The Axis of Perdition - The Ichneumon Method (And Less Welcome Techniques)
Rage Of Achilles
Industrial Black Metal
8 songs (45:05)
Release year: 2003
Rage Of Achilles
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

As creepy and deranged as Black Metal is supposed to be, all too often it’s not, but is restrained, impervious, cold, distant. Well, infamous Brits The Axis Of Perdition are here to change all that, and although their debut album is not as insane as their second, 2005’s Deleted Scenes From The Transition Hospital, it’s still a damn sight more freaky than your average corpsepainted crew. For starters, this isn’t really Industrial Black Metal. There are no disco beats whatsoever. Instead, this is more akin to wandering down a deserted asylum and discovering that a nameless horror has moved in, rather like Silent Hill, a big influence on the creators. Blastbeats are plentiful and form a backing rather like crashing waves, but as they’re programmed any pretence at an organic sound has been abandoned, and instead the drums form a throbbing pulse that rides beneath the music itself like... some terrible thing under the floorboard.

The music itself is pile upon pile of electronic weirdness over discordant guitar riffs, muffled growled vocals and utterly deranged leadwork, often epic, often disturbing but almost never catchy. Despite that, there’s a curious hypnotic quality to this album. Once I start listening I find it very hard to stop; the electronics especially helping here, as often you’ll be struggling to hear what exactly is happening, and the structureless songs take many listens to figure out exactly. It’s not a ‘fun’ listen by any definition of the word, but if you enjoy music that’s enhanced by being alone in a dark room with headphones, then this is most definitely for you. Forms On The Other Side Of Silence alone is an aural horror film, featuring a man reading a story (Stephen King’s Crouch End, from his Nightmares And Dreamscapes collection) out, barely audible, yet growing gradually more and more manic, covered by waves of disturbing electronic noise.

As you might expect, there are no real standout tracks here because the album needs to be listened to as a single piece. It’s hardly repetitive, although it may seem so the first couple of times you play it, but once you start to make sense of the deranged aural architecture you’ll notice things that didn’t seem to be there before... the electronic vocals on Reflections Of The Underdark, the crashing at the end of Disturbance In The Perpetual Screen. The easiest way to tell tracks apart are the samples, really, and they are all effective and well chosen. Born Under The Knife, Live In Pain’s whimpering child (from the first Silent Hill game) sets the stage well for that track, the vocals becoming truly demented. The usage of The Matrix’s Morpheus at the start of the album is equally as good, an ominous, foreboding tone that abruptly drops you in hell when the music starts.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find The Axis Of Perdition’s works to be genuinely disturbing. That’s probably why it’s taken so long for me to get around to reviewing them, but being honest I don’t like listening to them. They’re just too effective, too miserable and tormented. It’s quite a cliché to say that an album is insane, but this truly is. Having met and spoken with people with severe mental problems, I get the same sense from The Axis Of Perdition, a similar uncanny wrongness that, try as you might to ignore it, hangs over proceedings. It’s hard to listen to, but once you’ve started you can’t tear yourself away, hypnotised by the headlights of the behemoth coming to flatten you... if you think that you’re one of those that enjoy such feelings, this is the place to start with this unique band. Brace yourselves... worse is to come.

Killing Songs :
Album as a whole
Goat quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by The Axis of Perdition that we have reviewed:
The Axis of Perdition - Tenements (Of The Anointed Flesh) reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
The Axis of Perdition - Urfe reviewed by Goat and quoted 40 / 100
The Axis of Perdition - Deleted Scenes From The Transition Hospital reviewed by Goat and quoted 92 / 100
The Axis of Perdition - Physical Illucinations in the Sewer of Xulchilbara (The Red God) reviewed by Aaron and quoted no quote
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