Meth Leppard / Axis of Despair – review

What’s the real point of life if not buying yet another grindcore split? The latest one that came into reviewing line is a shared release of Australian Meth Leppard (band names doesn’t get much better than this one) with Swedes from Axis of Despair.

Meth Leppard did an okay job with their side. It’s good, even though is not outstanding in any means. The Adelaide duo provides simple, punk-based grind. Superfast, violent and played really well, but without anything that would make them stand out from the scene. I’d even say that despite having only couple of minutes it already gets a bit too repetitive at the very end. I would even say that “okay, but not extraordinary” applies to production element as well. Overall it’s something that you will hear once, enjoy…and never come back to again. I wasn’t that familiar with Meth Leppard before, but I’ve heard the name a lot of times so I had pretty high expectations and unfortunately – Australian duo failed to meet them.

But speaking of expectations – they were much higher for Axis of Despair. Swedes made one of the most interesting and underrated albums of all the times – their debut was insanely good with an interesting vibe. Basically AoD’s first LP sounded a bit like an answer to “how would it sound if Wolfbrigade recorded Nasum covers” question (and that shouldn’t be that surprising, as Axis of Despair’s drummer is Anders Jakobson. And Swedes did not disappoint, although I expected something a bit different. But it’s still straightforward grind with some punk twists. And after all those years you can still catch a bit of a Nasum’s unique feeling there. And I think it quite annoying that opposing to Meth Leppard’s side – Axis of Despair made something that will probably grow over time, as there is clearly much more than meets the eye to this music. I kinda feel that this material might be the first sign of Axis of Despair shifting into a bit more metal side in the future, but that’s definitale not a bad thing.

But just to some up – the material we got here is good, but it’s not one of those splits where both bands delivered similar quality. Surprising and characteristic Axis of Despair strongly contrasts with “just” OK Meth Leppard. This release isn’t likely to end up in any Top 10 lists at the end of the year, but it has a lot of strong points. I wouldn’t call it “must have”, but it’s still something recommended for grind fans. Especially those, who miss Nasum.