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It is a release like this that I consider to be the soundtrack to the end of my day, every day. Bleak and full of hate, but with a purpose to continue breathing into tomorrow. It’s why I fucking love Napalm Death and Nails! In its overwhelming chaos and brutality, there is a calming clarity, also.

There is no warning; no apologies; no regrets and no mercy for those weak enough to fall at the feet of Sweden’s Axis of Despair. Their sophomore release, “Mankind Crawls”, is as awesome as it is criminally short. Tracking in at ten minutes, when it’s over you realise that you are without question repeating the album. 

I am maybe two-thirds of the way through writing this review and I have already listened to “Mankind Crawls” twice (hits repeat!). Due to its criminally short nature, “Mankind Crawls” is so beautifully brutal that like a niggling itch it needs to be scratched continually to be sated. This is thanks to the hammer like pounding to the skull that Axis of Despair deliver to our unsuspecting ears. Straight up, fucking grind and perfectly delivered without apologies or remorse, this 7″ is the reason we follow grind as passionately and clearly as Joel (vocals), Kristofer (guitar), Oskar (bass) & Anders (drums). These four Swedes have clearly been around the particular genre long enough to know what the fans want and have given us that with this albumMankind Crawls.

The Napalm Death influence is all too clear but is by no means a bad thing, and I feel that perhaps my need to mention it serves as means to urge you, those listeners of fine taste, to support new talent.

“Mankind Crawls” is, as I mentioned, puny in length but massive in its content.

3/5 ⭐⭐⭐

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