Dawn of the Axe

Cruel Force

For fans of the Blackened Thrash Metal band CRUEL FORCE, I'm sure that you've been […]
January 9, 2024

For fans of the Blackened Thrash Metal band CRUEL FORCE, I'm sure that you've been suffering a long wait for another album from them. Well, in case you haven't heard yet, the wait is finally over! CRUEL FORCE's third full-length album "Dawn of the Axe" was released last month on August 18th through the Ohio-based record label Shadow Kingdom Records. For those who have never heard of CRUEL FORCE, they are a four-man Black/Thrash Metal band from Mannheim, Germany that formed in 2008. They released two albums, "The Rise of Satanic Might" in 2010 and "Under the Sign of the Moon" the following year, before going on a hiatus in 2012. Ten years later, they reunited and have finally come forth with their third record. Now that we have introductions out of the way, I can now give you all my review on this new album.

The opening track "Azrael's Dawn" is actually an instrumental track, but the band really gets things started with the second song "At the Dawn of the Axe." From the start, the way all the instruments and Carnivore's vocals come together remind me of KREATOR, one of the "big four" bands of German Thrash Metal, and specifically their legendary 1986 album "Pleasure to Kill." For this song and the following track "Night of Thunder," the guitar riffs played by Slaughter mainly sound like tremolo picking, an essential element of Black Metal. However, those same riffs evolve into a more shredding style on "Death Rides the Sky" and gives the track more of a Thrash Metal sound along with an incredible solo. "Devil's Dungeon" also has more Thrash Metal vibes to it, especially in the bridge of the song, when CRUEL FORCE takes things down to a slower, softer tempo before gradually building up speed and intensity again. When I heard that, I couldn't help but think of the instrumental bridge to METALLICA's immortal title track of their third album "Master of Puppets."

After "Devil's Dungeon," we come to another instrumental track titled "Watchtower of Abra." Unlike the other instrumental track, "Watchtower of Abra" consists of synthesized audio mixed in with a few guitar riffs. Slaughter is credited for the guitars and synthesizers on this album, so we can thank him for this track. It wasn't terrible, though I think the band could have done without it. I absolutely loved Carnivore's vocals on "Power Surge," especially because he gave a short cackle near the end of this song. "Realm of Sands" was a generally good way for CRUEL FORCE to end their third album, albeit a bit clumsy with a lengthy instrumental fill and even an acoustic guitar at the very end. It's also the longest track on the record, so I definitely feel that either CRUEL FORCE could have either shortened the fill or cut it out altogether.

And that concludes my take on "Dawn of the Axe." This album is a gift from the blasphemous four-man band of Mannheim, Germany. It has the shredding solos from Slaughter and GG Alex's constant skank beats to appeal to Thrash Metal fans, as well as raspy vocals from Carnivore. Those who prefer Black Metal will appreciate the Satanic lyrics and artists' choice of pseudonyms. Is this a perfect album? No. Does it deserve to be listened to and appreciated? Absolutely. So, if you can set aside about 38 minutes of your day, listen to "Dawn of the Axe" by CRUEL FORCE.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Dawn of the Axe" Track-listing:

1. Azrael's Dawn
2. At the Dawn of the Axe
3. Night of Thunder
4. Death Rides the Sky
5. Devil's Dungeon
6. Watchtower of Abra
7. Across the Styx
8. Power Surge
9. Realm of Sands

Cruel Force Lineup:

Carnivore – Vocals
Slaughter – Guitars, Synthesizers
Spider – Bass
GG Alex – Drums, Percussion

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