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Music / The Axis of Perdition

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With the scream of the air raid siren I know, I know I'm finally coming home...
—The Axis of Perdition, "Heaving Salvation in the Paradise of Rust"

An Axis of Perdition (as they are currently known) is a band formed in England in 2001. Originally they were known as Axis of Perdition, but they added "The" to their name in 2004 to indicate that the band is a specific entity; most of their albums were released as The Axis of Perdition. While their music is predominantly Black Metal with large doses of Dark Ambient and Industrial, they consider themselves to be primarily an Ambient band that uses metal as a "texture".


The band's music, lyrics, and artwork are inspired heavily by the Silent Hill series of video games; their demo and first album also included references to H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. The Axis present themselves as a hellish psychiatric hospital of sorts, with their albums as "treatments" and listeners as "patients".

The separated in July of 2013, citing mutual agreements with Johnson and Blenkarn. In January 2019, they announced via Facebook that they would be reuniting to record new material under the name An Axis of Perdition.

The hospital's current doctors are:

  • Brooke Johnson - vocals, electronics
  • Mike Blenkarn - guitar, keyboards, programming, electronics
  • Ian Fenwick - bass
  • Dan Mullins - drums
  • Chris Walsh - guitar
  • Richard Brass - guitar
  • S.B. - electronics
  • Leslie Simpson - narration



  • Corridors (demo, 2002) - actually a split release with the band's Dark Ambient "mother", Pulsefear; limited to 20 copies; re-released with live bonus tracks in 2013; remastered & re-released through Bandcamp in 2020 without bonus tracks
  • The Ichneumon Method (And Less Welcome Techniques) (full-length, 2003)
  • Physical Illucinations in the Sewer of Xuchilbara (The Red God) (EP, 2004) - first release as The Axis of Perdition; introduced the band's current concept; limited to 666 copies
  • Deleted Scenes from the Transition Hospital (full-length, 2005)
  • Urfe (full-length, 2009) - a double album consisting of the first two parts of the Urfe trilogy, Grief of the Unclean and The Great Unwashed
  • Tenements (of the Anointed Flesh) (full-length, 2011) - conclusion to the Urfe saga
  • Effluvia (EP, 2020) - ambient EP of re-arranged and remixed material from the Urfe sessions; recorded in 2012

Tropes from the Dark Red Other:

