The opening track “Gulveig”, has this really different, almost off-kilter pulsating riffing pattern, at first I was not sure I liked it, but as it went on I found to be very unique sounding and gives this strange feel that I liked. To those unfamiliar with this Canadian one man band (well there is a drummer, a session guy I believe), they play darkened black / death metal with Nordic themes and lyrics, as main man, Nordavinden is of Nordic descent. I think the riff I described above is a fairly apt description of the bands sound in general, it is not your usual cookie cutter sounding band, they are doing different things. I would go so far as to say Bloodaxe has a sound of it’s own and is just very different, kind of strange and singular, it will probably be a shock to some fans to listen to that are conditioned to everyone sounding the same. I mean this is dark, evil, heavy, epic and depressive music, so it covers the elements fans of the genre long for, but they take a separate path to get there. I am actually quite stricken by this album, this is not the first time I have encountered Bloodaxe, I know them well, they have not released anything since 2004, it feels like I am hearing them for the first time, I am impressed. The vocals are not your typical vocals either, neither growled in the death metal fashion or hissed like the classic black metal way. They are a combo of spoken word passages and the main vocals are a deep spoken whispered voice with a tinge of bm vox, it seems like some Viking spirit is whispering lore on the winds as they pass through a dense stretch of wood. I first made contact with this band they were based out of the opposite of Canada from where I grew up and lived, but now they are based out of my old stomping grounds (okay so yes that probably only means something to me haha). It is a pleasure to receive such a unique and grim band from my homeland, if you want something that sounds different yet great, a breath of fresh air in the underground scene. Then look no further than Bloodaxe.
Dale Roy - Canadian Assault (U.S.A)
Even though this is labeled as raw viking metal I have to say that they impress me with some original aspects on this release, and for me it sounds they have taken some inspiration from early Bathory at least at times when they do the chaotic riffs which reminds me of 'The Return…' era.
So,prepare yourself for a cold & dark journey into the realm of Bloodaxe...
This is obviously more BM sounding than most viking bands today!
That being said this is far from a Bathory clone,actually I would say they got their own original thing going on here it's hard to describe but the closest I get is chaotic sounding riffs combined with good melodies.
'For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down' is based a lot upon guitars and guitar riffs (of course) ,but this is done in another way than many other bands do and the first impression might be noisy if you're only familiar with 'modern' well produced and polished albums,but I'd advice you to give this a try
I'm pretty sure they have done it that way on purpose,and it works very well to be honest.
The vocals is raw & harsh combined with spoken vocals in between
The sound is more necro than on 'Raping The Ancient' which is the only album Iv'e heard by Bloodaxe except this one,but at the same time listenable,at times the vocals and guitars is too sharp,but luckily I only notice it a few times during the album.
Overall a good & original album as they manage to create nicely structured chaos alongside good melodies without loosing it totally!
If your familiar with this band you'll probably like this one and if you're completely new to the band it wouldn't be a bad idea to check out what this band is up to!
Tracks to mention : Tears Of The Elder,Seidr (Black Witch)
For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down
(Northern Force Records)
Back in the days, many many years ago (almost too many, as the thoughts of back then, makes me feel a tad old), I received a CD and handwritten letter from Canada, from a viking-warrior and band I didn't know. This was back in 2001. The man called himself Nordavinden Lien, a Canadian with Norwegian roots, the band was BLOODAXE and the album "Bloodthrone", the debut full length from the band, a blazing attack of hateful and aggressive Black Metal inspired by the old valleys and mountains back in Norway. After a bit back and forth, the band released their second effort "Raping The Ancient" in 2004, yet a fist of aggression and wrath in the face of the unexpecting. Fast forward 9 years, even though we write 2014 now, "For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down" was released last year. And it seems like the wrath nice and slowly has burned from the veins of Nordavinden. Don't get me wrong, this is still quite aggressive and in your face, though in a very downtuned way, compared to the two first releases. This is the epic output of BLOODAXE, 35 minutes of slow and atmospheric Black Metal with a good dose of inspiration from BATHORY, VENOM and CELTIC FROST, midpaced, churning, doomy, epic and crushing. I have used quite a while to get comfortable with the slowly chanted and spoken vocal, compared to the rasping attack on the earlier albums, though eventually it made sense, together with the slow evolving crushing guitar riffs. My two favorite tracks on this release are the two epic attacks 'Tears Of The Elders' and 'Seidr (Black Witch)' well crafted and profound evolving music that latches on to the listener, or at least me. The greatly crafted, classic Rock'n'Roll guitarleads we get on this release are also good to hear in this connection, they add a nice classic and mature edge to the raw and furious output. A quite mature and calm release from BLOODAXE, compared to what we were come to expect, though still with an edge and message, that latches on, very effectively. I am quite positively surprised, after I've used a good amount of time to let the album sink in. More info beyond the witching hour: www.facebook.com/thetruebloodaxe, http://bloodaxemetal.wix.com/bloodaxe
Anders Peter Jørgensen
Voices From The Darkside (Denmark)
“For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down”
Det er allerede ni år siden kanadiske Bloodaxe ga ut sitt forrige album, men her er Nordavinden Lien og hans trommis Tanner tilbake med nok et album, der primitiviteten rår og uhyggen lurer bak hvert riff og hver tone. Nå skal det dog sies at dette på ingen måte er et album fylt av folketoner og gråtkvalte kved (bortsett fra et hysterisk innslag i «Tears Of The Elder»), det hele har heller et visst mekanisk preg, en slags grell sound som nærmest er stakkato til tider. Således er dette et merkelig album, som til tider minner meg en del om norske Slagmaur, med et drypp av Satyricon innlagt. Låten «Return To The Throne» er den beste, der bandets sound oppsummeres i en mektig og catchy affære. Mektig monotoni for massene.
Bjørn Nørsterud - Scream Magazine (Norway)
SAVAGE, BEAUTIFUL AND COMPLETELY UNIQUE!!
Back in high school, during the winter months of my sophomore and junior years, I would often arrive at school quite early, before anyone else had arrived, indeed before the sun had even risen. Like many of the students there, I had an MP3 player to keep me company while I was busy learning absolutely nothing. During those cold, lightless, solitary hours, I could often be found huddled on the ground, back against a light pole, listening to Bloodaxe's 'Raping The Ancient'. I can't think of a better soundtrack for that. It's cold, it's dark, it's lonely, it's this album in physical form. It's almost inconceivable to me that this music could come from someone living in a populated area. The country of origin fits completely: the realm of Vinland is certainly the sort of land that such raw, frigid and oddly beautiful music would come from. But the region makes little sense; Thunder Bay, Ontario? With a population of over a hundred thousand? Impossible. This is the sort of thing that must have come out of the frozen northern tundra of the region, with a population per thousand square mile ratio about as low as the temperature. It's such pure outsider music, almost exclusively designed for listening alone and introspectively, that any real contact with another person would simply ruin the ambiance of the album. I can't imagine a better soundtrack for wandering for days alone in the snow. Bloodaxe plays a very raw form of viking black metal that I've never quite heard anywhere else. I and a number of other people I know have expressed complaints over what the name 'viking metal' is attached to. We personally find it quite absurd to think that the vikings would have been listening to Falkenbach if given any choice at all. Bloodaxe, on the other hand, is most certainly something that should be called viking metal, presuming the term didn't carry the connotations that it does. As you could probably guess, there's not even the barest trace of folk influence apart from the two acoustic guitar pieces that act as bookends to the album. Even these, like the rest of the instrumentation on the album, are kept short and minimal. The music on here is essentially the exact opposite of, say, Ensiferum: the music here is not only some of the coldest I've ever heard, but some of the most desolate and barren as well. You will never hear a keyboard, a violin, a chorus, or any other sort of embellishment on this album. Did I mention that 'Raping The Ancient' is fucking frigid? Well, it can't be overstated. It's truly music from the Tundra; dry, glacial, and remarkably unforgiving. Some of the songs here rival 'Transilvanian Hunger' in simply how enormously dark and merciless they are, and nearly best it on a number of them. Every sound on this album has had all the sonic moisture sapped from it, leaving every instrument hugely dry, windy and raw. All the melodies are simple, short, yet full, and the riffs are all fully functioning despite how bare-bones they may be, ranging from the somewhat complex ('Superior Winds') to the devastatingly primitive ('While You Lie Bleeding'). Some of the riffs here are composed of just two chords, with only the somewhat audible bass providing a bit of depth to the melody. Such dedication to minimalism would hurt many bands, but it only enhances the heartless, polar atmosphere of 'Raping The Ancient'. The guitar tone is viciously beautiful. The vast majority of the riffs are tremolo-based, with distortion hopelessly overdriven to make them even more distinct. The guitars and bass actually sound like keyboards more than stringed instruments at times, simply because there is essentially no semblance of rhythm to be found in the guitar or bass. You can't hear individual notes on most of the songs on the album: only the gradual shifting of tones, gently scooping out these melodies with a sound that is at once soft yet razor sharp, the flow of notes changing like wind or water. Drums are almost exclusively relegated to blasting patterns apart from some rock beats on the later songs, and their sound is similarly agonizingly dry. Bass is a dull throb in the background, always audible but never at the forefront of the compositions, creating a sort of intangible heartbeat for the music to rest on. The voice of Lien is possibly the most heartless element of all, with black metal rasps that seem devoid of all humanity and mercy, like the very voice of winter itself. The occasional venture into clean territory is really no reprieve: