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Boil: aXiom

No, I didn't spell the album title incorrectly--the band did. I don't know what it means and I don't necessarily want to know. Everybody works hard to set themselves apart in a competitive market and sometimes album titles come out funny in the effort. Some people respond to the imagery of the "X," with its two straight lines, crossed together perfectly. The symbolic resonance of the "X" is also interesting, with its suggestions not only of crossing over, but also its power to warn people away from something forbidden. I suppose that these dual meanings could be of some interest.

For those unfamiliar with Boil, they a progressive rock / metal band out of Denmark. According to the band's promotional materials, "aXiom" was inspired by a series of interviews with people that suffer from mental illness, especially paranoid schizophrenia. From those interviews, the band put together a story about one man's delusions, using it to explore notions of truth and human perception. It's an interesting idea, one that could lead to some fascinating lyrical themes and ideas. The story, however, is not always told clearly and directly. The band itself acknowledges this point, but I would think a concept album, even one about delusion, could bring things together with better road maps for listeners. I suspect this album will take several listens for the story and the ideas to come together for me.

The biggest part of the problem, though, is the music, not the lyrics. I was surprised with how mellow the music is, particularly given the dark themes. These guys are pretty mellow, even their heavier songs are broken up by melodic passages. There's nothing wrong with melody, of course, but the result is that these guys sound more often like the emotive music most of us associate with 90s Nu Metal. I realize the comparison may not be entirely fair, but I can't think of a better one. Sometimes, the blend of melody and metal work well; tracks like "Heretic Martyr" work really well. "Sunbound," however, is too stark in its blend of melody and extreme metal. Recommended for fans of Boil and for those curious to know what's going on with Danish progrock.

Track Listing:
1. Sphere
2. At the Center of Rage
3. Sever the Tie
4. Moth to the Flame
5. Blink of an Eye
6. Darkest
7. Equilibrium
8. Heretic Martyr
9. Vindication
10. Ashes
11. Sunbound
12. Almost a Legend

Added: February 2nd 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2431
Language: english

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