(Running time: 43:49 minutes; 10 songs)
("Pure Steel Records"; 2017; CD):
Hey folks, I hope all is going fine'n'well this week so far, yes, and here you now get my newest 'load' aiming at you, finally... so to say..., and this new(est) 'load' is my newest record-review up here for you and this time it will be all about the (brand)new AXEMASTER full-length-album "CRAWLING CHAOS" that was released still (more or less) pretty recently at the end of 2017 via "PURE STEEL RECORDS" and it is the newest release of/by this already 'longer-running' US Metal veterans (they are around, if my informations are correct, now already since 1982) hailing from out of Ohio/U.S.A. but it is anyhow my very first 'session' with them. Why the hell ever... This album sort of left me wondering, and it left me wondering a lot... hm... nah, that's wrong said, totally wrong, because it is not the album that left or leaves me wondering (a lot) but more the weird fact that I so far haven't read any sort of positive review(s) on it and that's something that I definitely can't understand, period. I mean, okay, maybe so far I just have constantly sort of checked out the wrong sources or so but anyhow this from my point of view surely weird fact really left and still leaves me wondering and this quite a lot. Judging by the bandname and the label and maybe also by looking at the albumtitle (and maybe also taking their discography so far in account but that is something I can't say anything profund about and so I'll spare me any words more about it) you maybe sort of expect a true Heavy Metal and/or through and through Power Metal album and considering the heritage of AXEMASTER surely with a strong US Metal touch to it all; while the (absoulte fantastic) coverartwork maybe could give you the impression that a Thrash Metal album is coming at you... and while this is definitely US Metal of the strong US american Heavy Metal (or Power Metal) kind and so to say American Heavy Metal, yes, but this all comes with a strong focus on powerful grooves, heavy hitting mid tempo, and really a far bigger concentration on crushing riffs and harsh rhythm structures and arrangements than on 'open' melody-lines and symphonic singing leads. Terms or words like 'modern' and especially the comparisons with PANTERA I, personally, find absoultely not-matching and so you won't read that bullcrap here and now written down by me, just that you know that. AXEMASTER deliver here on and with and via or what the hell else ever "CRAWLING CHAOS" a really heavy bastard of an (U.S.) American Heavy Metal album with a major focus on deep and heavy grooves and all the time slightly to more openly 'doomy' rhythm structures and a all in all very tight and dense sinister atmosphere and all delivered with a really big load of intensity. This is pretty self-contained and so any comparision(s) with other bands are pretty hard, hm, but maybe AXEMASTER's "CRAWLING CHAOS" is what you get when you mix SAVATAGE (their Heavy Metal/Power Metal 'phase') with some VICIOUS RUMORS (surely probably more their 1990's phase) with a big load of BLACK SABBATH and sort of 'today's' CANDLEMASS, yes, maybe... but please just use this as a very loose description and so only as a very loose starting point for your first 'session' with AXEMASTER's "CRAWLING CHAOS" so that you are sort of prepared for what will hit you when you put it on for the first time. And also don't expect an 'easy ride', hell no, because "CRAWLING CHAOS" is a very intense album that's packed up full with fresh'n'rich surprises and that's also beneath the heavy hitting rhythms and the 'doomy' grooves waiting with a lot of nicely varying diversity and a lot of exciting, grapping, and surely tension-building twists'n'turns in the compositions, the arrangements, and the song structures so that you should really do yourself the big favor and the album the very-well-deserved justice to give it some good intense listening rounds because it really holds a lot to discover in store for you if you just give it the space'n'time and allow it to grow on you. The exciting, and strong, and pretty unconventional songwriting, all done by very well-skilled musicians anyhow, is the strongest trademark of AXEMASTER's "CRAWLING CHAOS", definitely, but also its ingredients really convince, oh yes, and first and foremost I have to mention the heavy crushing guitars and that yet still come up all the time with a very big to huge amount of melodies, (twin) leads, and great solos at the right moments and in the right portions. Yes, really strong. And then also the first class lead vocals really deliver the goods, yes, and I like especially that the arrangements of the verses (as well as their delivery) is more than often as strong as the arrangements of the refrains (also, as well as their delivery) and they have also a pretty strong own character and identity to it; and btw AXEMASTER also create quite a big bunch of really hymnal tracks. The stunning and damn harsh rhythm section then finally delivers to point and gives the songs a surely very strong punch. If you want to know my personal favorites then that would probably be "10.000 POUND HAMMER", "FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD", "ALDAR ROF", "DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR", "BRAVADO", and "KNIGHT OF PAIN", yes, so maybe check this heavy hitters out first. Surely not every track is a killer, for example especially "AXES OF EVIL" simply refuses to grab me and speak to/with me, but anyhow, this is a surely very strong (to great) album that definitely deserves your attention and it gives you really much for this in return, really much, and I simply can't understand all the negative reviews that I've read mostly on it so far... maybe that's what happens when you only listen to an album one or two times while it is playing in the background while you prep your meals in the kitchen (or what the hell else ever) and then instantly write your review on it while never really did pay proper attention to it and never do justice to it... but at the end, yes, who am I to judge... I just hope I did a somehow more 'valuable' and more 'justice-to-it-doing' record-review on it anyhow with my writing here on/about it and that you got sort of curious about/for it. Very interesting and thought-provoking lyrics, a great artwork with this pheneomenal and fantastic H.P. Lovecraft inspired cover (Chtulu is rising!!!), and a very organic and dirty and yet pretty heavy and good production sound (only the drum sound isn't really that strong; but also not a total catastrophe, so to say) finally round it all up. At the end of the day I simnply can only calmly and clearly recommend AXEMASTER's "CRAWLING CHAOS" to you and so make sure to check it out or (even better) buy it instantly. And now for today, yes, I say good night to you and more again sooner or later up here, yes, and so just stay tuned for more to come.
(8,5 of 10 points)
http://axemasterofficial.com/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)
AXEMASTER - "10.000 POUND HAMMER" (2017, "CRAWLING CHAOS")