  • Abandoned Hospital: Deleted Scenes from the Transition Hospital is set in one, as is part of the Urfe saga.
  • Album Intro Track: "Interference from the Other Side: Pendulums Pray" essentially serves this purpose on Physical Illucinations.
  • All There in the Manual: The band's forum. Somewhat.
  • Arc Words: 'Womb' apparently. 'What is the Axis?' in Deleted Scenes.
    • "I broke myself" off of Urfe, which is revisited in Telements.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The conclusion of Tenements, after a fashion.
  • Audio Adaptation: The words for "Forms on the Other Side of Silence" are excerpted almost verbatim from the Stephen King short story "Crouch End" from his collection Nightmares & Dreamscapes, though there are omissions of text here and there.
  • Bedlam House: Where much of the band's story takes place.
  • Body Horror: The Flesh Spiral, and most of the creatures encountered by Urfe. For that matter, even the album title The Ichneumon Method qualifies. Those with weak stomachs are advised not to look up the eponymous wasps that give the album its title.
  • Boléro Effect: "Interference from the Other Side: Pendulums Pray" is a particularly terrifying case of this, building from dark ambient to almost Harsh Noise over most of its five-minute running time.
  • Book-Ends: "It began, and ends, with Pylon."
  • Call-Back: The lyrics for "Disintegration" reference The Ichneumon Method.
  • Concept Album: Everything from Physical Illucinations onwards for sure, possibly their earlier releases as well.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than even most other Black Metal, although their music is not quite as dissonant as it seems to be on first listen; although their music is frequently dissonant, melodic passages still crop up fairly often. The hellish production is really the primary reason their music stands out as so impenetrable.
  • Digital Piracy Is Okay: The band put Corridors up on file-sharing sites for free.
  • Distinct Double Album: Urfe. Disc 1, Grief of the Unclean, consists entirely of ambient and industrial music; while disc 2, The Great Unwashed, is about half ambient and half metal. Add in the mostly metal Tenements and the whole Urfe saga is a Distinct Triple Album (and a Two-Part Trilogy).
  • Downer Ending / Gainax Ending: At the end of "Awakenings" off of Tenements, Urfe's Ascension to a Higher Plane of Existence results with the complete corruption of the world, or something like it.
  • Eldritch Location: The Axis itself, and by extension the locations inside it such as Locus Eyrie and the Transition Hospital.
  • Epic Rocking: Only natural for a fusion of black metal and ambient music. A pretty good chunk of their tracks are upwards of 10 minutes long: "Heaving Salvation in the Paradise of Rust" (10:22), "Deleted Scenes I: In the Hallway of Crawling Filth" (10:37), "Deleted Scenes II: In the Gauze-Womb of the God Becoming" (12:40), "Grief of the Unclean VI" (14:21), and "The Great Unwashed II" (10:05). "Disintegration", at 9:57, just barely misses the ten-minute mark.
  • Gainax Ending: The ending of Tenements. As Urfe Ascends to a Higher Plane of Existence, it implies his Sanity Slippage and corruption itself will corrupt the world.
  • Harsh Vocals: They generally go for a high pitched shriek, though death growls and clean singing are also used.
  • Heavy Mithril: Albeit it's for cosmic horror instead of fantasy, but this still applies. Some songs on Physical Illucinations in the Sewer of Xuchilbara even directly sample dialogue from Silent Hill 3.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Pylon, the shadow in the library, the Kelifoth, and ultimately Urfe himself.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: They don't publish their lyrics (except for the first album, the demo, and Tenements), and good luck figuring them out by ear.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: "Disturbance in the Perpetual Screen" (7:47) from The Ichneumon Method, "Heaving Salvation in the Paradise of Rust" (10:22) from Physical Illucinations, and "Deleted Scenes II: In the Gauze-Womb of the God Becoming" (12:40) from Deleted Scenes. If Grief of the Unclean is counted as its own album, its sixth and final track, at 14:21, is also the longest; however, it's the first half of Urfe, which is a Distinct Double Album.
  • Long Title: Almost all their album titles are examples, as seen throughout this page, as are a good chunk of their song titles from before Urfe.
  • Loudness War: The early albums are particularly egregious examples because the band didn't know much about mastering (the début is actually worse than Iggy Pop's Raw Power remaster). The last two albums avert the trope completely, both coming in at DR11.
  • Metal Scream: Mostly of type three, as is commonly the case with black metal.
  • Mind Screw: You have no idea. Not including The Ichneumon Method, nearly everything they've released is a concept album. Urfe is a prime example, being split into two parts and Tenements being a continuation of the Urfe saga. The problem is however the band has always been against releasing lyrics to their albums, the only two being The Ichneumon Method and Tenements. You'd have to either figure out the words from Deleted Scenes and Urfe somehow.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Their ambient material is all over the place, but their metal material stays almost entirely in 10 or even 11 territory.
  • Mood Whiplash: The middle of Pendulum Prey (Second Incarceration) takes a sudden and unexpected change into calm lounge music.
  • Motive Rant: "One Day You Will Understand Why".
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The quieter passages of their albums are frequently cases of this. A particularly good example of this is the jazz interlude (seriously) at the end of "Pendulum Prey (Second Incarceration)". On its own, it would probably feel quite chilled out and relaxing, but in the context of the album (particularly given the radio static it's overlaid with), it's terrifying.
  • Overly Long Name: Just look at the album list.
  • Psychological Horror: True to its Silent Hill inspiration, the band's storyline is this with a healthy dose of Surreal Horror and Cosmic Horror.
  • Sampling: Often used. As mentioned under Heavy Mithril, Physical Illucinations features samples from Silent Hill 3.
  • Self-Deprecation: Much of the band's promotion of their albums seems to consist of calling them awful, but of course the fans just don't listen...
  • Shout-Out: In addition to the obvious Silent Hill and H. P. Lovecraft references in their work, they stuck "Cygnus X-1" into the title of one of the tracks on their demo when they reissued it on cassette. This is presumably a reference to a saga by Rush (specifically, from A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres). There is also an actual black hole by this name, but it's difficult to imagine the band weren't aware of the Rush songs.
  • Singer Name Drop: The band name appears towards the end of "Nightmare Suspension"... and probably some other places as well, but good luck deciphering the lyrics.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": From Physical Illucinations through Tenements. Now it's a case of "Spell My Name with an 'An'".
  • Spoken Word in Music: Mostly on Urfe, but every album has some. Urfe in particular has been compared to a radio play by many listeners, as it consists largely of narration of the story with dark ambient/industrial musical backing, with some additional creepy sound effects thrown in throughout.
  • Two-Part Trilogy: Urfe is a weird variant in that the first two parts of the trilogy were released together; most cases of this trope have the last two parts grouped together instead.

Am I dead?
"Of course not, Mr. Urfe. This is only the beginning..."

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