Album Review: AxeWound – Vultures
Posted by Reggie
What is another name for a vagina? Apparently, it’s AxeWound which happens to be the name of the new British-Canadian collaboration formed in 2012. According to co-founder Matt Tuck of Bullet For My Valentine, AxeWound looks like a vagina and sounds “metal as fuck.” The five-piece was also co-founded by Liam Cormier of Canada’s Cancer Bats. Other members of the band are former members of Rise To Remain, Pitchshifter, and Glamour Of The Kill. Needless to say, this is an experienced grouping of musicians coming together to create some cool metal. This could be the start of something cool or a disaster waiting to crumble under the pressure of the band’s pedigree. As far as the band’s title, it sure does sound metal, but if you look at the album cover very closely…leans more toward something else.
The first song I got to hear from Vultures was Cold which left me slightly disappointed. I didn’t think it was bad, but it was obvious to me this was the song they (or the label) wanted to release to appeal to a wider audience. My limited research on the band prior to listening was that AxeWound was heavier and something you would not hear from either Bullet For My Valentine or Cancer Bats. Cold sounds exactly what you would hear from Bullet For My Valentine. Though it’s good metal, it just wasn’t what I expected or wanted to hear.
I bought the album anyway and it didn’t take long to realize there is more substance than the commercialized first release of Cold. The first three tracks on the album, Vultures, Post Apocalyptic Party, and Victim of the System are all full of thrashy angst-ridden metal tempos I wanted very much to hear. These three introductory songs certainly validated my feeling toward Cold which was probably recorded for the masses. At this point I began to feel I got my monies worth on taking a chance with Vultures.
After Cold, the album regains its Thrash momentum with Burn Alive. Here, Tuck takes on the chorus with his clean vocal range which offset’s Cormier’s growling style. Overall, it is probably the heaviest song on the album. Exorchrist, is a bit more toned down and wouldn’t you know it, the second song on Vultures to have its own video. Though a bit more commercialized it is still more ballsy than Cold. This would have made a cool first impression for a band that touted themselves as heavier than their primary day jobs.
Collide is a metal ballad and quite well done. It starts with a piano intro and develops into a heavier song while retaining its somber appeal. If they make a third video I wouldn’t be surprised if this was it. Collide is a more mellow, but powerful song. Destroy, Blood Money and Lies, and Church of Nothing round out the album in Thrash metal glory. All three songs define what the band wanted to do…not sound like their primary gigs. Though I don’t know much about Cancer Bats, most of these songs wouldn’t fit on a BFMV album. Mission objectives met…despite having just a few mass appeal songs.
With collaboration such as AxeWound, you get the added benefit of two vocalists. Though Cormier is primary, there are plenty of Tuck’s complimentary vocals to offset the sickness of Cormier’s vocal range. Tempos and rhythms that are a reminiscent of their primary bands do bleed through to AxeWound, but not enough to take away from the fresh sound of a new collaboration band. Speaking of collaboration bands, AxeWound sure has put a lot into something that isn’t their bread and butter…two videos and touring circuit? This seems more than just a side project. I believe BFMV just wrapped recording their latest album, so we’ll see if working on AxeWound shaped any bit of BFMV’s newest work…like made it heavier than Fever. We shall see.
Overall, I enjoyed this album. There are more songs on Vultures with substance than those that have simple mass appeal. It is chock full of guitar solos, changing tempos, double bass, and all around general angriness that makes a Thrash album worth listening to. It’s one that will take a full listen to appreciate, but if you are looking for pretty straightforward Thrash, this just might be what you need.