Reviewed: February 2020
Released: 2020, Alter-Nativ
Reviewer: Demitri Levantis
When you keep asking yourself ‘Why am I reviewing this for a metal website?’ while listening to an album, you know this isn’t going to bode well, and I am afraid that is the case for the confusing mashup that was Axiom, the debut album from New York based experimental group Kilter.
I really do not know where to begin with this, so I’ll just start by saying: it has saxophones and other woodwind instruments, the drums are over the top in a style that did remind me a bit of Daughters and Igorr, and the vocals seem to range from some dark poetry spoken under breath to a high pitched scream that would have some stoner doom fans turning their heads. There are also some guest appearances, including Per Nilsson of Meshuggah on ‘Spherical Bastards.’
Those all sound like impressive traits for a band, but it’s the execution that lets it down. Experimentation is something I am always open to in metal and I think it’s good Metal-Rules chose to cover this record, but I’m not sure if they picked the right critic for this sort of release.
If you’re into noise rock or bands who use feedback and low-fidelity as integral parts of the sound, I’d say give Axiom a spin, but for someone who has seen so many bands try too hard to create something original and come back with nothing – I can’t help thinking this album fell into that box.
Kilter are definitely made up of highly sophisticated and versatile musicians, but I feel they were putting in more effort than needed to stand out. I know not all albums are meant to be read like a book but when you’re confused which direction will be taken after the first track, this isn’t going to bode well for people who don’t like their music erratic or too in-your-face.
I’m sorry Kilter, but I really am not the kind of person for your sort of sound, but I give it the benefit of the doubt as I can think of a fair few acquaintances who would be really interested in you. Best of luck for the future.