Saturday, 25 March 2017

REVIEW: Thorr-Axe / Archarus - "The Hobbit" (Split)

By Jay Keche


Album Type: Split
Date Released: 13/03/2017
Label: Independent



From deep within the fires of Mt. Doom comes one of the best releases of 2017 – a Tolkien-themed split from Indiana riff-smiths Archarus and Thorr-Axe.  It spans the whole spectrum that stoner/doom metal has to offer, with each track bringing a fresh sound to the table.


“The Hobbit - Split” CD//DD track listing:


1). Thorr-Axe – “Good Morning”
2). Thorr-Axe – “Dawn Take You All”
3). Archarus – “Foehammer”
4). Thorr-Axe – “Whispers in the Dark”
5). Archarus – “Flies & Spiders”
6). Archarus – “Erebor”
7). Thorr-Axe – “Battle of Five Armies”


The Review:

From deep within the fires of Mt. Doom comes one of the best releases of 2017 – a Tolkien-themed split from Indiana riff-smiths Archarus and Thorr-Axe. This 40+ minute journey is a sonic retelling of the story of Bilbo Baggins and his adventure in The Hobbit.  The story features 4 chapters written by Thorr-Axe and 3 by Archarus and unlike most splits, the bands don’t take separate sides, but work together to form a cohesive quest with grooves that could slay the dragon Smaug.

Thorr-Axe opens the gates with “Good Morning” an acoustic piece that while peaceful, builds a sense of tension and urgency before smashing eardrums with “Dawn Take You All” – a chugging march across Middle Earth. For track three “Foehammer” they hand the mic to Archarus for a full 7-minutes of hard rocking riffage reminiscent of Elder or Pallbearer.

The bands then go on the alternate tracks with Thorr-Axe providing an onslaught of the heaviest doom complete with tortured screams and blastbeats that fully immerse the listener in the hardships that Bilbo and the Dwarves suffered through.

Archarus’ long whimsical grooves and clean vocals provide welcome interludes between Thorr-Axe’s brutally heavy brand of doom – which concludes the album after “The Battle of Five Armies,” a track as violent as its namesake.

This album is a perfect blend of old talent and new blood – this being Thorr-Axe’s 4th release while only being Archarus’ second. Overall this latest effort from two of the Midwest’s best metal bands is some of the most well written music I’ve ever heard. It spans the whole spectrum that stoner/doom metal has to offer, with each track bringing a fresh sound to the table.


“The Hobbit – Split” can be purchased here and here






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