Axewound is a side project, with the lead singer of Bullet for My Valentine doing backing vocals and lead guitar, while the lead singer of the Cancer Bats takes the main vocal duties. They also took the bassist formerly of Rise to Remain and the drummer from Pitchshifter. It still seems that Matt from BFMV is the main person influencing the band because I am reminded of BFMV regarding style, but mainly only when he sings backup. I am more a fan of the few harder songs that BFMV has and Vultures expands on the more aggressive style. There are some damn good head banging riffs mixed with intense drums and the vocals relate a screaming urgency without being screechy. There are some melodic vocals when Matt jumps in on the mic, but it is not overbearing or annoying. The somewhat opposing vocal styles mesh well together and make you want to jump in and scream along with them.
The first song on the album “Vultures” is the title track and it absolutely rips your neck in two. The double kick drum will make you want to buy an extra sub for your audio system just to experience the wickedness. The guitar solo in this song made me feel like I had blisters from playing air guitar. There are plenty of tracks on the album like Cold that have this catchy vibe and chorus, which enhance your desire to drive faster and say “screw you!” to the man. Burn Alive continues this energy, which will amp you up enough to climb a mountain, and then the song closes with an awesome classic guitar scale outro. I will admit it’s not all ripping fast music and a few slower songs invade the album. Collide is the first song that slows the album up and seems to be a really tame version of a Cradle Of Filth song with a piano that should be a bit more haunting, and then evolves into an organ sound and back again. The tempo changes from timid to angry and the rest of the song plays tug of war with these two emotions. It is a great song by itself, but probably should not have been put midway through the album. It really breaks up the flow of fist pumping metal and I feel it should have been the last song on the album. Also, the song Exorchrist has more of Matt’s vocals in it than I would like, but I think that is just my personal bias for Liam’s (Cancer Bats) vocals.
The album Vultures from Axewound solid overall even though I think it stumbles a little when it slows up on the metal intensity. Those instances are few and can be remedied with one or two skips forward which is all you will need. This album will have you driving faster than intended while in need of a neck message from all the quick movements it will be enduring. Even if you think this album is not for you, at least do yourself a favor and check out the other bands that these musicians took time away from to create Axewound. Pitchshifter and Cancer Bats are definitely worth your time.