"A face smasher. Straddling the atmospherics of Neurosis and the blocky strike of Converge, Axis conjure a decidedly dark hardcore sound."
"Sprawling sound... AXIS have joined labelmates Hollow Earth in their increasingly atmospheric yet metallic ambitions."
"Axis have now officially joined the ranks of cutting-edge metallic-hardcore bands in the grand tradition of Converge... Their sound is white-hot fire and seething vitriol and everything great about extreme music."
"A heavy hit of raging hardcore."
With the release of Axis' second full-length, Shift, coming up on November 10th, PunkNews has launched a stream of the entire album.
Out this Friday on Good Fight Music, Shift sees Axis in a state of transformation: stripped down from a 5-piece band to a quartet, its metallic attack is now expanding into a more dynamic and cathartic sound, thanks to new inspiration found in bands like Neurosis and Shellac. Shift is an exciting progression from one of the most compelling of the young, heavy hardcore bands out today.
Before Shift, there was Axis' 2015 debut full-length, Show Your Greed, which inspired Stereogum to describe the band as rightful heirs to '90s heroes Botch and Kiss It Goodbye. An all-out assault, Show Your Greed pummeled and bruised, and Axis took its show on the road with bands like Old Wounds and Homewrecker.
Rather than trying to top the tooth-gnashing of Show Your Greed, Axis then took a left-turn in 2016 and teamed up with adventurous Memphis trio Seraph/The Light to create a collaborative EP which saw the two bands merge into one unholy mega-church, pounding out a slower, crushing vibe inspired by Neurosis and Cult of Luna.
New album Shift is the culmination of all this recent history, taking the bark and bite of Show Your Greed and boosting it with lessons learned from the Seraph/The Light experiment – namely, a thicker, more massive sound, and a masterful wielding of tension via the interplay of guitarists Dylan Downey and Patrick Chumley.
Shift also marks the departure of frontman Rafael Morales, with guitarist Downey taking on vocals in addition to guitar. Drummer Thomas Cantwell and bassist Tyler Forsythe (also both members of Gouge Away, currently on tour with Touche Amore) have beefed up their attack into an all-powerful wallop.
Shift was recorded and mixed by Andy Nelson (Weekend Nachos, Harm's Way), with additional recording by Ethan Murphy (Blistered) at Back Forty Recording. The album was mastered by Brad Boatright (Nails, Full of Hell).
Photo by Mike Moynihan