The Axis Of Perdition - Tenements (Of The Anointed Flesh)

For the concluding part of the Urfe trilogy, avant-garde Tyneside black metallers The Axis Of Perdition have abandoned the gratuitous narration-led indulgence that ran through the first two thirds of the story and have returned to being the outfit of their debut The Ichneumon Method. For a band that draws so heavily upon the spirit of H.P. Lovecraft, it was an odd decision to go with material that eschewed the suggestion and subtlety that was the hallmark of the man’s literature; and by contrast a relief to all that it is to some extent a part of the fabric once again.

The opening half of Tenements (Of The Anointed Flesh) is an unrelenting blast of hyperactive guitars, the panic of an unseen chase through dark alleyways in a desperate bid to survive. The atmospheric, chilling elements that marked Deleted Scenes From The Transition Hospital out as something special are almost entirely forgotten here, instead the band relying on sheer force of heaviness to bring their patients to submission. But it is still distinctly The Axis Of Perdition, the wandering paranoia of those guitar lines are quite unique, the disharmony always unsettling yet never jarring.

But as we slip from ‘The Flesh Spiral’ into ‘Dark Red Other’, Tenements... takes on a much darker overtone, an even more vivid recollection of their earlier work. The mighty ‘Disintegration’ does exactly that, the track breaking down in a fit of schizophrenic madness that thrills and disturbs the recipient in equal measures. The sheer density of the conclusion is a beautiful confusion of all those monsters under the bed and in your head distilled into a few short minutes of delirium.

And then at the last we have the release of ‘Ordained’, quite possibly the finest eight minutes of twisted, delusional music The Axis Of Perdition have ever committed to tape. A dangerous mix of synths fleeting around the edge of consciousness like demons in the night and euphoric rumbling guitars rising like a burst of adrenaline in a fit of depression suffuses to create a musical high akin to a moment of pure exultation. Shivers run down the spine at 5:36 as it peaks and begins the downward spin back into insanity, the cacophony of voices that is the concluding ‘Awakenings’ only emphasising the fleetingness of the lucidity.

Overall

8

out of 10

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