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The Axis of Perdition - Tenements (Of The Anointed Flesh) CD (album) cover

TENEMENTS (OF THE ANOINTED FLESH)

The Axis of Perdition

 

Experimental/Post Metal

2.33 | 3 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Tenements (Of The Anointed Flesh)' - The Axis Of Perdition (5/10)

It has always been the more forward-thinking side of the black metal spectrum that has drawn me to this dark sounding genre. The Axis Of Perdition are an experimental black metal act that makes use of electronic sampling and cuts, technical and dissonant riffs, and angered vocals. Their fourth album 'Tenements (Of The Anointed Flesh)' is nothing new to the band's style, relying on the same eerie vibe that got them noticed in the first place. The album is far too long for its own good however, and the consistently depraved mood of the music can lead things to wear thin long before the album is over.

The fastest comparison I could draw would be to Blut Aus Nord, of which this band can thank alot for its sound. Much like their French contemporaries, The Axis Of Perdition has a very similar, cold guitar tone that is used to make plenty of intricate riffs that lean more towards atmosphere than heaviness. The industrial and electronic effects that listeners were divided about are not so prominent here as I would have expected; the menacing drums here give off the same triggered feel that much percussion in the metal realm give, but there are only a few moments where it really feels like I am listening to an electronic/industrial fusion into metal.

The vocals on 'Tenements' may be where The Axis Of Perdition distinguish themselves from Blut Aus Nord, and they are coincidentally also the weakest element of the band's sound. This is not a black metal rasp we are dealing with here; but rather a looming, 'evil' shout that isn't afraid to make a British inflection here and there. The vocals do work in parts, and the introduction of clean singing on the definitive highlight 'Ordained' (also the only track here which does much with melody) is very welcome. Besides that one song, 'Tenements' is mostly about dissonance and atmosphere, and while an atmosphere is acquired quite firmly by the band, it does tend to drag on far too long.

Being over an hour in length, hearing the same style of odd sounding Blut Aus Nord riffs and without much sense of dynamic or- here's the big one- melody makes 'Tenements' sound pretty hopeless, and not in the beautifully romantic sort of way either. It is interesting for a while, and some of the riffs here are particularly engaging, despite being showered in waves of noisy ambiance. The fact that all but one or two of the tracks here are nearly impossible to distinguish from each other leads me to think that The Axis Of Perdition should have either edited this album to a fairly shorter length, or thrown in some melodies for the listener to grab onto.

The Axis Of Perdition may be labelled as an experimental black metal band, but the truth is, the majority of what they are doing here has been done by other avant-garde acts, and what little novelty they have here wears off pretty quickly from the monotonous nature of the album. But for what its worth, 'Tenements' manages to perfectly capture a sense of atmosphere to it, which makes an otherwise boring and tired record into a somewhat enjoyable one.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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