I remember seeing Axecatcher live at a gig in Belfast thinking they were outstanding and extremely energetic in their performance. If you like heavy music, this is where it’s at in Northern Ireland. The band name itself is brutal. This pretty much sums them up. Let us begin.
We start with their latest 5 track EP called Common Blood. Recorded by Aidan Cunningham in Bluebird Studios. Aidan has got the bands’ natural dark sound in each twist and turn of the music at full steam ahead. The vocals are screeching, the guitars darkly ethereal at a touch, the basslines and drums heavily brutalizing the scene. It is excellent hard-core to my ears. Just how I wanted to start my year in 2017.
Opener, ‘Semblance’ starts off in a way all the tracks do, with a fast paced, high tone, screaming heartbeat vocals and catchy mathcore thrown in for good measure. Putting you in mind of The Dillinger Escape Plan. The fuzzy bass lines breakthrough 2 minutes in and gets you breathing back to normal for a spilt second before the band break through and get that blood pumping again. A slight Architects sound comes to mind in both the musicianship and singing capabilities of Karson Browne.
Fast paced riffs hit us in our ears on the second track ‘Jump The Chasm.’ The de-tuned vividness of the music is energized alongside the drums propelling the song forward. The basslines pulse through the vein of the song with the vocals having a lot to scream about. There is a brief change of pace after a couple of minutes, ending quickly and then speeding on through to ‘Coma Gaze.’ The ringing of the cymbals at the end of each song paves way for the next musical exploit.
The fourth track, ‘Common Blood’ is the one with the killer lyrics. It has a story to it, a deeper meaning for the songwriter. The writer wants to understand our own existence. Much like the music, it is angry and craves answers to questions none of us will ever get. A tiny break of silence in the madness is driven by compelling bass-lines. The lyrics address an upbringing of a disappointment in someone you love. Making you see the world in a different way. A slight case of feeling like there is no hope, but the creation of music is the hope. The understanding of knowing that music is going to make you feel better. Common blood, we all have it.
‘Rust Fever’ ends the EP on the top of a soaring high, with intensified vocals, screaming from the depths of his lungs. You can imagine any of these songs live will create an electrifying atmosphere. I am looking forward to that.