AXIS — Axis III (review)

AXIS — Axis III album cover Album · 1973 · Proto-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Bmiler
Axis was a Greek band that apparently backed up Demis Roussos at one point in his career. The band was residing in France, likely due to the military dictatorship of the time in Greece, which I can't image was too keen on underground creativity. This 1973 offering, from a prog rock point of view, is their only album worth having (their other albums are apparently pop/rock, which I guess can't be too surprising given the pop background of Demis Roussos). No one is credited to guitar, so what sounds like heavy guitar riffs on "Waiting a Long Time" is likely very heavily distorted organ (of the type you won't mistake for Mike Ratledge of Soft Machine or Dave Stewart of Egg, Khan, Hatfield and the North, National Heath). This is a great piece, but does not represent a large portion of this album. Much of the rest is rather jazzy prog rock, veering on free jazz and avant garde. There are occasional reminder of King Crimson, and some nice use of Mellotron. They also do a version of a Byzantine church hymn, "Pa Vu Ga Di", which, in all honesty, I can live without. Strange to have an album start off hard rock like "Waiting a Long Time", then go way into the field of often experimental jazzy prog for most of the rest of the album (and one church hymn). For those wanting something off the beaten track, this comes recommended.
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