They've got a nerve!
Woah, another bad pun coming your way! AXIS is the second release from Nerve End, independent modern progressive metal band from Finland. If there's any reason to say that they've got a nerve, it's only because they borrowed from Meshuggah and Devin Townsend as much as they could, and then made it all more accessible. You don't need much nerve to do that, though.
Sound-wise AXIS is an impeccable release. Guitars sound razor-sharp and are polished almost to the limits. That's the way most modern bands do it these days. Personally, I would prefer more organic, natural sound, even at the expense of selectivity. AXIS isn't the most overproduced album I've ever heard, though, and the production actually suits the music quite well.
Music-wise the band focused on making their songs accessible and melodic. Compositions are built on verse-chorus structure with several themes and build-ups going through each track in order to keep it progressive. As a whole, the music in the album reminds me of djent combined with Devin Townsend's sound. It's mostly owing to the fact that the vocalist sounds like a hybrid of Hevy Devy and Einar Solberg[Leprous] which gives the music kind of classy prog metal feel. I can't say I'm completely satisfied with the result though. The band seems to be on the mid-early stage of development, where they're already professionally sounding musicians yet still too attached to their influences.
It's a good modern progressive metal album tinged with djent in the vein of Animals as Leaders and Tesseract. Even though it somewhat lacks in originality, there's no denying that these guys have big potential, and I'm definitely going to follow their career. For fans of Devin Townsend and Leprous.
TRACKS BY RATINGS: 7/10[very good]: Venom Willow || 6/10[good]: Thrive; Axis of Rotation; The Squid || OVERALL = 63/100
- Available for download at any price at http://nerveend.bandcamp.com/ -