I would probably have been too much of a bastard if I were to highlight this review as the next "That's not metal!" feature. I'll consider it as a normal review for the time being; There certainly is some metal, hiding away in the darkest corners of the music, but then again, there is sometimes cheese in what the unsuspecting American considers to be cheese. It's the most generic of generic strains of groove-metal, but it's probably enough for me think about it fairly coherently. The album has the character of a cocktail consisting of chocolate-milk and tequila. On the outside, it might look smooth, inviting and full of flavour, but within moments, you begin to question what on earth you've just allowed yourself to consume. If I hadn't known beforehand who the musicians involved were, the artwork would have given me a degree of hope, but alas, there is little. Generic groove-metal tough-guy themes, combined with the superficial angst of the school of metal-core. Bullet For My Valentine, one of the bands to contribute a member to the super-group, have had one of their mothers wrap some of this angst in cling-film and sent it along in Matt Tuck's lunch-box so that all of his friends can try a piece. To be controversial, however, Bullet For My Valentine have definitely got their moments - they have fun and catchy songs sometimes, and I don't deny to enjoying them at one time or another, and I care not for the stigma. Axe Wound, however, just don't have the fun factor - Music for fourteen year-olds should at least activate some of the dusty neurons associated with my inner fourteen year old. Bullet can still do that, and Axe Wound can't. No matter how many times they say "Fuck" in their music. It just doesn't have much energy or catchiness.
The problem isn't that the band are a metalcore band - I may not care for the genre, but I still recognise that there are bands which are good at playing it, and others that aren't. Axewound seem to encounter problems when it comes to making music which has a feeling of substance. The musicianship is tight, and the whole thing seems to work, but at the same time, it sounds like the ghost of an album. Like I said, there are certainly metalcore albums which I've had some fun listening to, but this one seems to be too generic even for a genre which has been done to death. It sounds almost self parodying, while at the same time trying very hard to be metal, which is a bit like watching an infant try to play with a blender - The results could be detrimental for everyone involved, but at the same time, it's interesting to watch what happens. Ultimately, the album will probably do it's job - it certainly ticks the boxes of the average metalcore fan, or perhaps the pen runs out half-way through the box ticking process, sending the fan into an unhappy spiral of how brutal and harsh life is, and how unique their entirely universal feelings are. Either way, they might write a poem about it, or, if the groove metal side appeals to them, maybe go to the gym. Essentially, what I'm trying to say, in a very mean manner, is that while it doesn't appeal to me much, it's probably fairly tolerable to the people who are actually into this kind of thing.
If you found this review looking for positive reviews to back-up your already high opinion of the album, then discount my opinion - That is, after all, what it is. I felt like bringing down fiery justice on some mallcore kids, and that is what I've done today. I couldn't think of anything else to review, either. I'm going to go and listen to a lot of Venom now to restore musical stasis to my system.
This is... about 4/10. It is, nonetheless, better than Lulu, despite the scores not showing this. Frankly, having rented the numbers 1-10 from the numbers-shop, I've not been getting the use of 1-5. Hence this review.
You've got to hand it to them though, of all the metalcore bands I know, they have the least-awful logo.
Axewound Official Site