such a sound is a monotonous and atonal narrative more than any actual singing. The album is nearly like a wintry landscape itself, neatly divided into two essential halves. The first of these is the brutality and harshness of nature, taking the form of the first seven tracks on the album. Even the intro, 'Midvinterblod', is testament to such a theme, name being a dedication to the viking rituals of hanging slain game in the trees as a sacrifice to the gods. The next six tracks start and end without warning, short, two-minute bursts of violence that all resemble each other greatly. The tempo for each is almost identical, as are vocals and drum patterns, leaving only the riffs to really distinguish each piece from the next. Each track begins without any sort of dynamics and ends just as abruptly, as Bloodaxe sees no real reason to toy around once the story has been told. There's an unbelievable savagery to these compositions, a sort of devastating indifference towards human life that most black metal bands could only wish to represent in their music. The next half is quite a different story. This section seems to be more dedicated to the rugged beauty of nature, despite its deadly and often cruel nature. Starting with 'Drifting Of Ull', the pace remains the same, but a clear change overtakes the music. Lien's lyrics are no longer venomously spit out in fits and starts, but rather delivered nostalgically with bits of improvised rhythm. The melodies, too, are like the Aurora Borealis in the Arctic sky: cold and dark, but unbelievably passionate and beautiful as well. The riffs at the end of the next track, 'Thirteen Oar's Of Misfortune', follow suit with a similarly majestic tone. This is perhaps the most 'viking' of all the tracks on the album, at least in the sense that most metalheads know it by: more willingly epic than the other tracks, and with double bass patterns generally taking precedence over blast beats, adding an element of militarism to the atmosphere. 'While You Lie Bleeding', however, is the clear centerpiece of the album: the longest at over seven minutes, it represents 'Raping The Ancient''s sole move to a tempo below fast, instead opting for a steady, mid-paced trudge to move the song forward. The drumming is more dynamic and the strange, shamanistic vocals of Lien stretch over wide swaths of time, with the riffs relegated to a droning background piece, a tad more conventional than the rest, but similarly frostbitten in tone. Its slow fade before outro 'Gammellandet', perhaps the most 'normally' beautiful track on this disc, is one that never ceases to amaze me with its endlessly powerful construction. Bloodaxe will never be a very popular band. The music is stunningly harsh, and possesses a beauty carved from pure ice. It's music that offers no warmth or sympathy whatsoever to the listener, instead marching ever forward in its neverending quest for savage violence and perhaps even more savage beauty. For those few of us that would revel in the unbelievable harshness of the music here, though, it is an instant classic, worthy of infinite listens, with an aesthetic that only grows more impassioned with time. Beyond highly recommended; this is very nearly mandatory! 96%
Nockturn - Encylopedia Metallum
From Northern Ontario, Bloodaxe is a previously unknown band to me. Certain black metal bands manage to capture a certain energy, especially back in the golden era, early to mid-90's. So it isn't often you feel and hear that in today's commercial metal atmosphere. Bloodaxe captures that iron spirit of yesterday. This is truly up there with the best. Music you have to hear to appreciate. But, nonetheless, I'll try to describe... The music is both rich and raw, dark and cold, with a continuous vibe. The vocals, gritty and hoarse, are done at a pace slower than usual, fitting perfectly and very powerful. One the best black metal bands I've heard in a long, long time. Extremely recommended! (Although recorded in February 2002, Raping the Ancient was not released until November 2004, due to setbacks)
Mourning The Ancient (U.S.A)
From Thunder Bay Ontario hails a new Canadian Viking squad. Raping the Ancient is the second full length release of black viking noise. Pure violence no melodies no rowdy drinking hymns. Just smash you in the head battle music. I was looking forward to hearing this disc because I have heard good things about their debut album. I say they, but I think it is really a one man band with session members. All the songs are exactly the same in pace and drumming and if you are not paying close attention it is one 32 minute punishing song. It would be easy to say inspired by Sweden’s In Battle since Bloodaxe’s first demo was called In Battle, but the only real similarity is the lyrical content and the speed, though In Battle played faster. This is a disc aimed at true fans of black metal, not casual metal fans that own a Burzum and a Mayhem shirt but can’t tell the two bands apart. I have heard many albums from many bands that play for the sheer pleasure of torturing listeners, and most lack any sense of structure. Bloodaxe, on the surface, is one of these bands with, aside from the intensity, the redeeming value coming in the form of some good riffs here and there and the occasional passage that screams for the rewind button. The guitar is really buried and is overly simplistic, neither of which is necessarily a problem, and the differences from song to song are very subtle. The lyrics are full of Odin, wolves and ravens, nothing unexpected but reasonably well written, and apologies are given to the Havamal. Only two songs really impressed me enough to single out here. “Thirteen Oars of Misfortune” is musically more diverse but not monumentally so. “While You Lie Bleeding”, aside from the distracting weird vocal effect on the spoken lines, deserves mention as well but it does drag on a bit too long. The instrumental “Loki’s Fury” has easily the best drumming on the album and some memorable riffs, otherwise the album is basically interchangeable songs. I give Nordavinden Lien credit for what he has produced and look forward to his next offering. Better than most but not among the best, yet.
Digital Metal (U.S.A)
As the self-proclaimed "Force from the North," Bloodaxe indeed do represent boreal black metal, despite the fact that they aren't what many would geographically expect. Hailing from Canada (although frontman and band founder Nordavinden claims Nordic roots), their moniker does not lie, and they deliver forth some scathing black metal worthy of any nation. Like so many black metal bands, Bloodaxe consists of only two men, with Nordavinden handling guitar, bass, and vocal duties while Rati pounds on the skins. Their release "Raping the Ancient" is as solid as anything and contains all the necessary elements to make black metal fans happy. Raping the Ancient" kicks off with a twisted synth-violin intro, then launches into an unrelenting assault of raw black metal. Distorted guitars, harsh screeches, and blasting drumbeats have all wed in the unholiest of unions. Lyrically, Bloodaxe are as evil as any band, vowing to "kill the untrue" on "Haunting the Runes" and to " pour out the gas … light the fucking match … burn your lies down to the ground." Obviously they have no love for Christianity and a serious affinity for Nordic/black metal pride. The only slight downside of this release is the production - obviously with many black metal bands a choice is made for a lesser level of production to give the music a more raw feeling. However, Bloodaxe would benefit from upping their production level just a bit, because on "Raping the Ancient" some of the instruments tend to bleed together at times, making the song a bit hard to follow. However, this is not a major problem and shouldn't deter anyone's enjoyment of the album. In addition, it's a fairly short disc, clocking in at just over 32 minutes. Despite these minor flaws Bloodaxe have put forth their best foot here, and "Raping the Ancient" is an album worthy of all metal warriors, northern or not!
The Gauntlet (U.S.A.)
Formed on May 17th, 2000 in Thunder Bay Northern Ontario by Norwegian-Canadian Nordavinden Lien. A project dedicated to his Norwegian roots, pagan history, nature, war, hatred, violence and death. Influenced heavily by great Canadian thrash pioneers such as Anvil, Razor, Sacrifice, Exciter and mixed with the rawness of Venom, Hellhammer and early other speed metal." In this fashion our newly found friend Lien introduces his brain child Bloodaxe. Except for a little help from Rati on session drums, the man has handled the entire project by himself, and has done so ever since he first got the idea on a drunken celebration of Norway's national day, the 17th of May. Raping The Ancient was originally recorded in 2002, but due to numerous problems it wasn't released until November 2004. And now, nearly a year later, I'm ready to lay down some well considered thoughts on his 33-minutes long relentless opus. First of all, and let's get this straight at once; this isn't for everyone. Harsh, raw and unpolished are keywords, a kind of black metal that to some might come across as rather monotonous, whereas others might dismiss the criticism and hail the strive for the most evil of atmospheres. I won't try to give Nordavinden opinions he might not have, but I'm feeling pretty certain about him belonging to the latter group. The album opens with a little fiddle-playing, clearly showcasing the man's roots to the north. From there on he never looks back, and 7 scintillating black metal attacks spew out their little piece of hell. And I have to say, mostly it works out rather well. The riffs are grim and repetitive without getting boring, and the man's vocals are exactly as ugly-sounding as they need to be. The only real issue I have is with the drums, as they, at least to my ears, seem to be a bit out of line every now and then. But despite the fact that things might go a bit faster than what's required, some tempo-changes create some nice variety to the material. That being kept in mind, the album tends to get a tad tedious towards the end, perhaps a track or two could've been left out to create a more stable, intense listening experience. But all in all the talent is surely there, and I hope to hear more from Nordavinden in the future.
Enslaved by Metal (Norway)
BLOODAXE-"RAPING THE ANCIENT" CD-Fuck I was excited when this arrived. I fell in love with Bloodaxe's "Bloodthrone" cd in 2001. Bloodaxe is one of Canada's greatest u/g bands. They play "Superior Metal" which means "kick your head in viking/black metal" made by a Canadian with Norwegian Descent. Professional packaging with ghostly looking artwork by Leilah Wendell, author of "Necromantic Ritual Book". ALL black metal freaks should get in touch for a copy of this insane cd. Satan would be proud. Support the force from the North!!
Worship Satan (Canada)
This is a two man project, lead by Nordavinden Lien who does all the guitars. bass, vokills, piano & Rati who does all the drums. The music these guys create is a Death Metal mixed with Black Metal force. These guys have a strong raw aggressive sound to their music. It's very diverse in sound from most bands of this style. They have a thunderous hard pounding drive in their music too. They toss in some change ups & breakdowns to give variety. The vocals are a low end harsh Death growl, that are a bit haunting too. A very cool release & highly recommended.
Beowolf Productions (U.S.A.)
