Axis of blood from noise to folk
Blood Axis is a band that is unique in many ways. For most of their career, they have had exactly one Studio album at heart – absolutely nothing like their live sound. And, for that matter, they also had an official live album – and in fact belonged to the third direction. Moreover, among the pillars of dark folk, a style imbued with the spirit of medieval Europe and its myths, our heroes – perhaps the only Americans.
Michael Moynihan, the founder and, it seems, for a long time the only permanent member of the team, started in the NON-notorious Boyd rice, but later decided to establish his own project, which he called Blood Axis. Most likely, it should be translated as the “Axis of blood” – in the sense of connection with ancestors, history and so on. Apparently, it was enough for the musician and his band immediately recorded in the fascists, and white Suprematists and began to throw tantrums and protests before concerts. As a result of the performance of Blood Axis periodically broke, but the fame grew.
Be that as it may, the band’s debut album was released in 1995 and was called “the gospel of inhumanity”. In fact, these were noise collages, which used music by Prokofiev, Verdi and Bach, poems by Nietzsche and Longfellow, as well as the voices of Ezra pound and Charles Manson. He admitted he was not without interest, but the real fame still lay ahead.
Following the official release of the team just became the live album “Blót: Sacrifice in Sweden”, I mean “Blood: Sacrifice in Sweden”. It was recorded at the celebration of the anniversary of the cult label Cold Meat Industry, known as the stronghold of dark ambient, death industrial and dark wave. Here, perhaps, to last and tended this entry: pompous neo-classical arrangements, a dense atmosphere, whether of a religious ceremony, or concert of a young nick cava somewhere in the middle ages. At the same time, the material itself, perhaps, did not capture at once, from the first listening it could seem too simple, but if you “try”, it did not let go. Here – it seems, for the first time on official releases – there was a violinist Annabelle Lee and a noticeable bias towards folk. Maybe it was related.…
The second Studio album, “Born Again”, was released in 2010 – fifteen years after its debut. Curiously, he is quite within the mainstream of the famed group of dark-folk, but the sensation still not gone – which is a shame as the band has remained recognizable, but made a lot of new nuances in their sound. The album came out very dense in sound, it is difficult to “see through” with a rush, but it is definitely worth the effort of a thoughtful listener.
It seems that this project was always more love in concert, knowingly hand there are many bootlegs of varying quality, despite the fact that the backbone of the songs is small – within a dozen. However, to the entertainment of the listener is not necessary: almost every performance the band brings to this song its nuances.
It is easy to see, for example, one of the most famous songs of the band – Reign I Forever. Here the musicians combined the famous melody “Dance of the knights” from “Romeo and Juliet” by Tchaikovsky with poems by Longfellow written on behalf of the God Thor. It is enough to compare two versions: from the first album and from the Swedish concert. In the original it is a stingy, but powerful thing, full of industrial effects. On concert all done on the principle of “ideal sequel” – the same, but just more. Sound became more layered: industrial sound effects faded into the background, but became more diverse. Added a powerful “organ” loss, the melody of which in the first version only loomed in the background. And, of course, pathos – in such quantities that even Manowar would not be ashamed of the times of classical albums – but this, of course, is not a disadvantage.
There are in the group’s discography and a lot of collaborative albums with leading representatives of the genre. Almost the first release of Blood Axis was a split with Allerseelen. It is curious, incidentally, that Moynihan associates played a cover version… Joy Division: this group has had considerable attention in the early dark-folk, which is noticeable at least by the early creativity Death in June. The other two joint releases are semi-legendary in nature: the originals of these records are almost impossible to buy for reasonable money. Blood Axis & In Gowan Ring & Witch-Hunt – “The Rites Of Samhain”: under this intricate name hides a concert of these bands, held at Samhain. This CD-R was sold at concerts in Portugal, and its circulation was only one hundred copies. Nevertheless, the work is extremely worthwhile and powerful: here and cover Deadcandance, even darker than not prone to the fun of the original, and the famous pirate song “fifteen men on a dead man’s chest” is a masterpiece of living, nepalitano dark folk in all its wild glory. Another release also came out in Portugal and also on CD-R, but in circulation… 32 copies: it was a split with Robert Taylor from The Changes, and the songs of the latter sound very unexpected. There was also a purely industrial joint album with Les Joyaux De La Princesse, dedicated to… absinthe.
In short, “Axis of blood” – a group that can surprise almost every turn of his career and curious in almost every release. Those who love dark folk, it is strongly recommended not to miss it.