of "One Day You Will Understand Why"); those moments of respite stand out from the surrounding madness, and to my ears that is when the album is at its best.

While the extensive atmospherics succeed in being quite creepy most of the time, they fail to retain the listener's undivided attention for long periods. Similarly, the metal sections, where broken riffs meet mostly abstract vocals and matching synthetic rhythms, are generally interesting on a conceptual level but have little replay value. In the end, _DSFtTH_ tends to be a good album to play in the background while you're doing something else, but a chore to sit through otherwise.


(article published 26/4/2005)

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