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AxeWound - Vultures (The End Records/Search and Destroy)

By: David E. Gehlke

[6/10] Our friends in the United Kingdom are on a bit of a dry spell, the result of producing too many trend-induced bands that appear to have little or no shelf life. It was bound to happen; it happens to every country, it’s just that the U.K. has the likes of Sabbath, Priest, and Maiden to forever live up to, and by all accounts, we won’t be getting another one of those anytime soon. Therefore, when a so-called supergroup like AxeWound comes parading about, you can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of “meh.”

The main conspirators here are Bullet For My Valentine guitarist/vocalist Matt Tuck and Cancer Bats throat Liam Cormier, both of whom come from opposite ends of the metal spectrum. Nevertheless, the sound on Vultures toes the line between neo thrash and nu metal, which if you’re keeping score, isn’t exactly the most promising of combos. In fact, Tuck’s statements of how “hard and heavy” Vultures is rings a tad hollow when factoring in the half-witted riff antics of “Post Apocalyptic Party” and “Cold,” which manages to drop in some telegraphed beatdowns.

The occasional clean vocal bippity-bop from Tuck (which are totally not enjoyable, mind you), on “Burn Alive” and “Exochrist” are successful inroads back into BMV-ville, which are confounding since this a side project and all. The quasi-ballad “Collide” is the biggest dud on the album, sounding every bit as contrived as one would expect, while forced ragers such as “Destroy” and “Victim of the System” are only partially redeemable thanks to Cormier’s raw and ragged rasp.

On paper, AxeWound sounded like a good idea; the able-bodied retreat from BMV’s nauseating pop metal and Cancer Bats’ vitriolic punk metal, yet it looks like Tuck had a little too much influence on Vultures. It’s hard to separate the two entities, which in turn, makes this side-project useless.

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