Hailing from Singapore and featuring former members of Stillborn and Zaganoth in their ranks, Axis Mundi are a Sludge Metal influenced trio with a fast growing reputation. Featuring the vocal talents of Sathish Kumar, drum skills of Mitch Goon and with Vinod Dass handling guitars, bass & effects, they’re a band that promises much.
Title track “The Depths” is the quintessential 78 second menacing Demon summoning from hell atmospheric that could feature in any horror or science fiction film of note and serves simply as a prelude for what is to come. First track proper “Summoning the Serpent” sees Sathish Kumar deliver some caustic unclean vocals over a more primative Sludge Metal riff than perhaps you’d associate with such a vocal in something that is surprisingly remanicent of RagingSpeedhorn fronted by Randy Blythe of Lamb ofGod. The surprise is that it works really well, as on paper it reads like it shouldn’t. The pacing is well timed with the track coming out of the gate quickly and then progressively showing down to it’s closing and allowing for some deeper growls to cut through the thick sludgy riffs.
A brief feedback break brings in “Revelations” with the feel that the tracks have been recorded live. This time around the chunky sludge riffs have an undercurrent of synths and eerie programmed sounds underneath them before via a more traditional Metal solo and riff progression things step up. Again, the gravely vocals are absolutely caustic while lyrically following more if a Death Metal theology, it makes for interesting mix. Perhaps this cut is far closer to what the band are looking for as their core sound than the previous effort. The real surprise is the final track. Covering a song like “Territorial Pissings” by Nirvana is a huge risk because it’s a song that not only everyone knows but everyone has covered already. Adding fuel to that fire, the guitar parts are the staple of guitar teachers Worldwide and taking on such a song suddenly seems like not such a hot idea. Axis Mundi take it on like a bull in a china shop, applying their sound to it so that Kumar’s vocals are the part that shines over the battering ram of riffs and… They get away with it by making it their own. If you’re looking for something heavy to get up to over the weekend, this one is for you [7/10]
“The Depths” by Axis Mundi is out now and available over at bandcamp.