Taking a Stab at the Scene …another Cult Indie Review: Axeslasher

Taking a Stab at the Scene –
Another Indie Cult Review – Axeslasher
Anthology of Terror (Vol – 1)
Track Listing
Mark of the Pizzagram
Invasion of the Babesnatchers
Woodland Tortuary
The Axeslasher
Order of the Coven
Gucci Gucci
The Drifter’s Warning
This installment features a band from California; Axeslasher.
The name intrigues me, urging me, more than usually, to write a review.
The cover art is eye catching and quite brilliant. Dressed in 1950’s style dancing attire, a rather shapely lady screams as she is surrounded by various beasties who seem intent and rather excited for the chance to snack upon the teeny bopper. The artwork brings to mind the classic Mars Attacks collectable cards from a bygone era (I really want to state the decade, though I’d probably be wrong and I have no desire to be flooded with emails from people with nothing better to do with their spare time {Editor’s Note – Yeah, me neither so I’m going to fix this now. They were from 1962. I own a few and I’m a nerd. – Renfield}) I also detect a little Lovecraftian mythos and perhaps a little EC comics inspiration (the type which religious groups and parents deplored in the Fifties! Citing them to be a bad influence on children {Editor’s Note – Actually it was the Comic Code Authority. Again, “nerd”.  – Renfield) I can now only wonder at the contents of the album.
Track one, Sign of the Pizzagram, is a interesting choice of a word to use as a “mix up” with the obvious word toyed with being, (I’ll let you guess, first one doesn’t count!) It is an instrumental that builds to quite the climactic thrash attack, showcasing one can only presume to be the style that will grace the ears in the next six songs. A great start to the album that at times is a shade reminiscent of thrash legends Testament. The production and sound are both impressive and each instrument is easily recognizable in the mix.
Invasion of the Babesnatchers is another track with a play on words in the title which alludes perhaps to the band’s tongue in cheek style. Straight out of the gate we are graced with no frilly bullshit what-so-ever, powerful riffs thunder along with an Exodus like feel accompanied with a very enjoyable style of vocal that fits perfectly. A song I’ve listened to three times and am not bored with yet.
Woodland Tortuary is a driving, galloping and chunky riffed tune overall sounding a tad like (Gore obsessed Deathsters) Exhumed, and a little like a more recent Grave (a legendary death act from Germany) It starts with a documentary style spoken observation of bodily remains followed by muffled sobs…”No, not me!..” Oh dear! Now you just know you’re in for a treat.
This song does not disappoint! It’s sure to please fans of both traditional death metal and those more into the splatter side of things. Vocals are both lengthy grunt and blackened thrash growls. They aren’t as understandable as a straight forward singing style, but personally that isn’t a bad thing at all, it’s half the fun!
*Fun Fact: A one page comic strip is included with this release and pertains to this track. The colorful imagery is vivid and wonderfully grisly.
The songs lyrics are penned in with the art. A great bonus and a very nice touch guys. The artist responsible is Tim “Rabbit” Cochran, the premise was to homage the EC comics of yesteryear whilst veering away from “Lyric videos” whose, the band believes, only existence is to raise ad revenues.
A creepy and atmospheric introduction starts track four, Axeslasher. For the briefest moment during the opening minute I was transported back, twenty years, to Entombed’s (genre changing) Left Hand Path release. This is an enjoyable bouncy track that appears at times to have a unique twist on the twin vocal attack style that has become popular as of late.
A track I cannot stop tapping my foot to, a nice galloping drum beat and guitar melody certainly helps! A standout for sure.
I can’t help but think of Exhumed when I listen to Order of the Coven. It has a very similar sludgey style both with vocals and sound. Outstanding solos and melodies on this track make it one of my faves.
The next track Gucci Gucci is a cover of sorts. I’ve been told by band members (and through a little research on the internet) that Kreayshawn originally released/rapped/sang the track and that they modified it, slightly, in the chorus. ..”one big room full of dead bitches..”
Having never heard the original I can’t say whether its close or whether the artist would agree with the new version (I’m thinking not!) That being said it is unique and relevant, It’s not like they are covering an obscure track from the seventies no one has heard of, or even a Bonnie Tyler track (a quick glance in Graveworm’s direction) that doesn’t make me even slightly think of metal.
The final track on this release is The Drifter’s Warning, a speedy lil gem that has some memorable riffs early on. The vocal style in this track is a little different that what we are used to, one that has mostly been used as an alternate (part of the twin attack) before, a nice change that shows diversity and a willingness to experiment.
There are some sound effects worthy of a mention to close the release out, no spoilers here, suffice to say there’s probably a little spillage of claret taking place.
In conclusion if you prefer your metal with a grisly, ‘chop-em-up-and-let-them- drip’ slant to it then this is most definitely a release you will enjoy.
It would fit perfectly in any collection already featuring bands such as Skinless, Macabre, Fleshless, Exhumed and even perhaps other (less tongue -in-cheek and gore oriented) acts such as Exodus and Overkill.
This CD deserves a spin, I for one, am eager for any future news and or releases from this band. An impressive first release.
Four and a half chainsaw dismembered corpses dripping semen from every orifice out of five, hows that for a gorehound’s rating system?
 axeslasher #!
Axeslasher can be found on twitter @axeslasher
A great bunch of guys who have put up with many a question from an inquisitive and curious individual, namely me. They answered each and every one too.