Monday, November 13, 2017

Review: Axis-Shift


In my humble opinion, Axis is not only the best currently active hardcore band in Florida, but one of the best current hardcore bands period. In 2015, after a string of excellent EP and split releases, the band unleashed their breakthrough debut LP "Show Your Greed", a blistering 10 song collection of crushing metallic hardcore that took the foundation laid out by powerhouse bands such as All Else Failed, Deadguy and Turmoil and upped the intensity tenfold. It's a release that I still spin regularly today and one of the finest metallic hardcore albums of the last decade, if not longer. After touring on that LP, the band followed it up with an unexpected curveball, a stunning collaboration EP with Seraph/The Light that drew more inspiration from the build up and release intensity of metal giants Cult Of Luna and Neurosis than the metallic hardcore foundation they pushed on previous releases. Nearly a year later, the band has released their highly anticipated sophomore LP "Shift" and once again they have pushed the boundaries with an album of crushing, forward thinking metallic hardcore.

One of the most noticeable differences out of the gate with "Shift" is the absence of previous vocalist Rafael Morales, with guitarist Dylan Downey taking on main vocal duties this time around in addition to his previous roll. Thankfully the band doesn't lose an ounce of their intensity from the lineup change, delivering their urgent and crushing material to date. They also add flashes of the intense buildup shown on their collaboration LP as well, blending in the more experimental elements of their sound perfectly with the heavy metallic hardcore that they've become well known for. It's a pairing that further elevates the band's standing as one of the more unique metallic hardcore bands that are currently active.

With "Shift", Axis again have released an album that is both unbelievably catchy and filled with dense/intricate songwriting that will continue to reward with repeat listens. You can stream the entire record via Good Fight Entertainment's bandcamp below, where you can also find links to purchase physical copies of the album. "Shift" is a highly recommended listen to all fans of heavy music/metallic hardcore.

Purchase "Shift" via Good Fight Recordings here