Crushing Axes – Ascension Of Ules

Band: Crushing Axes
Album: Ascension Of Ules
Release date: August 2011
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/Avant-garde/Experimental Noise
Label: Self-released

‘Ascension Of Ules’ is an album by the Brazilian, one-man death metal project Crushing Axes. According to the mastermind behind the band, Alexandre Rodrigues, Crushing Axes’ lyrics focus on “norse mythology and the dark side of human mind/soul”.

The symphonic keyboard intro to ‘Decay of the Almighty’ makes me question the death metal tag. Don’t get me wrong, I like it but keyboard and violin-esque noise are not exactly what you would expect to hear from a supposedly melodic death metal artist. Things get even stranger with the next track ‘Awakening’; an instrumental with some medieval sounding choir noises akin to that of a monastery and more violin effects and acoustic guitar.

Yep, this is the definition of experimental music. It’s one of those albums where you really don’t know what the next track will bring. Parts of this don’t even resemble metal, take ‘Journey Through The Dark’ for instance; it features what sounds like an attempt to simulate a church organ. Luckily there is some hints of death metal here too, mostly in the growly vocals and the guitar riffs, albeit only at times. I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the vocals on ‘Abyss of Death’, he’s clearly trying to say something but I can’t make out a single word apart from “Can’t stay forever…”

Then there’s more church organs on ‘Misanthropy’, which also features march drums before a brief return to the melodic death metal. ‘Flagellated Mind’ features guest vocals by Jéssica Araújo and combined with the keyboard/piano it produces a pleasant-sounding, tranquil song that has absolutely nothing to do with metal. Speaking of which, I think I just heard some death metal guitar riffs and growls…. Yes, this album does have some, albeit very few highlights and ‘Bloodpaint’ is definitely one of them. Then the weirdness resumes with the subsequent tracks, most notably ‘A Flash Of Memories’ which offers a bizarre mix folk music complete with flute noises and electronica.

2.5/ 5- very strange indeed

Iza Raittila

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