Review Summary: An unironic, war-themed death metal album that manages to walk on the right side of the line that separates old school from retro, Marching Towards Destruction is Sweden's take on Bolt Thrower's classic sound.
While I was able to assume they'd sound like Bolt Thrower upon hearing that Axis Powers was a war-themed death metal band, it was nonetheless a pleasant surprise to find out that was almost exactly the case. This is because when it comes to worships and tributes, there are worse bands to feed off of. My first exposure to the Swedish four-piece, Marching Towards Destruction
is 9 tracks of solid, to the point death metal.
“Marching Towards Destruction (From San Francisco to Stockholm)” starts the album off with a Chasm-like, gradually ascending introduction and from thereon after Axis Powers waste little time in establishing their sound; the album's quick 34 minute runtime is highly beneficial to their less than distinguished (but still solid) sound. Following the two minute instrumental introduction, Axis Powers work hard to pummel the listener with their slightly punkish take on Bolt Thrower's over-distorted brand of mid-paced, cutthroat death metal. For the most part, they've succeeded. From Mathias Johansson's dry, powerful growl to Peter Haglund's dirty-yet melodic power chords, Axis Powers are as straight to the point as you can get. Again, this works with the album's short runtime, since anything longer than 34 minutes of their relatively generic sound could become overbearing. But it doesn't, and while calling their sound generic may sound like a slant, it works in their favour; Marching Towards Destruction
may not be a classic but it's certainly an album worthy of sneaking itself a place in your death metal rotation.
Axis Powers manage to walk on the right side of the line that separates old school from retro, and if you miss the days of unironic bullet belts and glossless, rumbling melodies, Marching Towards Destruction
is at the very least worth a passing glance. Generation Xers, I'm looking your way.