Thorr-Axe – Gates Of Winter Review

Thorr-AxeWith a name like Thorr-Axe (yeah, that is a shocker) you’ll throw this record on expecting an Amon Amarth style blast of epic with clenched fists and chest pumping fury galore. But in fact you’re hit with a very different dose of heavy music – Thorr-Axe deliver a very dark, savage style of doom and they deliver it well. In recent years, there has been quite a surge in this scene, and Thorr-Axe prove to be a very welcome addition. Importantly the band don’t stick to the unwritten rules of a Doom album, yes there are huge powerful riffs all over the place, but the band sure know how to raise the tempo as shown by the odd eruption into a flurry of chaos.

The average track length on this album sits at around 5 mins, making it brilliantly accessible. You’ll quickly draw comparisons with bands like Hang The Bastard who similarly have that doom edge, but don’t stick to it exclusively in any way. The opening two tracks, Open The Gates and The Seer’s Vision have more of a classic doom feel, as the huge riffs build and build to give you a very sore neck. But then comes Four Hooves which is a two minute slab of complete black metal influenced madness. This variation across the record altogether makes it that bit more impressive. They’re not afraid to shoot off in whatever direction they feel like – an approach which every band should take.

Lyrically we get exactly what you expect from a band called Thorr-Axe. We’ve got all kinds of mythological references going on, something you won’t be able to decipher on the first few listens as front man Tucker Thomasson snarls through with vicious precision. He really grabs the album by the throat, and sounds like he’d be a bit personality on stage. And look at some of those track titles – Mountain Crusher, The Forging Ritual. Considering we are in riff-city with this album, at times it feels like The Sword with harsh vocals – and that is a high compliment indeed.

7/10

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