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Mavorim - Axis Mundi Award winner

Axis Mundi
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 02 February 2020, 7:12 AM

Another day, another one man Black Metal band.  Seriously, what is it with these types of Black Metal bands?  They all kick ass.  MAVORIM and their second full length, “Axis Mundi,” is another one to add to that list.  This album grabbed me from the moment and never let go—the furious, caustic sounds of Black Metal combined with ambient tones really hit the spot for me.  This album has impractical ideas and the guts to make them work.

The opening track, “Weltenberg,” is an interesting, and almost playful, intro.  The quiet tones in the beginning are joined by well placed keys and snare. The song ends on the same ominous ones from which it began. The intro’s feel continues on with the second track, “Aus Asche auferstanden.”  Razor sharp riffs, intense drumming, and really well executed Blackened vocals fill up the foreground for some damn good Black Metal.  The song’s backdrop are the ambient textures and keys—they sound odd but somehow work expertly with the rest of the music.  The song just stops the drop of a hat for those keys to have their own moment before the riffs return.  Despite the sudden change, the song never did anything beyond its means—all the elements worked like they were meant to.

The fourth track, “Wie ein Sturm,” is more of a straight ahead approach but P. plays the instruments with such emotion and conviction that it rises above most Black Metal tropes and there is never a dull moment. “Der Himmel bricht entzwei,” begins with the odd keyboard sounds that doesn’t really prepare you for the sonic fury that comes afterwards—but, again, all these elements, noises, and sounds fit in perfectly.  A large reason for this, is the songs always come back to those aspects and keep them included with the Black Metal.  The halfway point of this song displays that—with beautifully layered textures and tones that really bring to another side of this strange but fascinating world.

Verbannt in Dunkelheit,” is one of my favorite songs on the album.  The baroque intro sets a classical tone, just touching on the edges of gentle innocence before being wiped away by the assault of riffs,lead guitar and impeccable drumming.   The middle portion is a clean passage that ties the song together. The title track, “Axis Mundi,” focuses more on riffs than some of the other songs—which is great because this song is a riff fest.  Seriously catchy grooves worm their way through the track as do more melodic moments.  The guitar solo towards the later half the song leads into a tunnel of pummeling riffs and insane vocals.  I’m a firm believer that title tracks should always be badass and this one definitely is..and then some.

MAVORIM’s “Axis Mundi,” is a truly special Black Metal album with a wide range of interesting ideas and allure.  I love Black Metal and with releases like this, it isn’t hard to see why.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this album makes some top albums lists for 2020 because it has incredible staying power.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Weltenberg
2. Aus Asche Auferstanden
3. Wo kriegergleiche Krafte walten
4. Wie ein Sturm
5. Die letzte Festung
6. Die Ufer von Thule
7. Der Himmel bricht entzwei
8. Verbannt in Dunkelheit
9. Königsjäger
10. Axis Mundi
11. Hyperborea
12. Wie ein Sturm \[feat. Revenant]
13. Kaiserjägerlied (Minenwerfer cover)
P. - Vocals, All Instruments
Record Label: Purity Through Fire


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Edited 08 February 2023

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