What starts with an aquatic, distorted string-sample turns into a raging and abysmically hateful black metal storm brought courtesy of Bloodaxe, from the great white Northland of Canada. "Raping The Ancient" is a mixed plate of sorts, though after the instrumental intro is through, there is mainly a siege of old-school raw black metal in the moody vein of Graveland, Satanic Warmaster, and De Mysteris- era Mayhem, presented with harsh gravelly vocals, bombastically assailing the atmosphere among menacing steady yet sparse riffs, and fluctuating drums. An instrumental mid-piece, "Loki's Fury", is rather annoying without any signature moments, and wanders off into the next track, which is more warlusting Nordic-inspired dark fury. It is not until much later on in the album that a primitive (though developed) sense of melody is exhumed, in "Thirteen Oars of Misfortune", clean vocals break through the cold rasping dominant throughout, spoken with inflective mourning tone, accenting the northerner viking feel of this cd. Odd, metallic-droning (yet not synthetically distorted) clean vox intro and persist through the next track (the longest of the album, and perhaps the highlight), making room for the singer's customary growls, as the music ebbs and flows accordingly in "While You Lie Bleeding". The dominant essence of this is violent and angry, yet these emotions are expressed as adeptly with sinister, lulling melodies as with the blasting and slamming sections, an achievement not made by most bands of the genre. None of the spite and purpose is lost when the tempo shifts into slower, more intricate parts, though as said, this only occurs later on into the presentation. Another brooding neoclassical instrumental closes the bloody curtains here, and leaves a sensation of weary accomplishment with the listener, and indeed this album is a powerful achievement by an emerging metal band. Some things I would point out as for criticism goes, would be that the production here largely hinders the drum-sound which is an important element in this music; much of it is left sounding rubbery and flat, without the crisp sharpness integral to characterize the heaviness of this style. Also, more distinguishment to the songs, perhaps the addition of a second guitarist would be a welcome addition, though as it stands Bloodaxe holds a firm grasp on this and anyone into such heathenry as Amon Amarth, Enslaved, and Gorgoroth should enjoy this immensely. Best played on loud stereo in darkness whilst enjoying premium mead.
Darksoul VII (International)
The material that makes up "Raping the Ancient" was originally recorded and intended for release back in early 2002, but due to numerous setbacks, it wasn't until late 2004 that it finally saw the light of day. We'll thank the viking gods it finally was, because it's a killer cd! Bloodaxe hails from the vast, icy forests of Thunder Bay in Northern Ontario, but with one listen you'll swear that Norway was this bands country of origin. Originally formed in 2000, Bloodaxe is the brainchild of a Canadian metal warrior born of Norwegian descent, Nordavinden, who sings and masterfully handles all the instruments except for drums, those being performed, rather well I might add, by drummer Rati. Bloodaxe has a sound that owes mightily to bands like Immortal, Satyricon, Hades Almighty and even Dark Funeral, but they're far from being a mere rip-off of those bands. Their music is really strong and able to stand on it's own, with an intensity and power that few bands can truly muster. It's obvious that Nordavinden is truly proud (and rightly so) of his Norwegian and Viking heritage and, naturally, those are the main lyrical and musical themes that run throughout the albums 11 tracks. I highly recommend this great piece of Black Metal majesty!
Canadian Assault (USA)
While Scandinavia is traditionally looked at as the hotbed of black metal, a transplanted Norwegian has brought that genre to Canadian shores onboard a Viking Longboat. Bloodaxe, hailing from Thunder Bay, Ontario, is a one-man entity of sorts. Nordavinden Lien, who plays everything (with the exception of drums), writes everything and produces it all in his own studio, digs into the recesses of early black metal for inspiration on RAPING THE ANCIENT. Shades of Dark Funeral, early Emperor, Immortal and even some early Bathory are evident but instead of relying solely on blasphemous rantings (which are indeed present), Norse mythology, Scandinavian folklore and Viking history are also touched upon. RAPING THE ANCIENT was originally recorded in February 2002 but numerous setbacks kept it from being released until November 2004. Production is in the "troo kvlt" style meaning the drums are very hollow and tinny and the bass is almost non-existent, but Lien's vocals are not buried as far back in the mix as one would expect. In fact, his lyrics are easily understood for the most part making RAPING THE ANCIENT a tolerable listen in that regard. Still, this is pure blasphemous black/Viking metal and those looking for symphonic passages a la Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir should look elsewhere. A mysterious fiddle opens the CD with "Midvinterblod" but things kick into high gear with "Haunting The Runes," a searing slice of ice cold, blastbeat-filled hell. The simple riff in this track is infectious and Lien's snarled vocal delivery fits the music perfectly. His shrill cry of "raping the ancient ones" is bone-chilling. "Superior Winds" carries on in much the same fashion as "Haunting The Runes" with a similar melody but the story the songs tell is quite fascinating and that same trend flourishes throughout the CD. The black metal kvlt will eat up "The Burning Season" with its hyperblasting and blasphemous lyrics ("Pour out the gas/I'll light the fucking match/Burn your lies/Down to the hallowed ground'). "Loki's Fury" is all crushing blastbeats and buzzsaw riffing that leads to "Drifting of Ull," a haunting epic track that could well be the very signature of Bloodaxe. The unforgettable riff echoes around a pounding drum and Viking-inspired lyrics that epitomize the best elements of this often one-note genre. Lien's howling roar kicks off "Thirteen Oars of Misfortune" in old-school Immortal style. Another catchy riff pummels the listener through a conquering quest of Christian lands that carries an amazing ambience with it compounded by Lien's monotone spoken word passages. Cold, dark, vicious music and tin-can production are the essential elements of a black metal album and RAPING THE ANCIENT has all of those. What separates this CD from the corpse-painted masses, though, is the blending of traditional black metal archetypes with subject matter that is there for more than shock value. Burning churches and ghoulish figures lost their impact in the metal world around 1996, so Bloodaxe's decision to branch out and incorporate its heritage is a welcome addition to what made albums like IN THE NIGHTSIDE ECLIPSE, HAMMERHEART and BATTLES IN THE NORTH so powerful. KILLER KUTS: "Haunting The Runes," "Superior Winds," "Loki's Fury," "Drifting of Ull," "Thirteen Oars of Misfortune"
Metal - Rules (Canada) 4/5
Viking Metal from Canada huh? Well, I'm of the opinion that as long as they're of Nordic descent, this sort of thing is great no matter where the band originates from. Bloodaxe's second CD is a fierce whirlwind of insane drumming (particularly the virulent cymbal abuse) and maddeningly distorted vocals underpinned by a storm of buzzing guitar molestation. Yep, this is Viking metal in the vein of In Battle and Odhinn, very far from the more epic side of this style pioneered by the likes of Bathory and Manowar. In fact, the first 7 songs all proceed at nearly the exact same pace, with only the riffs to distinguish individual songs - if you concentrate only on the drums, it's like listening to a single 15-minute track. Things slow down a bit with the more epic "Drifting of Ull" and "Thirteen Oar's Of Misfortune" (sic) although they quickly revert to blasting your brains out again. All the while, the vocals appear to have been recorded inside an ice-cave, reverberating and rasping like the tongue of Audhumla. It's really quite difficult to pick standouts here, since the entire CD is one big Thor's hammer smashing you in the face, with more attention paid to violence and hatred than songwriting, but that's all good. It's quite mesmerizing in it's own insane manner, drawing you into a world where battle is the only way to live and die, and a sword could come out of the snow at any moment to sever your unsuspecting head and unceremoniously leave you to rot in the frozen tundra, attended only by a few hungry ravens.
Diabolical Conquest (New Zealand) 8/10
This is a two man project, lead by Nordavinden Lien who does all the guitars. bass, vokills, piano & Rati who does all the drums. The music these guys create is a Death Metal mixed with Black Metal force. These guys have a strong raw aggressive sound to their music. It's very diverse in sound from most bands of this style. They have a thunderous hard pounding drive in their music too. They toss in some change ups & breakdowns to give variety. The vocals are a low end harsh Death growl, that are a bit haunting too. A very cool release & highly recommended.
Treats from the Underground (U.S.A)
BLOODAXE - 'Drifting Of Ull' 6:00; from Raping The Ancient (White Legends Productions) Northern Ontario's Bloodaxe are spearheaded by Norwegian-Canadian Nordavinden Lien, and the sound they have come up with is a blizzard-like black metal as old school and authentic as is being dared today. If the unearthly melody lines of this cryonic masterpiece are any indication, the band's second CD will become a classic of luminous Canadian blackness. Contact: 3751, 139th Ave. Apt. 305, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5Y 3J5, Viking_Squad@hotmail.com or www.bloodaxe.net
Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles (Canada)
One man pagan Bloodaxe starts with coma - inducing cryogenics, pulses forward with cruel menace, abstracts songs into self - contained fragments of irascible minimalism and we get Raping the Ancient.
Metal Maniacs (U.S.A)
The one man band Bloodaxe, I mean I have heard of before sometime and I also think I have written a review of the band's debut "Bloodthrone" from 2001 sometime. Enough about that, here is the Norwegian - Canadian back with an album that burns rubber. He plays all instruments except drums and contributes with some infernal vocals. The vocals aren't easy to describe, but lay somewhere black and death with some extra disharmony a la Bathory's Viking period. "Raping the Ancient" contains primitive black metal where variety is not something you should look for. The songs sound a bit like one another, but Nordavinden performs them with soul. A pretty large bit of 80's thrash and as earlier mentioned Bathory. I think that this sounds pretty cool and I wish this Lord welcome to Norway anytime.
