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Axemaster - Crawling Chaos

Axemaster
Crawling Chaos
by Stew Metallion Taylor at 27 November 2017, 11:22 AM

AXEMASTER have been around since 1982 as part of the North American underground Metal scene. Guitarist Joe Sims the original founder and constant member has changed the name a couple of times to THE AWAKENING (1991-1995) and INNER TERROR (2008-2010) before reviving the AXEMASTER title in recent years. The band recorded “Overture To  Madness” in 2015, their first studio album in 15 years. They return some two years later with “Crawling Chaos”, which introduces lead guitarist Damin Bennett. The sound of the record is solid traditional Heavy Metal with focus on the word Heavy. The album cover is an impressive painting of a city besieged by a gargoyle or octopus monster with people running for their lives from the “Crawling Chaos”.

The opening track is “10,000 Pound Hammer” which is a brilliant title for a Heavy Metal song. The tune says exactly what it is about, which is to hammer your brain with Metal. It is a slow doomy heavy crunching dirge along the lines of early BLACK SABBATH. It’s a dirge in a good way, though, and is an apt opener for an album called “Crawling Chaos”. The title track follows with a fade in bass, drilling guitars and blasting vocals by Geoff McGraw. Frenetic and frantic duel guitar attack covers the songs courtesy of new guy Damin Bennett and original member Joe Sims. This is about as traditional as Heavy Metal gets. “Aldar Rof” has IRON MAIDEN style galloping guitars and an apocalyptical theme. This has more of a catchy feel and is quite a memorable track. “Axes of Evil” begins with a haunting riff and rhythm section, before moving into a quick-paced rhythm that gets the head banging. In fact, there is a spoken intro that proclaims “terror, hard, death” from some old movie just to get you in the mood.

“Flowers For The Dead” has a bass intro before smashing in with a volley of riffs and great lyric delivery by Geoff McGraw. Damon Bennett delivers some great guitar work on this track with eerie beginning and end solos. “Shallow Grave” has a slow acoustic intro before building up into a heavy riff-fest with soaring vocals and a full-on Power Metal end. “Mystify The Dream Hypnotic” is an instrumental break between the pounding Metal and provides and eerie musical compliment to the chaos theme.  “Knight of Pain” is another full on head banger along with “Bravado” and both have a thunderous Metal delivery.

All in all, AXEMASTER deliver a solid traditional Metal collection. Perhaps a bit dated and not super-memorable but these tracks will get your head banging. The songs are somewhat standard Metal; however, Damin Bennett does add plenty of nice soloing in traditional Metal and classically tinged fretwork. I imagine the thunderous style of the songs will work well live too.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. 10,000 Pound Hammer
2. Crawling Chaos
3. Axes of Evil
4. Flowers for the Dead
5. Mystify the Dream Hypnotic
6. Aldar Rof
7. Shallow Grave
8. Death Before Dishonor
9. Bravado
10. Knight of Pain
Lineup:
Geoff McGraw - Vocals
Joe Sims - Guitar
Damin Bennett - Guitar
Denny Archer - Drums
Jim Curtis - Bass
Record Label: Pure Steel Records
     


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Edited 16 December 2017
 

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