Axis Powers
Marching Towards Destruction

There is no dearth of bands aping the Stockholm death metal sound, is there? In fact, there almost seems to have been an upsurge the last couple of years, part of which is surely attributable to Daniel Ekeroth’s Swedish Death Metal book and the renewed notoriety it has brought to the sub-genre. That brings us to Axis Powers, a Swedish group that features members of Suicidal Winds. The band does the Stockholm style justice on Marching Towards Destruction, though certainly doesn’t expand upon it.

At a just-right 35 minutes the album contains no filler, including a rather cool instrumental intro (complete with an opening battle-sounds sequence) called “Marching Towards Destruction (from San Francisco to Stockhom).” The theme is obviously war-fed (as in “…real-life adaptations of the horrific incidents of the cruel war and militaristic concepts”), but given the parenthetical part of that intro’s title, one wonders whether a double-meaning is also involved (sorry, I don’t have the lyrics).

Marching Towards Destruction is no Of Frost and War (Hail of Bullets), but it is a solid and wholly entertaining Swede-death romp that proudly takes cues from the likes of Dismember. Not surprisingly, the sound is evocative of the Sunlight Studios classic period (even though it was actually recorded at Studio Evocation) right down to those motor-buzz bass lines. The songwriting ain’t too shabby either. The style is straight ahead, yet not overly simplistic. The group mixes up the arrangements fairly well (speed-kill to mid-tempo crush, etc, like on “Artillery Pointing West”), incorporates decent chorus melodies (e.g. “War of Attrition”), and tosses in some guitar leads that are not only tuneful, but also quite sinister (“Brutal War,” “Outbreak of the Blitz”). The little twists here and there, such as the cool bass line intro to “Mankind Dead and Raped” and the guitar harmony on “Slowly to Decay,” make a difference too. Just brace yourself for the massive explosion (as in “boom!”) that follows the final cut. It actually made me jump.

Nothing to really bitch about on Marching Towards Destruction and fans of the Stockholm sound should enjoy what Axis Powers have wrought. Just don’t look for musical reinvention or album-of-the-year material. Just enjoy it. I know I did.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
April 24th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Im really digging this-might have to pick it up


  2. Commented by: poopdick

    it is awesome


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