Scream Magazine (Norway)
Though this band/project has roots in Norway, they hail from Thunder Bay, Canada. And that Thunder can be heard! On this "Raping The Ancient" you can hear some raw compromise less intensive black metal that brings us back -regarding feeling - to the days of Immortal at the time of their earlier releases, although the sound of the vocals is more towards Satyr from Satyricon. All of this packed in songs that last around three minutes... After the intro 'Haunting The Ruins' opens fast and with great ferocity; that promises a lot. Of the same blood are the next six tracks, and though they are nice tracks in their own, put after each other it becomes kind of a blur, especially as the riffs and the drums, that dominate the songs, are hardly any different… Why has there never been built in a bridge or so, to create some variation? Well, that finally changes around 'Drifting of Ull', where Bloodaxe builds in some variation, including heavy and slow parts. And also on 'Thirteen Oars of Misfortune' Bloodaxe opens with some epic parts, which clearly enriches the music! Here also influences become clear of early, primitive Viking metal. Hell, on 'While You Lie Bleeding' there are even Bathoryan passages, including parts with normal clean vocals! Opener 'Midvinterblood' en closing 'Gammellandet' are the intro, on which someone tries to saw with a violin. So in the end we have basically an interesting album with 9 real tracks of intense rawish black metal, of which six are pretty much in the same vein and can thus be heard as one blur. Perhaps some more variation in the drumming can help this issue out of the way on the next album. On the one hand it might have been wise to put the songs from the end somewhere in between the blast songs to create more diversion, on the other hand, is that wise to put them in between those fast parts: that is called a dilemma/ Boy, am I glad that I am not the artist… No matter what you do, it is always probably the wrong decision, same as living with a girlfriend; should you listen to her or not, the result is the same anyway: nagging! For those who love compromise less raw und furious Nordic black metal this "Raping The Ancient" is certainly worthwhile!
Vampire Magazine (The Netherlands)
Another Viking Metal album, but this time hailing from Canada, brought to us by Bloodaxe. Mainman behind Bloodaxe is Nordavinden Lien, a Canadian whose roots lie in Norway. Bloodaxe saw the light in 2000 and released the demo 'In Battle'. Recordings for 'Raping The Ancient' started in 2002, but for undisclosed reasons couldn't be released until now. What is it that we hear on this album? A nerve-splitting load of underground Black Metal where the Viking aspect is more lyrically present. Nordavinden blasts you away with a huge guitarwall, heavy distorted and speaks his lyrics out to you as if its comes directly form the grave. Who needs singing anyway? Drums are delivered by studiodrummer Rati who provides a military blastbeat for almost the entire album. The farther the album goes, the more diversity. More diversity in drumming, speed, riff's and vocals and definitely more Folky influences. Keyword for 'Raping The Ancient' is still "extreme". It's been a while since I heard an album so packed with agression, hatred and isolation. Let's hope that the next release won't take another two years.
Shadows Of Disgust
Raw Black Metal 11 songsRelease year: 2004Bloodaxe I reviewed Bloodaxe’s release called Bloodthrone back in mid 2003. When I was writing the review the follow up, titled Raping The Ancient, was set to be released shortly there after. However, it never came. I was worried Raping The Ancient would not see the light of day, but finally in November, the new Bloodaxe CD was released. There were obviously numerous delays but it was well worth the wait. Raping The Ancient is a fantastic follow up to Bloodthrone. It’s more mature, better produced, more atmospheric, and above all else has exceeded my expectations in every way possible. Bloodthrone was an enjoyable release but it never caught my ear like Raping The Ancient has. To describe the sound of Bloodaxe is rather simple. Like many older Norwegian bands constant blast beats are used. Thankfully they come in a variety of tempos: fast, faster, fastest. Some stops and starts can be found as well as occasional fills, but this is pretty much a constant Black Metal blast beat assault, however, the varying tempos add some hidden depth to the music. Bloodaxe have also tried their hand at a more mid-paced Black Metal song (While You Lie Bleeding), using the type of pacing Pagan Hammer likes to use and it is very successful. It so so successful, in fact, that I like to hear the band write more songs like this. The approach to this track is very epic and multi-faceted and is a stark contrast to the more straightforward assault on the rest of the CD. The main appeal here though is the guitars. There is a heavy distortion to the tone but unlike Bloodthrone, the melodies and atmosphere can more clearly be heard if you give the music the appropriate attention. It’s almost trance inducing and there are some seriously twisted riffs. The best part about the atmosphere produced from the riffing is the effect is not readily available to the listener. Raping The Ancient has a type minimalist approach that forces the listener to pay attention to every note, and then rewards the listener with a very unique and cold atmosphere. Just like everything else the vocals have also improved. They, too, are heavily distorted and are still intermittent, but are higher in the mix this time. The intermittent style of the vocals is actually a nice touch that is starting to define the sound of Bloodaxe as much as anything. The pacing goes along perfectly with the changes in riffs, which shows the vocals aren’t just random blurts. The lyrics deal entirely with Nordic themes and usually tell a story, as most of the time the lyrics are based on Norse mythos. Bloodaxe have really out done themselves this time. Though the music is perhaps not as brutal as it was on Bloodthrone, it’s definitely more atmospheric and captivating. It really is something special when Black Metal bands are able to create such a complex atmosphere with so little at their disposal. Even though a couple of tracks blend together the majority of the music on here is brilliant. My favorite songs are Thirteen Oars Of Misfortune and Drifting Of Ull which have some of the best Raw Black Metal riffs this year, if not this decade. All you Raw Black Metal fans need to check these guys out. There is an mp3 on their website and is a great example of the bands sound. Bloodaxe won’t be for everyone and if the only Black Metal you listen to is Dimmu Borgir then don’t bother… but if you’re into the Raw Black Metal scene give these guys a chance and you might find Raping The Ancient as entrancing as I have. Killing Songs : Haunting The Runes, Superior Winds, Loki's Fury, Drifting Of Ull, Thirteen Oars Of Misfortune, While You Lie Bleeding
Metal Reviews (International)
Bloodaxe's first full-length release, Bloodthrone, was admired by fans mainly because it was pure extreme metal from start to finish, and the very cold ambience that was contained in every song. If you liked his last release because of that, then you'll love this album as much. Always making the most extreme type of metal, Lien continues to rule. The songs on this are even shorter - hell, it's only 32 minutes long! But does that make the album bad in any way? NO. This album also feels like more work was put into it, seeing as the release date kept on being pushed back often. The vocals are better and grimmer. Lien decided to release the lyrics for this one, and I'm not surprised about their subject. Raping, Killing, Vikings, etc. All this just to tell you that this album is VERY extreme. As I said already, this album is similar to Bloodthrone, if I compare the riffs. But that's alright, since they're awesome. It's really that simple. You liked the first Bloodaxe album? Then you'll love this, that's for sure.
Encyclopaedia Metallum (International)
This successor to 2001's "Bloodthrone" has been long in the making. It was pretty much ready in 2002, but various delays in the various steps of getting an album ready to market have kept pushing the release until now. Well, rejoice peasants, for it has now arrived. :) If you liked "Bloodthrone", there are enough similarities on "Raping the Ancient" that you should also like this. Didn't like it? Well, it's still worth checking out, for despite the similarities, there are enough differences that it might just be enough to win some more fans. The overall atmosphere is similar, a bit more agonizing to some extent, and the music is a little slower and more primitive than on "Bloodthrone". The vocals are very similar: BM growls/screeches, a bit low in the mix and a tone mixed with anger and despair that gives quite an effective result. The only part I really didn't like is on "While You Lie Bleeding" where some (not all) of the vocals sound like when I was a kid and talked in front of a running fan to alter my voice (you've done this too as a kid, people, just admit it! :)) I'm not sure what was the intended effect here, but it doesn't come out so good. But other than that, the song is actually very good and even a bit more diversified sound-wise than the others. "Raping the Ancient" is a worthy successor to "Bloodthrone". Those into the primitive and raw early 90s Norwegian Black Metal should find something to like here. Dimmu fans need not apply.
Michel Renaud / Metal Crypt (Canada)
Prepare yourself for a total onslaught of Viking/Black Metal the likes of which have never been inflicted upon mortal ears. Nordavinden is a very talented musician/vocalist, and his talent is shown with every bone crushing riff. Tracks like Superior Winds, Threshold of The Unseen, Drifting of Ull (first single) and album stealer While You Lie Bleeding will make you believe Raping The Ancient is 2004 best kept secret. Nordavinden's vocals (my personal highlight) are kept simple, straight forward and not overdone. The only complaint I have is WE have to wait another year for the follow up.
Dallas Falvo (Canada)
Bloodaxe formed in Ontario, Canada in 2000. Consisting of two members ( Nordavinden: guitars, bass, vocals, and piano, and Rati: Percussion) and having a handful of releases under their belt, Bloodaxe has metal experience. This release would please the majority of Black Metal fans. Nordavinden has some talent and it shows. Pretty impressive he does everything but the percussion. Sound recording is decent, vocals are distinguishable, guitars are rather potent. Black Metal isn't my favorite, but Bloodaxe isn't bad. If you are looking into checking Black Metal out this release would be a good place to start.
Adrenaline Zine (U.S.A)
This is the most primitive Viking Black Metal that has catapulted its way from the shadows of the past to the modern ear of Neo - Zine reviews. These two guys make Bathory seem like space science. This blur of buzz - saw guitar and barbaric pounding all blend into one big "whomp - whomp" of doom and destruction. The lyrics are spread like poetry or plague in a hacking discourse more said than sung. This harkens me way back, and it pumps the blood like a Berserker rage. This is music by which blood should be spilt upon ice. Even if you don't like this, you have to respect it.
