Axiom - _Defiant Heathen Spirit_
(Monolithic Records, 2005)
by: Charlotte Beskeen (6 out of 10)
Brighton seems an unlikely place from which to promote black metal misanthropy and groove, yet Axiom, aka Hrothgar, the one man black outfit from Sussex has nailed a highly atmospheric and minimalist demo to the small yet thriving vanguard of British black metal. All in all it is a pretty reasonable attempt. "Awakening" is a suitably eerie and evasive instrumental with lingering chords that evoke the unearthly mysticism of impenetrable fog. Subtle yet brooding atmospheres are artfully leaked into "Christ's Brethren", which unfortunately collapses into a prosaic copy of Norwegian black metal type riff structures with more than a passing nod to Burzum and Mayhem. Under droning chords a burry melody almost identical to that conceived in Graveland's "In the Glare of Burning Churches" rattles away rather pointlessly; a small distraction to a sparse and otherwise unimaginative composition. The "Funeral Fog" cover is pretty unimpressive and along with all other Mayhem covers, just seems to slide into mediocrity. However, the pace picks up drastically during "Defending the Homeland", a thundering gallop of nerve shredding guitar chords offset by Hrothgar's throaty roar and bold, scathing riffage. The pace is quicker, chords are spat out with regularity and precision. A huge improvement from "Christ's Brethren". In terms of quality _Defiant Heathen Spirit_ fluctuates wildly, which is a real shame. Had Hrothgar's efforts been consistent throughout, this would have been a superb first attempt.

Contact: http://www.axiomhorde.tk/

(article published 11/11/2008)


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