|Review: Ansur - Axiom|
Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 2006
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: December 21, 2010
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Ansur are quite the peculiar band and one I've spun quite a lot over the last month or so. This was their debut album from 2006, and the band were quite young at the time which makes it notable as to how quality the musicianship is. I hear Ansur get classed as extreme progressive metal, and for once I'd actually agree with the notion as there is no other way to classify this.
It is noticeable on Axiom that their sound was rooted in the black metal of their country, however this has been progressed so far that only a few nuances in the guitar work and vocals remind of the style. I have to say Ansur are one of the more original bands I've heard in recent times, making it difficult to draw any major comparisons to other bands. They utilize a few neat tricks over the course of the album, one of which – whilst having been done before – is the use of clean channel guitar over distortion, a lot of the time following the main riffs which is pleasing to the ears and fortunately doesn't castrate the sound.
The musicianship is of a very high caliber on Axiom, although I will warn you that they do have a tendency to plunge into extended instrumental sections, which they hadn't quite mastered the art of on this album (all that would change on the follow up). The vocals aren't great but work well enough with the music, the style being that of a half-rasp smothered under a muffling effect, although that description does sound worse than it actually is.
This album won't be to everyone's taste, and I would imagine Ansur are catering to quite a small audience. Even though the majority of the songs are quite long and can go on a bit in places, each one is packed with a load of excellent riffs that are quite inventive for the most part. This is certainly an album for the prog nuts, and if you persist with it I can assure that you will be rewarded. Tracks such as the short and snappy "Earth Erasure" and "Desert Messiah" get my recommendation, the latter of which I would suggest checking out as it's the best example of the general sound on Axiom. Those uninterested by the prog genre can safely avoid this one, however.
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