Disagreeing with a fellow pundit is one of the toughest mountains to climb in any fashion, especially when it means whoever the fuck you’re critiquing ends up potentially stunting their progression in some way shape or form. AATXE (pronounced ah-chey) out of Hunstville, AL is a self proclaimed “extreme experimental” act sporting an intense adoration for theology and style bending musically, who have released a new effort by the name of Piros. This and more on things that piss off Jason the reviewer coming up, right fucking now.
Often times a band will champion the descriptor of experimental for the sake of abandoning the idea of comprehensible song structuring, satisfying tone work or plain old fucking mastery. In this particular case, AATXE attempts a very back and forth execution between progressively based metal, to death, to hardcore, and beyond in some cases. I could go on about genre definitions and how this will eventually give me a fucking brain tumor, but anybody with any spare time (which we all painfully have at the fucking moment) can see that this is an act that have returned to Bucketlist Music Reviews with the intent of showing improvement, so let’s cut to the chase. Without dwelling, their previous release Cardinal, had essentially been given a pass on the winds of songwriting alone, and this is where I regretfully disagree.
Piros opens up with an instrumental self titled piece that is mildly and yet peacefully reminiscent of Death, which then eventually clips its way into “Malaka” (because this wasn’t Greek enough, of course), a relatively cookie cutter death metal track. Traverse this path in hopes of consistency and only find “Fun and Great Scene” to confront you on your journey; a punk inspired pick fest complete with gang vocals, perplexing drum structuring, and oh wait we’re already done. Lather, rinse, and repeat until “A Corpse and A Pint of Blood” and there you have it.
Now to accredit these three cats, their recording quality is without question at least a little bit better from their previous release, and I’ll even go as far as to say some vocal techniques have been improved, but ultimately, their writing style will continue to stunt them for the sheer reason that style bending of this kind only causes auditory whiplash.
The recording quality of this effort most definitely needs to be better, but the building blocks that make a band unique, like smooth transitions and bold tones and even a base knowledge of technical prowess, still isn’t yet here for this act, and without respecting the ability to crawl, one can’t very well fucking fly can they. With finality I say, play to your strengths, not your desires, and that’s how this act will start to shrug off the frustrated ramblings of shithead pundits like myself.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*Edited by Dominic Abate