By Laina Dawes
Forget concept albums…..have you heard of concept bands? Sweden’s Axis Powers (whom I assume took their name from the military alliance of countries that formed in 1940….Hitler-run Germany being one of the strongest members….which if correct doesn’t sit with me that well) has dedicated themselves and their album, Marching Towards Destruction to war.
War tends to be romanticized as a time when men were real men: Killing, maiming for the greater good…whatever that was. This album is subjective, chronicling (and I’m getting this from the song titles “War of Attrition; Outbreak of the Blitz”) the brutal side of a long journey, the travails of dedicated soldiers, willing to kill and do other unpleasant acts that only seem to be socially acceptable during times or war or prison (see “Mankind Dead and Raped”) for their country. But Axis Powers starts off their second full-length with “Marching Towards Destruction (From San Francisco to Stockholm)” which because of it’s the introduction to not only the album but the journey that they have so meticulously described, it feels like it should be heavier and more up-tempo but instead, feels like a tepid death-metal ‘lite’ instrumental with little purpose.
Things do pick up with “War of Attrition” and Brutal War,” as they provide the rudimentary death-growl vocals but the riffage is simply weak. Most notably on “War of Attrition” bass and guitar lines are hidden beneath this weird electro motor buzz that is, quite frankly, annoying. I couldn’t say that I disliked this band or this album, but they bring nothing interesting to the table. There are no tracks that stand out and they really should have placed the first track and the end. Marching Towards Destruction might serve as great filler at a party, but certainly not for heavy rotation.