Neo - Zine (U.S.A)
I first heard Bloodaxe back in 2001 with his Bloodthrone album, it was pure Blackness ripping at your nervous system and possessing your very core. The new Bloodaxe album Raping the Ancient is just as devastating as its predecessor. The mastermind behind Bloodaxe is Nordavinden who composes the music and the lyrics plus plays all the instruments, apart from the drums. Hailing from Canada Nordavinden takes his Viking ancestry serious and this comes through in his song writing. Raping The Ancient is a blizzard wiping you in the face, with no mercy. Bloodaxe is a must for all necro hell dogs out their who love their Black Metal seriously ancient.
Hard 'n Heavy (Serbia & Montenegro)
Norwegian-Canadian Nordavinden and Bloodaxe are back with another attack on Christianity and everything else vulgar in this world.. The band's last opus I gave a 3 , and after listening through it again I still stick to that score. I was excited about what Nordavinden had come up with this time, and through some talks I have had with this man I had been warned that it would be more brutal. Well, this Norwegian-Canadian have not been more right!! "Raping The Ancient" is a brutal exhibition of extreme metal. Where on his last album he showed some mercy by putting in a couple of acoustic tracks, there is no such thing this time. The album opens with "Midvinterblod", an excellent harding fiddle sampling, but then violently breaks out into metal full of black energy and hate. Very quickly I was struck by the vocal, a really tough vocal that could almost reminds you of Satyr's vocal on Satyricon's album "Rebel Extravaganza". I thought this had been achieved by some effects, but Nordavinden promptly put an end to this idea, this is what his vocal sounds like. Tough! The music has not really a lot of challenges, most tracks are in the same time and speed, and the tunes are not always easy to tell from each other. The weakest side of the album is the drums, played by Rati, not Rali as I wrote last time. He plays his drums the same way almost all through the album, which is rather irritating. Luckily I can inform you that he is now out of the band, so we may hope that bit will be better next time! However, the album contains many cool riffs and parts, and I want to point out the tracks "Loki's Fury", which is a cool instrumental, rhythmic and nice to listen to. "Drifting of Ull" is a tune with a cold and grim expression, also this one in a quick rhythm, and it holds some unbelievably fat riffs with a really lovely feeling. "Thirteen Oars of Misfortune” is to my ears the best track. Here he eases down a little, and Nordavindens vocal is turned into normal talking, which makes the tune different and spruces it up, if such an expression can be used. After this tune comes the last one of the album, which has got the title of "While You Lie Bleeding". Here again he talks, but not with the same good effect this time I think. Also this one is rather quiet, but the whole tune is fucking bad to listen to. It holds a couple of riffs that are rather cool, but otherwise it is a rather anaemic tune. The last track has been named "Gammellandet", and is dedicated to Rennebu, Sør-Trøndelag, which is fun. So "Raping The Ancient" achieves half a mark better than its predecessor, why? Well, I like the quick drive to most of it, and the album contains to my ears many fat riffs and cool parts. Also the tunes mentioned above contribute to upgrade the album somewhat, but still there is nothing new here you have not heard before. I end up like last time, I'm looking forward to hearing more from Bloodaxe, because here are many good ideas, and I also believe Bloodaxe will sound better with another drummer!
Eternal Terror (Norway)
Hailing from the great white north, Thunder Bay, Canada's own BLOODAXE have finally released their album "Raping The Ancient", a disc that was originally recorded in 2002. Filled with aggression, anger, and hatred, there is nothing nice going on here. The packaging is cold and imposing, bleak and sinister, while lyrically, the topics touch on killing, rape, death, and destruction. When I put the disc into my CD player, the first thought that came to mind was "Man, this reminds me of BATHORY!" And it really does. The compressed sound, the endless blastbeats, and the vocals are all reminiscent of the mighty BATHORY (R.I.P. Quorthon). This is pure, chilling, old school Viking metal - the likes of which I haven't heard in a long time . If you think that you'll be listening to DIMMU BORGIR or CRADLE OF FILTH...well, you won't be. This is not symphonic or orchestrated in any way - rather full of distorted guitars/vocals and blastbeats. The album is an intense listen, and definitely not for those uninitiated to this style of music. The production job on "Raping The Ancient" is simple to the point of being non-existent, while the mix is a little muddled with very little top or bottom end. The drum levels are almost overwhelming throughout the entire disc; the vocals are way back in the mix, and it's almost impossible to hear any bass at all. To break this album down song by song would be a fairly repetitive endeavor, as the first four or five songs sound very, very similar. If I wasn't following along with the lyrics, then I would not have known that we had moved on to a new song. The tunes run together and sound incredibly similar with all of the 'melody' lines and dynamics remaining unvaried. There's a definite intensity on the album, but not much variety to be found. The instrumental "Loki's Fury" tells the tale of the main character, and though the actual song itself does not have any vocal content, the lyrics in the CD booklet are meant to explain who Loki was. The two highlights of "Raping The Ancient" come near the end of the disc in the form of "Thirteen Oars Of Misfortune" and "While You Lie Bleeding". Both of these songs are a change of pace from the onslaught of blastbeats, and feature more of a drum groove. "While You Lie Bleeding" has an interesting vocal effect in, and the spoken word ending adds to the cold feeling you get from the album as a whole. BLOODAXE do what they do very well. There isn't anything that wasn't planned on this CD. However, "Raping The Ancient" is an album that will probably most likely only appeal to those fans of very old-school Viking metal. There really isn't anything modern-sounding about the album, and it might seem a tad monotonous to those who don't love the genre. If you are a fan of this genre, however, you will find BLOODAXE's "Raping The Ancient" to your liking.
Dette er det andet album fra canadiske Bloodaxe, mainman og komponist i bandet er Nordavinden Lien, som finder meget inspiration i sin families norske rødder. Såvel musik som tekster har en del inspiration fra den skandinaviske verden. Stilen er ondt black metal, kolde isende riffs tegner atmosfæren, som er hadsk og ofte med et melankolsk tilsnit. Kompositionerne er gennemtænkte og griber hurtigt lytteren i et jerngreb og slipper ikke før at musikken ophører. Der er en del gode riffs samtidig med at den larmende guitar udspyer galde, så er der en del fængende stykker i musikken. De bedste eksempler på det er nummerene 'Drifting Of Ull' og 'While You Lie Bleeding', som samtidigt besidder episke dimensioner. Det er selve kompositionerne og guitararbejdet der er mest interessant på albummet her. Som skrevet er der en del gode og fængende riffs indblandet i musikken. Trommerne er meget lige ud af landevejen og leverer ikke de store overraskelser. Vokalen er pænt varieret imellem et pinselfuldt skrig der besidder et had fra ukendte dimensioner og en mørk spoken word vokal, der ikke altid falder i min smag. Produktionen er meget mørk og ligger af og til en dæmper på musikken. Dog er den ikke nær så kaotisk som det var tilfældet på det første album. Musikken på denne skive er dog også mere "stille og roligt" med en del atmosfæriske og episke elementer, og slet ikke så hurtigt og hæsblæsende hele vejen igennem, som "Bloodthrone". Et dejligt tungt og mørkt album med stemninger og inspirationer fra den gamle black metal. Krydret med god fængende sangskrivning og gode atmosfærer. De 32 minutter som albummet varer virker dog alt for kort, man kunne godt have klaret en dobbeltdosis, men så kan man selvfølgelig bare køre albummet på repeat.
Nocturnal Horde (Denmark)
Violence, Hatered, War and Death. This is the auto descritption of Nordavinden Lien on his own band Bloodaxe. Boastfullness??? NO!!! only the listening of the Bloodthrone CD is really representative of a real description for its a unique band with a unique feeling attached to it. All this conceptual violence is bringed on a racial silver plate. Pride from our Norsk forefathers. Vikings. Pride into the roots of our Northern European people. I'm not talking at all about National Socialism here. Only pride and dedication to the pagan roots. This is purely the expression of the past North peoples rage and war feelings. The CD begins with a weird almost ambient intro piece significantly called W.O.T.A.N. Then was loose ourselves in a non-stop block of three songs all linked together by similar riffs and aggressiveness. Even if the best one is obvioulsy WITHIN THE WALLS OF ELJUDNIR for its really getting us in a catchy and brutal as fuck ambience. Then came the TRESKJAEREREN track, accoustic representant of the Northern Folkloric musical culture BLOODAXE like to often pay tribute to. Then we dive again into primal violence with the two tracks, DROWNING IN MIMIR's WELL and OLD ONE IN THE IRONWOOD. Again BLOODAXE is something very hard to describe for it is not really something already heard. The RATI's drummer, performance is really memorable for this guy is able to play very fuckin fast and still get our attention with several very catchy and straight executioned breaks into his work. After that brutal assault of two songs, we can enjoy something that can't be described other than delightful. The piece MORGENDIS is another acoustic one but of a really unbelievable composistion quality. It 's sounding like NORDAVINDEN is using his guitarist skills onto a twelve string on this track. Then, 1030, a title without vocals, that I could describe as a SLAYER tribute for it strongly reminds me of them. Finally, this powerful first full length opus concludes with a distorted piano hymn. A morbid one. Much like MAYHEM's WEIRD MANHEIM. Well..now..what can I tell ye more except that ye should be running to get what I sincerly consider as the beast Canadian release of the year!!!
