Album Review: The Axis of Perdition – Tenements (of the Anointed Flesh)
Artist: The Axis of Perdition (UK)
Album: Tenements (of the Anointed Flesh) (2011)
Genre: Occult Black Metal / Industrial Psycho Metal
For the fans of occult Black Metal, we’ve got one from the Italian label of utterly fucked-up, but usually highly enjoyable, occult Black Metal, Code666. About a week or two ago an album by the UK formation The Axis of Perdition was released through the label. It was the band’s fourth studio album since it was ripped from its mother’s smelling, bleeding uterus in 2001.
Tenements (of the Anointed Flesh) is how the band baptized this fourth one of its own creations. The Code666 fact sheet states that the album is “an album that cuts to the very heart of The Axis of Perdition and exposes the diseased core with a violence, depth and derangement that is so far unmatched in the band’s discography. Haunting, moving, excruciating and excoriating in equal measure, it is an album that demands attention from start to finish and will leave no listener untouched.” It also describes the album’s genre as “Industrial Psycho Metal”.
Well fuck me sideways! I have to review that?! I fear I’ll end up as a gibbering drooling maniac if even three seconds of it reach my ears, let alone a full one-hour album of it. Still, for the glory of Metal I’ll set myself to the task.
But, I’ll introduce the band first, as there are some peculiarities there. First off, there are seven members, which seems a lot. Then, on the other hand, I doubt the richly filled chaos that this album is could be produced by a smaller group. Anyfuck, we’ve got Brooke Johnson (vocals, guitar, bass and “noise”), Michael Blenkarn (guitar and noise), Ian Fenwick (bass, again?), Dan Mullins (drums and percussion), Leslie Simpson (Flotsam, What. The. Fuck?!), Chris Walsh (guitars) and Richard Brass (guitars). With two bassists, the element of “noise” and the element of “flotsam”, I’m gonna go ahead and call this an odd bunch. Any objections?
So, the record’s music has been penetrating my own ears for the past ten minutes or so and I can already say that all of what was written in the Code666 is true, even the fuckin’ genre descriptor, because quite frankly I wouldn’t know what else to call it. Moreover, I’d like to start by terming it “concentrated chaos”. This stuff is capable of permanently mentally deforming young children and old age pensioners. All in between will at least have their eardrums branded with the band’s hellish logo.
You read that right above, there really is an hour worth of this music, spread out over ten tracks of highly variable duration. The ambient, atmosphere-setting intro track preps you for the horrors that are to come, a voice stating “this is only the beginning”. Air raid alarms start ringing and suddenly turn into face-melting tunes as the first proper song, Unveiled, kicks in. This one’s still very much characterized as Black Metal, though probably the most hellish I’ve ever heard. Extensive use of the devil’s chord and chatter, screams and growls taken straight from a Satan-raising ritual. It ain’t pretty.
The next track, Unbound, continues in much the same vein but about halfway starts featuring some indistinctive uncontrolled guitar freaking that already tends towards that Industrial Psycho Metal Code666 speaks about. That element seems to get progressively stronger as the tracks pass by, up to and including the eighth track, Disintegration. Then the ninth track, Ordained, suddenly forms an oasis of rest, calmness and order. There’s still evil in it, but it’s contained, tamed, trained. And finally, track no. 10 is an ambient outro.
As always, this post includes some musical accompaniment. Normally I pick a favorite of mine, this time I picked a characteristic one. It’s called The Flesh Spiral and it’ll drive you mad.
So, did I enjoy listening to this album? Nope. Do I understand it? Not one fuckin’ bit, and I don’t suppose I ever will. Do I hear some of its intrinsic qualities. Yep! There’s a lot to be listened to and enjoyed on this album, if you can chew through the many layers of hell and arse-rippin’ evil that cover it (or if you enjoy that sort of thing). I’m just going to have to let it pass by myself, and for that reason won’t stick a grade on it either, because that honestly wouldn’t have any fuckin’ meaning at all. I’ll just state that if you’ve got a taste for occult Black Metal and don’t mind a bit of chaos and vomiting demon speak in your music, this is one for you to check out.
My Grade: ?/10
Buy this when:
- chaos and evil are your homies
- you liked that track we included, it’s characteristic of the whole album
- you don’t mind to get your eardrums branded