Artist: Axis of Advance
Album Title: Strike
Label: Death to Mankind
This is the first full-length album from Axis of Advance, a band which rose from the ashes of Sacramentary Abolishment.
I've often wondered why the S.A./Axis of Advance sound isn't more-imitated. They're certainly one of the more interesting and distinctive bands out there - lightning fast, thrashy Black Metal combined with precision instrumentation and complex songwriting. It may well be that this combination is a difficult thing for lesser bands to achieve, however.
This album is light-years ahead of "The Distracting Stone", which was previously one of my favorite albums. This is one you can play again and again, and still not tire of it. It's a concept album of sorts, about someone who must build two pyramids, in order to summon ancient gods to destroy the Earth. The lyrics that Axis of Advance have written to support this idea are quite excellent, making reading the booklet almost as interesting as listening to the album itself.
As for the musical performance, it's as any Sacramentary Abolishment worshipper would expect - brutally fast passages balanced by slower breaks, with Wor's insane screaming battering the eardrums. The precision of the guitar and drums is quite noteworthy here, as nothing seems overly sloppy, even at blistering speeds.
I've already mentioned the lyrics, but the music is equally well-written. It amazes me that a band this fast can be so cohesive. This album very rarely breaks down into "noise", even during the fastest sections - an area where even Sacramentary Abolishment had trouble occasionally. On top of this, the slower sections are perfectly placed to accent the hateful rage of the rest of the album.
This album is absolutely mandatory. Any follower of extreme metal should strongly consider picking this up immediately.
Standout Tracks: "Evanescent Judgement of the Last Era", "Structural Interpretation via Superfluous Union", "Nix the Sphere"