Grimness' Lair (Canada)
What I'm holding in my hand right now is the debut album of the Canadian viking/pagan metal band Bloodaxe. The album starts with a good intro W.O.T.A.N. and after that the brutal hateful and quite chaotic music starts. There are some very good melodies and riffs standing out in the chaotic music, the drums are fast and crushing but not too technical and the vocals are very hateful. The production is good, not too clear but powerful. Sometimes the vocals disappear behind the music a bit but otherwise there's nothing to complain about. There are two short acoustic tracks Treskjaereren and Morgendis, both of them done in typical pagan way. It's always good to hear tracks like these two on a album like this because it makes the album a lot more interesting. 1030 is a slow and heavy instrumental track and the last track Trondskogen is a very dark piano track. This is a very good album, it takes a while before you really get into it and the band has it's own style, they definitely stand out from the never ending mass of pagan metal bands. The music is filled with nordic spirit and pride of the bands Norwegian roots. The album is quite short although it has ten tracks, but I hope we will hear more music form band in the future. Bloodthrone is a unique album and more than worth checking out if you have any interest in this kind of music.
4/5 P. CatiniNight of Unholy Black metal (Finland)
Emotional, heavy & dark. I guess you could call it Canadian viking metal. The lyrics deal with viking mythos as mainman Nordavinden, a Canadian is of direct Norwegian descent. The music bathes you, black fuzzy guitar waves, distant war drums and vocals that give off a black metallish aura. Interesting.
Dale RoyCanadian Assault (Canada/U.S.A)
Ach Du heilige Scheiße, ich glaube fast, ich werde von einem Gaule mit den Hufen liebkost. Bloodaxe geben selsbt dem Teufel Zunder, wie man meinen könnte. Eine infernalischere Blackmetalscheibe habe ich wohl noch nie gehört, allerdings sind Bloodaxe schon teilweise hart an der Grenze zum völligen Irrsinn. Im Auto konnte ich diese CD nicht lange ertragen, da der völlig kaputte Rauschesound zuviel für meine Boxen und Nerven war, außerdem halt noch die Songs so sehr verzerrte, daß man kaum mehr etwas außer einem Sirren und Sausen vernehmen konnte. Daheim habe ich den Kampf mit diesem schwierigen Stück Ultraspeedgetrümmeres nochmals aufgenommen und ich bin irgendwie schon froh, daß diese CD nur 27 Minuten dauert. Auf einer guten Anlage ist die Musik gut herausfilterbar, dürfte den unbedarften Nichtfan von schwarzmalerischem Höllenmetal jedoch augenblicklich in den Suizig treiben. Bloodaxe wollen es den Leuten gar nicht einfach machen. Sperrige Klangbomben knallen nahezu ununterbrochen auf einen nieder, verbreiten dabei eine emotionale Eiseskälte, wie sie kaum ein zweites Mal gespürt worden ist und zehren an der ohnehin schon vom Alltagsstreß zerschundenen Seele. Einige akustische Gitarrenspielereien und ein etwas langsamerer Track (für mich auch das Highlight, da er schön furios rockt) sorgen da für ein wenig Zeit zum Luftholen. Diese Musik, das ist unbeschreiblich. Blasphemy und Bestial Summoning waren krankhaft primitiv, haben sich aber wenigstens noch halbwegs an Songstrukturen gehalten. Die im ersten Moment schon fast zusammenhangslos wirkenden Lärmorgien des Norwegers und seines kanadischen Drummers hingegen setzen sich über derlei Regelwerk hinweg und treiben ihr bitterböses Spiel mit der Psyche der Hörer. Ja, diese CD ist krank. Dagegen wirken solche Bands wie Darkthrone absolut mainstreamig. Ob das nun true ist? Oder kultig? Oder einfach nur ein großer Haufen Scheiße? Ich bin völlig überfragt. Mein Verstand beginnt langsam aber sicher zu schwinden und hinterläßt einen menschlichen Scherbenhaufen. Gerade deswegen mag ich diese CD irgendwie. Mit normalen musikalischen Maßstäben ist den beiden Wichten also nicht zu kommen, oder? Nach anfänglicher Skepsis hat sich mein Gehör schon so sehr an die klangliche Todeskälte gewöhnt, daß ich das Vorhandensein verschiedener Melodien verspüre. Wenn der Sound nur etwas besser wäre, Bloodaxe würden Setherial und In Battle wegblasen, ihre Songs erinnern mich stark an diese Schwedischen Abrißkommandos. Nur daß sie noch mehr dem puren Chaos zusprechen. Wie benotet man diese CD nun? 6,66 satanische Punkte und eine Empfehlung an die kränksten aller Kranken sich unter Bloodaxe@odin.zzn.com nach dem Preis für diese audiophile Vergeltungswaffe zu fragen! Und jetzt will ich hier verfickt noch eins raus!
6.66 Punkte Sascha Maurer
Metal Coven (Germany)
BLOODAXE - "Bloodthrone"self-releasedRating: 7/10 BLOODAXE is a duet based in Ontario, Canada. However, Nordavinden, BLOODAXE frontman, has got Norwegian roots. Obviously, all lyrics are focused upon Norse mythology and history. Although Nordavinden claims he hasn't even listened to ENSLAVED, I still believe that this debut album is greatly influenced by Ivar's creations. Musically, "Bloodthrone" represents an extremely harsh form of Black Metal, mostly fast-paced, with a very humid guitar sound. I believe that all late ENSLAVED and IMMORTAL fans shall dig this out.
What would you think when seeing a booklet with runes and song titles such as "W.O.T.A.N", "Runemaster", "Within the walls of Eljudnir"... yes indeed: Viking Metal. I thought to get some wussy music with tons of folk,... Well I was pleasantly suprised. From the first song off I was blasted away. What a great power this CD radiates! The drummer jumps with ease from the slowest to the most furious speeds. Many Black Metal drummers can learn from this one. And it still has an underground production. The songs are mostly separated by an acoustic or some kind of piano - intermezzo. Very good release and brutal as hell.
Bloodaxe magazine (Belgium)
Bloodaxe is, much to my surprise, a band hailing from Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, and so is the band's label, White Legends Records. I wasn't expecting any metal to come out of there, and even less expected was the Black Metal genre (although to some extent there's some flirting with Viking/pagan Metal.) The band's leader is in fact a Norwegian-Canadian so that explains a few things right there. A musical base comparison would be the early 90's BM scene, in the likes of Darkthrone, whose coldness, grim atmosphere and raw metal Bloodaxe seems to have found inspiration in. Beside a couple of acoustic intro/outro tracks that carry an uneasy feeling of grim solitude, the music here is overall pretty fast-paced, although there are a couple of much slower songs that I found to have an even darker mood to them, while the faster stuff depicts a much angrier, aggressive or even destructive feeling coming from the band. Ok it may seem like I'm stating the obvious here, but this is simply to emphasize the fact that those guys have got it right - it's not every BM band out there that succeed in really making their feelings flow into the listener through their music, but Bloodaxe is I think one of those few. The vocals are pretty low in the mix and while some may see it as a production problem (...) for my part I think it just adds
Metal Crypt (Canada)
"Bloodaxe - The Bloodthrone is a masterpiece of fucking elite black Viking war metal supremacy and devastation! Hailing from the shores of Vinland, the true Beserkr speed and blinding intensity interspersed with the moments of calm in the eye of the storm, in addition to the cold, surgical musicianship wielded by these Norsemen make this release one of the best ever of not only the Vinlandic scene, but of the whole black/Viking metal genre."
Grymyrk/Pagan Calvary (Canada)
"Bloodthrone features ten songs of a 27 minute running time, whilst stylistically ... of course, it couldn't be anything else but harsh black metal. If you think IMMORTAL's "Pure Holocaust" once raped your delicate ears, you'd better don't even try to give this one a listen. It won't just rape, but slaughter you, cowardly sheep! While I appreciate "Bloodthrone" for being such a merciless assault I must admit that, sadly enough, it's way beyond chaotic - and it's not what I appreciate. Chaotic, simplistic, and somewhat even senseless at times."
Vae Solis (Russia)
This Canadian band got together in the middle of 2000 and after three weeks of jamming they already recorded their first demo. At the beginning of January 2001, seven months after the birth of the band they went into to studio again to record this album. This ten track album is not even 30 minutes long and holds some blasphemous black metal. The band is not the kind of black metal band that fiddles around to put layers of keyboards in their compositions. They simply blast out their music as brutal as possible. I am personally not a fan of this ultra brutal raw hateful black metal but I know a lot of people who will like this disk. So if you are into blasting black metal get in touch with Bloodaxe and I am sure they will be more than happy to let you know how you can get a copy of this album. 6.5
Hailing from possibly the most un-black metal place around, Thunder Bay, Canada, Bloodaxe is a 2-piece project in the vein of old Emperor, Marduk, Kult Ov Azazel etc. Walls of sinister riffs and snarling vocals swirl about a blasting snare drum and varied percussion to carry the tales of violence, hatred, war and death. Aside from the drums, Norwegian-Canadian and founder of Bloodaxe Nordavinden is responsible for all the instruments and vocals, which often remind me of Belphegor in both delivery and tone. Brief instrumentals like "Treskjaereren" are the only mercy given to you by the band, who then jump right back into the slaughter with the furore of "Drowning in Mimir's Well", one of many songs steeped in the rich Scandinavian cultural heritage of Nordavinden. As the band was only together for 7 months prior to this recording, expect even more destruction and fierce pride from Bloodaxe on the next album, which is not too far off according to their interesting website, www.bloodaxe.net A great independent black metal outfit without the silliness of many of their counterparts. 8/10
Tartarean Desire (Sweden)
Bloodaxe - Bloodthrone CD on White Legends Rec.Vocals: High, raspy screamsDrums: Fast as HellGuitars: Fast / melodicTechnicality : 3 / 6Comments : Fast, non - stop, in your face Black Metal!!! Lot's of Power. A must for any Black Metal fan!!!Brutality Rating : BRUT
Sevared ' zine issue #4 (U.S.A)
Though the Vikings have long since abandoned Vinlandic shores, their blood runs true and strong still in these harsh lands. Such an example of this is the einherjer named Nordavinden and the longship he commands: Bloodaxe. No woodnymphs frolicking in the forest here, just full out bloodlusted heathen attacks upon christian settlements with pillage and plunder are the order of battle upon this cd. A grim but fully listenable clarity is granted here, leaving the spirit of the listener frozen within it's icy grip, feeling the crisp sea breeze on the face, the spray of salt water upon the decks, the taste of blood and mead mixed upon the lips, and of victorious battles past in the swirling mists that surround.
