Axemaster – ‘Crawling Chaos’   8 comments

Lead guitarist Joe Sims formed Axemaster in 1985. Their initial 4 releases, ‘Slave To The Blade’, ‘Blessing In The Skies’, ‘The Vision’ and ‘Crusades’ were produced with the original line-up and the latter 3 launched by Azra International Records, who also featured them on their own ‘Metalgon’ compilation, as did comedy horror film, ‘Killer Nerd’, in that release.

Following the standard line-up changes, the band’s creative ideas changed and they became ‘The Awakening’. However, Joe Sims remains the only original member to perform on each release. Future re-issues and re-releases of both original and new material, by Unisound Records, showed, by its popularity, that Axemaster was still very much in public demand. After the success of the re-launches, the original line-up reunited, in 2007, re-releasing ‘Blessing In The Skies’, via Burning Star Records. This re-union did not last long, as the band members all went on to form a new band and commenced another project.

Fast forward to 2010 and Joe Sims re-launched the original Axemaster, with a line-up consisting of current and new members, a new album was begun and in 2014, a deal was signed with Pure Steel Records (Germany). Their full-length album, ‘Overture To Madness’, was launched in 2015. The band toured the album for a year, added a new guitarist, making a first for 2 lead guitarists in Axemaster. That time was also spent prepping and producing new songs, recorded in 2016, as ‘Crawling Chaos’, released in 2017, by Pure Steel Records. ‘C.C.’ is 10 tracks of traditional Axemaster, combining doom and thrash, with traditional heavy-metal, showcasing Axemaster’s growth, whilst continuing to pay homage to their beginnings. ‘C.C.’ is  highly internationally acclaimed, within the music press, cementing its reputation as Axemaster’s most successful, memorable album so far.

Just before this release, Pure Steel issued some re-releases of Axemaster’s older material, as a collector’s edition, on vinyl, with enhanced re-mastered sound. The combo of Axemaster’s signature sounds and the wide-scale media exposure they’ve always received has greatly enhanced their multi-generational popularity. This fact, added to their continued consistent perseverance and positive, forward-thinking approach is anticipated to guarantee them even more success in future.

10,000 Pound Hammer – Instant, mind blowing, explosive intro, with some cool relaxed touches on the riffs. Loud as hell and metal as fuck. Crushing sound, loaded with steel reinforcements, a huge metallic atmosphere, confidently performed, ending on a harder than hell drum section and a fabulously timed, electric fade-out riff. That’s what you call a powerful intro!

Crawling Chaos – Opening gradually, on a much more meditative, enigmatic tone. A healthy dose of mystery enshrouds this, without losing any of the heaviness. An adventurous, fantastical theme develops within this, artistically depicted, through an increasingly dramatic aural soundscape. Visually evocative, with the gathering pace to match.

Axes Of Evil – Unusual start, even more visual, in its scene setting of national emergency and terror. Particularly skilled in the tension building stakes and the strategic placing of sirens, helicopter rotors and especially that gorgeously arranged whammy and vibrato section. All the time, it gathers strength, maintaining that powerful volume and world-class production level. A carefully, but boldly constructed track, with enough strength for an army.

Flowers For The Dead – A gentler, but still profound intro, utilising a triangle and a short, delicate section, before quickly seguing into the heavier aspect, where the vocals come into their own. You’ll hear them lift off a few bars in, showcasing their vibrant strength, before the guitars do the same. There’s a real versatility to this track, showing the interplay between light, profundity and heavy, uplifting elements.

Mystify The Dream Hypnotic – Heart beat introing this time, moving, seamlessly, into a flamenco-esque acoustic section, of surprising power. As the guitars join together, in literally, perfect harmony, the ethereal mood captivates. A brief, but incredibly affecting instrumental.

Aldar Rof – Banging drum intro now, joined by intensely heavy Slayer-esque riffs. Soaring vocals, with striking lyrics add to the massive atmosphere, fitting expertly, between warlike battle scenes and gently sporadic mystery. Always, though, that hard-line signature sound remains, bringing a strength of inexplicable magnitude to the fore.

Shallow Grave – A classic, Dio-esque breeze of wind intro’s, in true ‘Holy Diver’ style. From this point on, the vocals show their gentler side, before gaining in volume and strength once more, in sync with the equally heavy accompaniments. The pace heats up, increasing the momentum again, as those riffs entrench their mark, with a real physicality, matched by the closing drums. That’s what stands out most within this track – that natural momentum and tension. Axemaster are aces at creating and building that sense.

Death Before Dishonour – Wow, now that’s a proper heavy-metal drum blast intro! Rolling forward, like a heavy-metal steamroller, there’s true passion shining through this song. In fact, the vocal strength is huge, as is the plausibility coming through in the riffs and generally everywhere else. They’ve really gone for it here, throwing every ounce of aggression and feeling into it, ending on a classic trad metal closing drum and riff section, enhancing the realness of the whole thing.

Bravado – Another all-time true heavy metal intro, with the timing to match. Heavily rhythmic, the flow’s absolutely seamless and so involving. There’s a playful, yet sincere sense to the riffs, growing heavier towards the end, synching so well with the drum rhythms, as it rocks along, till the end. This has got to be one of the catchier ones, holding immediate crowd-pleasing appeal.

Knight Of Pain – Great steel string intro! Mightily heavy and loaded with metal intent. Again, there’s audible band chemistry, leading the charge. It’s just fuelled with energy and vigour, exuded by the riff melodies and metallic beats throughout. Effective and engaging, from start to finish, true metal warriors are alive and well.

Overall – The definitive proof that metal is still very much alive and thriving. Rest assured, if ‘Crawling Chaos’ is anything to go by, then the future of metal is safe in the capable and passionate hands of Axemaster.

10/10 **********

For fans of trad, classic heavy metal, with new spins and twists. sub_confirmation=1
(featuring lengthy clips of each track on ‘Overture To Madness’).

Posted February 23, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

8 responses to “Axemaster – ‘Crawling Chaos’

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