Crushing Axes

Undead Warrior

Written by: EW on 09/01/2015 22:45:52

Crushing Axes is the solo band of one Alexandre Rodrigues from São Paulo, Brazil, a living embodiment of the democratic world of underground extreme metal. The man wants to write, record and release independent of label? Hell, go for it, and 9 ‘albums’ since 2008 suggest he has, although not unlike some of those others, this is less an album than a 6-track 20-minute EP. Joining metal’s never-say-die horde of (undead) warriors worldwide to record albums is one thing, but doing it to a degree that anyone outside of your friends and family should be roused to give a damn is another thing entirely, a feeling I had from the instant "Death and Honour" first emerged from my speakers. There is the very typical issue of "Undead Warrior" being supremely redolent of basic, home recording techniques with minimal attention given to mastering or soundscaping and the again-not-atypical lack of songwriting or performance panache to consider in judging it, two fairly major setbacks which make a mockery of the other gradings I have read online.

This is a minimalist, slightly groovy death metal-lite style propagated by Rodrigues (and apparently for the first time, a real human drummer) that has seemingly fooled other ‘reviewers’ into confusing ‘primitive’ as ‘acceptable’. The production is actually clean, yet lacking in weight, depth and a rhythmic presence, but not ‘primitive’ like Deiphago, or early Sepultura, is primitive. ‘Hollow’ might be another word due to the amount of space in the sound spectrum left unoccupied either by extra guitar tracks, dissonance, feedback or drum attack, any of the features that tend to make even less extreme death metal acts more sonically punishing than this. Given these gripes any level of recognition is sadly unattainable, but the starkness of the song-writing in five of the six tracks (the Amon Amarth-esque melodic leanings mark out "Painted People" from the rest) sees the album blow it’s load on first listen, leaving little to discover on further listens. Save for the odd solo in the likes of "Killing Ground" and "Hear the Sacrifice”, the straightforward compositions bring to mind Six Feet Under musically (never, ever a good thing) and to a lesser extent, vocally, with the gruff monotone delivery not inspiring deathly vitality as should be the case.

I love that metal allows the likes of Rodrigues to display his creativity without commercial pressure, but the food chain exists to allow the strongest to prosper, and ultimately, the weakest to remain in the shadows.


Download: Killing Ground, Painted People
For The Fans Of: Six Feet Under
Listen: Facebook

Release date 02.11.2014

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