A powerful Black/Heathen Metal project courtesy of main man Nordavinden, who is of proud Norwegian/Canadian descent. Nordavinden (who sings and plays acoustic/electric guitar, piano and bass) along with drummer Rati have released their debut 10 track effort, and it is certainly a strong and forceful statement for the future. BLOODAXE brings to mind perhaps the earlier works of such epic Norwegian acts such as ENSLAVED or HADES, but mixes it up with a gritty, raw atmosphere as well. The end result is one that seems very professional and talented for a band still so young (formed in May 2000), and I wouldn't doubt if we heard more from the True Northern duo in the near future. In the meantime contact Nordavinden (this CD is $15 post paid) at ... Suite #15 936 Tungsten Street Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. P7B 5Z6
Coming from Northern Ontario, Canada, Bloodaxe are a intense black metal band with Norwegian Black Metal roots. This release clocks in at just 26 minutes. It is very extreme, straight - ahead blackness. All - out speed and vocals of screams and growls. Hard to tell some of the songs apart as they just keep slamming through them. This two - piece slows down in the middle with an acoustic guitar cut and later on throw in a few more instrumentals that are slow, but heavy. The instrumental 1030 sounds inspired by Sabbath. Cd ends with a instrumental piano track to be playing at midnight in the cemetary with that special someone. Fans of Immortal type of metal will like this. I would like to hear some more tempo changes mixed within, make it a little easier to listen to.
The Pit Magazine (Canada)
A CD like this gives me hope for the black metal scene, it proves not everyone is wimping out! Unrelenting blast beats in the Nordic vein but with more of an emphasis on heavier more emotional guitar riffs. Bloodaxe are hatefully convincing and a real slap in the face to what most bands and labels are passing off as black metal these days. I can't tell ya what a pleasure it is to associate the word "extreme" with a black metal band, hasn't happened with me in a long time.
Mental Funeral #4 (U.S.A.)
BLOODAXE play some very fast paced raw Black Metal out of Canada. The music has a very strong hatred like style in the sound. The music is done in a very raw old school meets new school Black Metal style. The vocals are a harsh mid to higher pitched Death growl. There are some breakdowns slower parts as well as some more atmospheric parts. An all around well diverse Black Metal band!!! - SUITE #15 / 936 TUNGSTEN ST / THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO / CANADA P7B 5Z6
Beowolf Productions (U.S.A.)
Bloodaxe is a band from Thunder Bay , Ontario, Canada. Where exactly is that? Well, Thunder Bay could be considered the equivalent to certain northern regions of Norway as far as weather goes. So here we have what some have termed Canadian Viking Metal. The main person behind this band is a man named Nordavinden, who has Nordic heritage and pride in his background, hence the Nordic themes in his music. This isn't typical Viking Metal though, there are not a lot of folk elements for example, instead this is raw, brutal, and fast Black Metal with Viking themes in the lyrics and some folk passages used as short interludes in between songs. There isn't one band that I can point to give an idea of what Bloodaxe sound like, but the closest would be Enslaved, although Bloodaxe is very far from being an Enslaved clone. Every non - instrumental song is very fast with almost non - stop blast beats, mixed with fills and breaks every now and then, and heavily distorted Black Metal riffing that produces some interesting melodies, which are barely audible under the brutality and noise created by Bloodaxe, which in turn gives off an unique atmosphere. The vocals are not done in a typical Black Metal style, they tend to be somewhat intermittent and have varying tones. You can't really hear them that well due to the production, which is one of my only complaints, because they do sound perfect for the music being played. A lot of bands like this, that contain one main person doing pretty much everything, fall into the habit of using a drum machine for their percussion work - Vintersorg and Odhinn come to mind first. Thankfully, Nordavinden was smart and uses Rati as his session drummer - a very wise choice. As mentioned, there are quite a few instrumentals on here. Two of them are about 1 minute long acoustic tracks, which are well played, then the others use various sounds to create yet again, unique, bleak sounding atmospheres, especially 1030, which is like a regular Bloodaxe song, minus the vocals, but the real difference is that the song is mid - paced. The best of the regular tracks are Within the Walls of Eljudnir and Drowning in Mimir's Well, which in my opinion contain the best use of the Black Metal melodies. The music being played is not the most technical, but it is damn fast and precise. Overall I enjoyed Bloodthrone for what it's worth, i.e. a largely independent release with little production values and a short length (nothing wrong with that with a band like this). Obviously, for a relatively unknown label like White Legends, the production won't be perfect and it isn't, even for a Raw Black Metal band, but it is not bad either, far from it. The main thing about this release though, is that Bloodaxe did some interesting work with the acoustic songs and the mid - paced instrumental. I can't help wonder if including sections like these in the actual full- out songs would be beneficial, further adding to the potential and possibilities within the unique and blistering atmosphere already created by Bloodaxe. This release won't be for everyone, only Raw Black Metal fans should apply, but chances are you'll enjoy it if you're into this style of Brutal Black Metal. If you want to know more about the band go to their official page, where you can easily purchase their release for a good price and download some MP3's to get an idea of what it sounds like. As for me, I'm looking forward for their next release, Raping the Ancient, which I believe will be out in 2003. Killing songs: Runemaster, Within the Walls of Eljudnir, Drowning in Mimir's Well, Old One in the Ironwood
Metal Reviews (International)
True Black Metal never dies. Fortunately, this time "true black metal" isn't in the worse sense. Bloodaxe can be considered as a sort of solo - project, being all the songs composed by one guy named Nordavinden, and played by the same guy, except drums played by a session Rati. The band hails from Canada, even if the mastermind involved in the project seems to be linked in some way with Norway. Lyrically this is also obvious with lyrics dealing with Viking mythology's subjects, with some also written in Norwegian language. With the ten songs featured on this album, Bloodaxe propose raw and true-to-the-core black metal with an ability to play. No keyboards, no female voices, no flutes or whatever alike. Just plain brutality - but well thought out brutality. Hellishly fast- paced, relentless black metal the Immortal way (Battles in the North" - era), so if you like the Norwegian band and regret the sound and attitude you'll like this effort. 4/6
This is the first Canadian band that I ever heard playing Black Metal. The reason is that I don't following American music or that Bloodaxe is the only one Black Metal band. This band is only from two members Rati (drums) and Nordavinden, which by the way plays with all other instruments (bass, acoustic, electric guitar, piano) takes a vocal part. For me Bloodaxe reminds Immortal, but a bit more melodic. But vocal is the same. Whole album contains 10 songs and three of them are instrumental. Two of them are played with acoustic guitar, and one which by the way is played the last in the CD is played by piano. Cover art work is not high quality . Paintings are like in Nordic mythology. If you want to contact Bloodaxe you can write at bloodaxe@Odin.zzn.com
Sacred Angel (Lithuania)
Du true black métal et voilà il suffit d'écrire çà et fini mma chronique... au suivant. Effectivement comme on peut dire que O3 est un zine presque parfait autant on peut écrire que le black métal de Bloodaxe est presque sand fioritures. C'est rapide, haineux et avec un son ...euh ...black. N'empêches que pendant ce temps c'est leur 2eme opus et même le chat de mes potes et son miaulement strident et presque amical il en a pas fait autant. A réserver aux fans de vrai (true en anglais) black métal, pour les autres allez voir les autres chroniques ou bien achetez un cd de Karnal. c/o White Legends, suite 15, 936 Tungsten Street, Thunder Bay, Northern Ontario, P7B 5Z6 - Canada bloodaxe@Odin.zzn.com - www.bloodaxe.net
Metal Land (France)
En solid mur af kold og ondskabsfuldt black metal rejser sig fra højtalerne, så snart introen 'W.O.T.A.N.' er overstået. Herefter er der had, had og atter had på programmet. Bloodaxe leverer galde i lange baner på en fed og interessant måde. Stilen har karakteristika fra både den kolde og dunkle nordiske scene og fra den kaotiske og overbrutale candiske, så at sige det bedste fra dem begge. Guitarriffene skærer koldt i ørene, trommerne blaster af sted og vokalen rejser sig grum som Midgårdsormen. Der en intet nyt over Bloodaxe's musik, men brutalitet og intensitet er i højsædet og på det punkt er der ikke mange der overgår det canadiske band. Der er også mange fede breaks, både med guitaren som højdepunkteet men til dels også hvor session drummer Rati viser sin kunnen. Hæsblæsende møgbrutalt black metal, sådan kan jeg sgu lide at høre det. Nordavinden har formået at få skruet nogle holdbare numre sammen, som helt sikkert ville kunne give genlyd i scenen. Dog falder de klassike guitarnumre 'Treskjæreren' og 'Morgendis' lidt ved siden at resten af skiven. De giver et velfortjent pusterum, men virker malplaceret. Canadian Black Metal Supremacy, jeg glæder mig sgu den næste skive!
