3/1/2013 - Review by: Eric Compton
Tons of metalcore dishes being served right now, almost an over abundance of this sub-genre mixed in with an already polluted hard rock database currently. Seems more often than not these new bands are either 'core or hard rock and the middle ground has slowly eroded away. Nevertheless, I still find plenty to like about both genres and Axewound is no different. This UK band by way of Canada is actually one of those super group bands that get thrown around as if supergroup is an actual word. The band is made up of Matthew Tuck (Bullet For My Valentine) on rhythm guitar and vocals, Joe Copcutt (ex-Rise To Remain) on bass, Mike Kingswood (Glamour Of The Kill) on lead, Jason Bowld (Pitchshifter) on drums and Liam Conner (Cancer Bats) on vocal duty. There's your super group and here's my take on the thing...
This album seriously throws around some aggression and chaos both musically and lyrically, both having a ferocious bite of their own. I'm a huge Bullet For My Valentine fan so it's great to see Matt Tuck involved here. His clean vocals run the gambit of most songs, sort of entwined here and there as intros, spoken word parts or consuming the chorus bits. The album also gets the "super" treatment from all star Machine (this guy is so great he actually uses that as his name). Machine is well known for his immense production skills, previously employed by the likes of Demon Hunter, Protest The Hero and Miss May I. This guy seriously understands the need to have twin guitar flowing right up front and having those bass slaps reverberate like endless echoes.
"Vultures" is extremely tight knit and well thought out considering how many riffs and arrangements it has. We get tons of aggression out of Conner's high shrieking wails, countered perfectly by Tuck's clean singing and the occasional mix of the two together. That sort of harmony brings life to "Cold" (also a video), a benefit rich track that is based on the thrash riff and built around Tuck's clean register through the chorus parts. That same sort of chemistry helps feed the brutal hunger of "Exochrist", an electrical charge of riffs and down grooved mosh. Avenged Sevenfold's Synester Gates drops by for a soaring lead in the middle of title track "Vultures". The band really throw a wrench in the gears with "Collide", a slower clean vocal track that features a large atmospheric element courtesy of strong keys.
I've really been excited about this project for a while. I think at the end of the day "Vultures" is still painting one the same canvas that countless other metalcore bands are utilizing. I believe the amount of talent and the creative process is really thick with Axewound which elevates the band beyond the average realm. If you are fan of the bands being represented here or if you dig acts like Rise To Remain then this UK-Canadian sensation is definitely fueling your fire.
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