'Supergroup' is a painfully overused term. However, in the case of Axewound, no other term can be used to describe the combined efforts of Cancer Bats' Liam Cormier, Bullet For My Valentine frontman Matt Tuck, guitarist Mike Kingswood from Glamour Of The Kill, former Rise to Remain bassist Joe Copcutt and Pitchshifter drummer Jason Bowld. Five individuals who have united over a love of aggressive music and recorded Vultures, one of the most energetic releases of 2012.
The album opens with its title track, Cormier taking the lead in a chaotic, energetic and wild slab of heavy metal, complemented by a solo from virtuoso Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Synyster Gates. Post Apocalyptic Party and Victim Of The System follow very much in the same vein before leading into Cold, easily a contender for one of the metal singles of the year; Tuck and Cormier finding the perfect balance between vocals and creating a song that is unashamedly part Bats, part Bullet but still feels new and exciting.
Latest single Exorchrist arrives in much the same vein as Cold, another anthemic track geared for radio. Once the chords have finally died, a gentle piano intro hails the album's pivotal moment; Collide, a work of absolute genius. Sprawling and bombastic, far beyond anything that the group had previously offered. Depth, aggression and power in droves underpinned as always by Jason's fearsome drumming. Incorporating piano and string parts to full effect, it's hard to believe that the same band that wrote Post Apocalyptic Party were capable of something so grandiose.
Despite the biggest names associated with the band being the two behind the microphones, Axewound's real star is its rhythm section. Jason Bowld is an absolute powerhouse behind the kit, his aggression driving the album's heavier passages and providing an excellent platform for the songs to be built around. His influence on the likes of Vultures and Victim Of The System is obvious while the likes of Exorchrist and Cold have Tuck's blueprint all over them, ensuring memorable choruses without compromising the heaviness found throughout.
Vultures is not an album that was intended to change the world. What the five members have produced completely reflects their intentions for the project. A bouncy, fun-filled set of songs that make for an excellent party album. It should also serve to dispel the initial scepticism and derision and serves as conclusive proof that Liam Cormier really does have a musical Midas Touch.
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