Artist: Axis of Advance
Album Title: Purify
This is an EP from Axis of Advance, a Canadian band playing chaotic black/thrash/madness metal.
The sound on this EP is a lot thicker than on their last album, Obey. That album had a crisp production, but the guitars on Purify are far more distorted, and the sound is heavy on the bass and drums. If you've heard their other albums, the sound on this one is a bit hard to get used to at first, but after extended listening, I think it's a great choice -- this EP sounds harsh as hell!
In terms of songwriting, Purify combines the chaotic riff structure of Strike with the catchy and doomy moments of The List and Obey. The result is an album that's both easy to follow along with and blindingly complex. Purify definitely rewards persistent study... you'll need a good set of headphones if you want to get the most out of this one.
"Foundation: Artifice Descends" alternates between harsh dissonance and a rousing, martial riff. The drumming here is, as always, impeccable. The vocal timing is pretty special, as well!
The meat-grinder guitar work on "Deceivers Purged" is classic Axis of Advance, as is the vicious breakdown. This song is just plain crazy, a heedless charge toward victory with no mercy in sight. The few glimpses of clarity feel painfully triumphant.
"Edifice: The Power of Three" starts off with one of the most appropriate samples I've ever heard on a metal record. Compared to the rest of the album, this one is positively mid-paced. There's plenty of doomy atmosphere to be had, including a breathtaking slow part at the end.
The opening to the re-recording of "Tactics Forth" is excellent -- as always, these guys have astute and powerful lyrics. This is quite an inspiring song, with meaningful words, an aggressive chorus and snarling guitars.
"Pinnacle: Hail The End" opens up with an odd, almost spaghetti-western whistle. After that, precise riffing takes over. The atmosphere on this song is bleak and harsh, especially during the central doom section. This is as heavy as this band gets... which is to say, fucking HEAVY. The vocals on this song are outstanding!
As Axis of Advance albums go, Purify is right up there with Obey and Strike, despite its slightly shorter duration. There's no filler here -- these are some of the best songs Axis of Advance have ever written. You get five excellent songs at an EP price, so there's no excuse for not getting Purify! Highest recommendations.
Standout Tracks: "Edifice: The Power of Three", "Tactics Forth", "Pinnacle: Hail The End"