Nocturnal Horde (Denmark)
A solid wall of cold and evil black metal is raising from the speakers, as soon as the intro "W.O.T.A.N" has ended. After this we do have hate, hate and even more hate on the program. Bloodaxe are delivering bile, lots of bile, but in a great and interesting way. The style which Bloodaxe are delivering has characteristics from both traditional Nordic black metal and from the utterly brutal Canadian ditto. The guitar riffs are cold and cutting. The drums are blasting their way through granite, and the vocals are raising grim and big as the world serpent. There is nothing new in the music of Bloodaxe, but the brutality and intensity are the two main things. And on this point, not many are better then the Canadians. There are many great breaks, both with the guitar as the highpoint. But session drummer Rati, is also showing what he is made of. Breathless brutal as hell black metal, just the way I like it. Nordavinden has made some really lasting compositions. And they should make some noise within the scene. Though the classical guitar tracks "Treskjæreren" and "Morgendis" are a bit out of context. They give you your breath back, but seem a bit ill - timed. This is pure Canadian Black Metal Supremacy, I am looking forward to the next album!
Nocturnal Horde (Denmark)
From Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, comes this seething Black Metal attack brought forth by Norwegian descendant, Nordavinden, who handels all vox, guitars and piano (on the piano only closer, "Trondskogen") ; teaming up with session drummer, Rati, who lends his blasts and overall greatness to Nordavinden's mid -era Immortal (i.e. Battles in the North) - style all - out chaos, interrupted a few times with tasteful, brief acoustic instrumentals. This is music to destroy the world by. Complete aural vision of war and death. An intense urgency, broken up with a few ideas of stop/start pauses, is present, along with the mildly obscured rhythmic patterns that bring to mind the truest of circumstantial Black Metal. (The only musical form capable of bringing this dark, violent expression to the fore.) The thickness of guitar tone adds to the dark and hateful aura, and drums are a crystal clean, untriggered battery. Clocking in at under 30 minutes, the only complaint is the brevity of this and the delay of their upcoming release Raping the Ancient, also to be released through White Legends.
Hail Metal (Canada)
Bloodaxe - Bloodthrone (White Legends 2001) Furious Viking Metal Furious and chaotic Viking Metal somewhat in the vein of Immortal and early Enslaved. Now when I say "Viking Metal " I'm not implying the ridiculous happy sound that many of us have come to shrug off as hopelessly missing the point - this is a fucking furious heathen assault by none other than Nordavinden, who is currently under extreme survelliance from the Thunder Bay Police for "crimes against humanity" (is it a coincidence that Thunder Bay is Canada's most aggressive city?). Bloodthrone has got to have the thickest guitar sound I've ever heard (messier then Batttles in the North), and I find that the bass tends to create a muddy wall of fuzzy distortion under which Nordavinden's axe assaults your ears; because of this, distinguishing the riffs is sometimes difficult, Nordavinden's vocals are somewhat reminiscent of Ihshan's "new" style and are buried underneath the guitars, but I do not mean this to be a derogatory statement. Drumming isn't really anything special but effective nonetheless. Two short acoustic pieces also make their way onto this disc, and they remind me a bit of Enslaved, though I think Nordavinden has his own style here. The intro and outro also have an Enslaved - ish touch, but I really see them as the weak point of the disc - too much noodling around with instruments for too long a span of time to be truly interesting. Choice tracks: Within in the Wall's of Eljudnir, Drowning in Mimir's Well, Runemaster, Oldone in the Ironwood and 1030 (great distorted arpeggio!). On a final note, one might find the liner notes to be a little amusing. Nordavinden accuses the Canadian government for not giving the Norse settlers of the northeastern areas of Canada (that would be Newfoundland and Labrador for those not in the know) the proper recognition and a day to call their own in his "Bullets to the Head" tribute. Violence is the Answer!
Bloodaxe - Bloodthrone (White Legends) Some bands are so absolute with their sound and the genre they've selected to play that despise everything new and "alienated" from the musical style they serve. I think that BLOODAXE belong pretty much to this category. Thier monolithical heathen and barbaric metal, can't give nay space to progressive experimentations as other Black Metal bands do. They have the "frosted" riffs of IMMORTAL from the "Blizzard Beasts" album, the dark monotony of DARKTHRONE and the epical moments of BATHORY. All the elements guarantee that classic Black Metallers will enjoy the CD as much much as that can get! The production of the album has weak points, cause the band had to confront many problems at the time. On the other hand the production makes the album sound like the first releases of MAYHEM and IMMORTAL which instantly gives it a cult value and transforms it into an obscure release. I think that friends of classic Norwegian Black Metal to check this album For the rest who believe that the most extreme Black Metal bands are DIMMU BORGIR and CRADLE OF FILTH (which I respect both as bands), is better not to touch this album. Favorite tracks: "Drowning in Mimir's Well, Old One in the Ironwood" and "Morgendis".
Behind the Veil (Greece)
BLOODAXE - Bloodthrone2001White LegendsCanadian Black AAAAAARRRGHHHHH!!!! TRATATATATATATAAAAA!!!!! AAAAARGHHH!!!! FUUUUUUCK!!!!! AAAAARGHHH!!!! DEEEAAATHHHH!!!! EEEEEEVILLLLL!!!! AAAAA!!!! TRAAATATATATA!!!!!! Fucking A! :) Then again, you know what? Take you fucking skepticism and stick it where the sun never shines, me dear Troll, Mjollnir up yer arse! Wanna know why? Because despite the horrible recording quality and the apparent primitivism of the music, there's still that certain something about these Canadian lads… well, sincerity, if nothing else. And no matter how little originality you may or may not find here, it still sounds quite good. Indeed, they may be way too much on the orthodox side, but then again, orthodoxy in black metal is quite usual, and not entirely wrong, my dear. True, this Ontario-based couple may well be a bit too naive, in many ways funny, but there is this primeval strength about them which one cannot but respect.
When I found all the promo stuff of Bloodaxe in my mail, I was at first surprised and then delighted. First, you must know that Bloodaxe is a two men project and it's just about impossible to believe that they succeeded to create such a deal of violence and aggressiveness. In Battle has been composed by the Norwegian-Canadian guitarist, vocalist and bassist, Nordavinden Lien in three weeks and recorded in the - lets say - underground fashion. The recording isn't so bad for a first demo Mcd. What stunned me the most about Bloodaxe is that the band has their own personality, their own universe. They aren't just another "cut and paste" version of a big viking band like Enslaved or any other. Bloodaxe is Bloodaxe. The sound is personalized and hasn't been heard before. It may sound like a chaotic cacophony to a weak ear but a listener who appeals to his intelligence can easily discern all the complexity and talent of Bloodaxe's musical skills. They really deserve their title of Extreme Viking Black Metal.
GRIMNESS' LAIR (Canada)
Bloodaxe is strong music for strong people. True Northern Metal that pays respect to the True Northern experience and its history. War, violence and battle are all aspects of this culture, but the Vikings and their kind also saw these terrible things as the path to the ultimate peace. True valour and beauty can indeed be found amid harshness. Similarly, often what appears to be a cacophony is truly a symphony - the listener must simply listen for the sounds between the notes, and perceive the emotion amid the chaos. The music of Bloodaxe is complex - an experience not to be taken lightly - it is not for the weak, and the best way to reach Valhalla is to be strong in battle.
Eric Weller -Meathead Records
This is a demo recording that preceded the band's first full-length album (Bloodthrone). Unsurpringly, since this is a demo the production is quite minimal even for the genre, but it's still good enough to be listenable. The vocals are mixed a little bit too low - lower than on the full-length where they were giving the desired effect. It's practically impossible to decipher any word and the lyrics are not included. Oh well, I've seen worse in that department so I'll live. ;) The songs are pretty short, and there are a couple of instrumentals (4th and 6th tracks). The 4th one is very short at 40 seconds and sounds a bit folkish. The 6th one closes the album on a bit of a "sorrow" note. Not bad, but they definitely sound like demo material (well duh!) The other songs are more in line with what you can expect from very raw and fast Black Metal, and a good idea of what was to come on "Bloodthrone". It's well executed, although not as effective as the "Bloodthrone" material. Still quite a good listen that shows the band's early work, so this will be mostly of interest to fans.
Overall not a bad demo, of course not as mature as the full-length that followed the next year but the basic elements are all there. Some may find it a bit unpolished and prefer to stick to the full-length album. This demo is sold out anyway, so if you want it you'll have to find someone willing to part with their copy. Hey, it worked for me. ;)
Metal Crypt (Canada)
Bloodaxe - In Battle (EP)Rokkonesløkk Records
This is the demo recording by Thunder Bay's Bloodaxe, the old school Black Metal duo who gave us 2001's "Bloodthrone". The production is, expectedly, a little poorer than the full - length, with the vocals coming out fairly low in the mix. The guitar tone is very thick, in a black metal sort of way, and boosts the power of the cool riffing on tracks like "Hall of Bilskirnir". I didn't care too much for the loose snare sound, but Rati's drumming was as solid then as it is now. Maybe I'm just catching on to the whole "feel" of black metal, but there is something hypnotic about the way the songs move from riff to riff. It's as if I was trying to find my way out of a very dark room with no door after dropping 3 or 4 hits of acid. Unsettling and entrancing. " Svartalfaheim" is an acoustic piece powered by the Norse culture of which Bloodaxe is based upon, and "Freya's Caress" seems like the black metal version of Cliff Burton's classic bass solo "Anesthesia". Moments like this will do away with the critics who occasionally blast the black metal scene for it's frequently repetitive nature. The layout and art on this demo rivals most full - length albums, with some nice glossy art and runic lettering. "In Battle", while not as impressive as the full - length, is still a great CD worth checking out.
Tartarean Desire (Sweden)