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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Reviews: Sahg, Drunkard, Axxion

Sahg: Memento Mori (Indie)

Norwegian band Sahg have been around since 2004 and they released an album every 2 or 3 years, each one mixes doom, stoner, psych, space and prog rock and their fifth is no exception. I would say that if there were any differences to this record from previous ones is that Memento Mori has a darker more somber tone. The album was released on frontman/guitarist Olav Iversen's 39th birthday and deals with the subject matter echoed by the title, (Remember, You Must Die - Latin Ed), it's an album drawn from Iversen's grieving process over some of his influences such as Bowie and Lemmy. 

The feedback drenched Black Union is the start of this record, it's an unsettling one with touches of Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd, but the crushing slow doom is washed away by Devilspeed which is the proto-thrash of Lemmy and co. Iversen is a versatile vocalist and guitarist and Memento Mori is yet another album that has a fusion of styles to it, the funeral doom of Take It To The Grave, the stoner Sabbath worship on the progressive Sanctimony and haunting Katatonia-esque (Praise The) Electric Sun. Sahg return with a strong album that continues the rich vein they have been mining for a good few years now. 7/10

Drunkard: Inhale The Inferno (Metal Age)

Drunkard are here to thrash till death and they sit comfortably in the blitzkrieg thrash style of bands such as Sodom, Destruction and Tankard. The Thessaloniki trio released their previous album in 2009 so there has been a long time that one and this record but they don't see to have lost a step. The core three piece of Kostas (drums), John (guitar) and Savvas (bass/vocals) are augmented by numerous guitarists adding the lead guitar to the record.

The lead guitars do seem to be a bit supplementary to the band's sound, except on the solo happy Project Satan, but for the most part it's all about the riffs, the blastbeats are supersonic, the grinding bass becomes a lead instrument along with the distorted rhythm guitar to bring big breakdowns to Exterminate To Ashes but also the cutting riffage of Luxuria Divine which has all three men going at a warp speed especially Kostas' drums. With the growling vocals of Savvas, Drunkard have a Teutonic sound to their thrash metal it's loud and dirty and violent, pulling no punches. This Greek trio know how to thrash and they proceed to rip your throat out on every single song. Pure thrash fury! 7/10   

Axxion: Back In Time (High Roller Records) 

Canadian's Axxion released their debut record in 2013 and it was a glorious retro filled feast for those that love bands such as Judas Priest, Tokyo Blade, Tygers Of Pan Tang and Canada's own Exciter. It's shameless NWOBHM styled metal with shrieking vocals from Dirty D Kerr, furious axe from Sir Shred, a galloping rhythm section made up of the recently joined Jason Decay (of Cauldron fame) and Alison Thunderland who smashes her drumkit to pieces on tracks such as Highway Knights.

The albums title is perfect to describe the music here in, it's the D.I.Y style of metal from the early 80's and that translates to the analogue production of this record too. Back In Time picks up where it's predecessor leaves off with super fast proto-thrash and hard rocking tracks such as All Bark No Bite. If you like your metal strictly old-school, squeezed into leather trousers, high tops and bullet belts then Axxion will take their place in your favourite bands. 7/10          

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