Without a doubt, Battle Axis is one of South Florida's hardest-working (and most underpaid) rock bands. It usually plays live twice a week and can be found in almost any rock-friendly venue with a stage most recently at the South Florida Tattoo Expo, where it played an hourlong set while security guards gathered by the door to tap their feet. Battle Axis brings together the various and far-flung influences of all four band members. Although they claim to be influenced by everything and everyone at once, you can instantly hear Metallica laying the groundwork. But that's just a starting point. The opening track on this five-song CD-EP is "Serenity Obscured," a slam-dance anthem that pulls together the galloping speed metal of Slayer with shades of Ozzy and Iron Maiden and even some hardcore-styled breakdowns. Vocalist Mark Burd is reminiscent of Mike Patton but with more of a growl and one that won't tear up your cheap car speakers. Bassist Chuck Goodman holds down solid lines, at times sounding as if he's channeling the spirit of the late Cliff Burton. Guitarist Roberto Milian shows his skill on the band's self-empowerment track, "Revolucion de la Gente," by laying down some crunchy, '80s-style riffs. (That's the song that gets heads banging when the band plays live.) All in all, this short CD is just a teaser to get crowds out to Battle Axis shows, which is where the real action is. Check out www.BattleAxis.com.
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