Release Date: Oct 2, 2012
Record label: The End
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
Featuring members of Bullet for My Valentine, Pitchshifter, Rise to Remain, Glamour of the Kill, and Cancer Bats, metalcore supergroup AxeWound introduce themselves to the world on their ripping debut, Vultures. Packed with harmonized guitar riffs, chugging breakdowns, and pinch harmonics galore, the band nails its colors to the mast with an album that feels like a loving tribute to all the things that make groove and thrash metal so fun. This balance between seriousness and metal excess is a tough one to pull off, but AxeWound manage it nicely, reining in the songs with enough genuine aggression that they're not in danger of devolving into parody.
First things first: it’s clear that everyone involved in this Bullet For My Valentine-meets-Cancer Bats-meets-assorted other metal also-rans supergroup is clearly having the time of their lives. Absolutely everything about the venture, including the frankly godawful name, smacks of boys in a sweaty room together having lots and lots of fun. Admittedly, this is kind of charming for about half the record, including the super-catchy ‘Cold’ and the battering ‘Exorchrist’, but it quickly loses its appeal and gives way to the feeling that this is a just reasonable thrash metal record.
The term “Supergroup” originated in the late 1960s and has been recklessly tossed around metal circles by music journalists with increased frequency over the past decade or so. It is a title that needs to be earned and not instantaneously granted on foot of the mere mention that individual musicians from different bands have come together to form a group outside their day jobs. And because it has been applied to a plethora of underwhelming projects, the power of the word has been diluted beyond repair.
For thrills, spills and hair-raising heaviness, Vultures gets the job done in style. Greg Moffitt 2012 Featuring Bullet for My Valentine guitarist/vocalist Matt Tuck and Cancer Bats frontman Liam Cormier alongside Glamour of the Kill guitarist Mike Kingswood, former Rise to Remain bassist Joe Copcutt and Pitchshifter drummer Jason Bowld, AxeWound find themselves in the dubious super group category. As members of two of the most exciting, energetic and polarising bands to have burst onto the metal scene in recent years, Tuck and Cormier’s debut collaboration has been both hotly anticipated and intensely scrutinised.