Ravenna, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1985 | INDIE

Ravenna, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1985
Band Metal





With the overwhelming amount of metal being created out there these days, I find myself going to my old catalogue to re listen to old greats, Testament, Nuclear Assult, or Overkill. Rarely do I find a band in the present era that captures this classic feel. Welcome to AXEMASTER. Signed with Pure Steel Records and combining elements of traditional metal, doom, and I say Alternative, this band has been killing it since the 80’s with over nine official releases. In 2015, They released the full length album “Overture to Madness”. Touring that up for a bit they got themselves back in the studio and a year later created “Crawling Chaos”, their latest release. On a very cool side note, the label will be re-releasing a collection of the band’s material from the 80’s and early 90’s as a vinyl 2 record set. So keep your eyes out for that! Axemaster has graced the stage with classic acts like Grim Reaper, Sebastian Bach, Riot, on performed on Ragnarokkr Metal Apocalypse, and Hollowfest. You can find them on websites such as “Metal Hammer”, “Rock Hard”, “True Metal Lives”, and “Metal Bulletin”. This true nostalgic metal act consists of Geoff McGraw: Vocals, Joe Sims: Guitar, Damin Bennett: Guitar, Denny Archer: Drums, Jim Curtis: Bass. The five piece tears it up on this new release with a lot to offer. Chops for days. The track “Aldor Rof” (Beowulf), reminds me of bands like Turisas, and Finntroll. While the track “Death Before Dishonor” has that old school 90’s Testament structure. This album will bring you back to metal when it was driving and its only purpose was to create metal anthems. Crawling Chaos is a 10 track, pure metal journey, with nostalgic riffs and chant filled vocals. Just straight horns in the air metal. Take the time to grab this album and sit back and be prepared to be transformed to a younger you. - Rock Cabal

"Full Length Review: AXEMASTER Crawling Chaos"

Axemaster composed ten songs for inclusion on Crawling Chaos which reflect their years of experience as an active band through all their lineup changes, disbandings, reformations, and so on. You can hear how it has weathered and matured their sound. Their biting thrash crunch and classic flavor is still present but the open, untamed energy of their early days has given way to studious songwriting delivered with slow tempos and riffs written with forethought, showing more in common with Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Manowar. Things get to a solid start with 10,000 Pound Hammer but Crawling Chaos doesn’t really get moving until the third track. By then those slower riffs I mentioned begin to grow on you. Axes Of Evil is particularly haunting with its carnivalesque lead guitar work and the bell effect recorded over the chord progressions. Flowers For The Dead is another song assuming a haunting tone. The vocals of guitarist Geoff McGraw are as hypnotic and mesmerizing as the music behind them. It’s as if Alice In Chains ingested copious amounts of acid and peyote and spawned a song like this. The brief interlude Mystify The Dream Hypnotic continues in this style with inventive guitars. The second half of the album takes heavier and darker turns as Aldar Rof sounds heavily inspired by Manowar, Shallow Grave is built on the concept of a metal ballad (without the pleasantries usually associated with it) and Death Before Dishonor is strongly tied to the band’s inspiration from Black Sabbath. The solos are tightened next to the demo track I reviewed the other day. And again I only have one complaint, about the production that tended to sound too thin for the material. Musically there has been a world of improvement on Axemaster’s part and I hope they continue in the direction in which they’re heading. -Dave Wolff - AEA Zine

"AXEMASTER: "Crawling Chaos""

Axemaster : “Crawling Chaos” CD November 24th 2017 Pure Steel Records. US Thrash Metal band. The boys are back, after the release of their earliest materials on Lp the new album is set to land on the planet earth. The mighty label is once again spreading their music so you won’t have to search long to get all their awesome tunes. The cover album is stunning and reminds those great bands, although some might expect the traditional thrash attack all new bands bring but this is not the case for Axemaster. It ‘s pure Heavy as fuck and will get you back to the 80’s heavy pounding sound with an edge of darkness swallowing your soul to obey the master.

Geoff’s heavy voice with a light melody captures your ears and the guitars riffs from Joe just get you addicted to listen other and other again. You are like begging for more. Although the band has its own sound and style you can get many influences spread other the album reminding you the good old days. “Mystify the dream hypnotic” is an amazing instrumental guitar pleasure. “Knight of pain” ends this album with power and heaviness the band has, it’s somehow a following from the last album “overture to madness” and keep the band on their vision and sound that categorising them quite well.

Read what Joe has to say in The Metal Mag . Influences with slight touch from Metallica, Heathen, Heretic, Wargasm, MOD, DRI, Overkill, Coroner…Ten tracks of pure guitar sounds and shreds with heavy pounding riffs and melodic yet deep vocals that captures the listener to slave him to pleasure. It’s worth the wait , crawl crawl to the mighty beast 99/100. - The Metal Mag

"Axemaster - Crawling Chaos"

AXEMASTER have been around since 1982 as part of the North American underground Metal scene. Guitarist Joe Sims the original founder and constant member has changed the name a couple of times to THE AWAKENING (1991-1995) and INNER TERROR (2008-2010) before reviving the AXEMASTER title in recent years. The band recorded “Overture To Madness” in 2015, their first studio album in 15 years. They return some two years later with “Crawling Chaos”, which introduces lead guitarist Damin Bennett. The sound of the record is solid traditional Heavy Metal with focus on the word Heavy. The album cover is an impressive painting of a city besieged by a gargoyle or octopus monster with people running for their lives from the “Crawling Chaos”.

The opening track is “10,000 Pound Hammer” which is a brilliant title for a Heavy Metal song. The tune says exactly what it is about, which is to hammer your brain with Metal. It is a slow doomy heavy crunching dirge along the lines of early BLACK SABBATH. It’s a dirge in a good way, though, and is an apt opener for an album called “Crawling Chaos”. The title track follows with a fade in bass, drilling guitars and blasting vocals by Geoff McGraw. Frenetic and frantic duel guitar attack covers the songs courtesy of new guy Damin Bennett and original member Joe Sims. This is about as traditional as Heavy Metal gets. “Aldar Rof” has IRON MAIDEN style galloping guitars and an apocalyptical theme. This has more of a catchy feel and is quite a memorable track. “Axes of Evil” begins with a haunting riff and rhythm section, before moving into a quick-paced rhythm that gets the head banging. In fact, there is a spoken intro that proclaims “terror, horror, death” from some old movie just to get you in the mood.

“Flowers For The Dead” has a bass intro before smashing in with a volley of riffs and great lyric delivery by Geoff McGraw. Damon Bennett delivers some great guitar work on this track with eerie beginning and end solos. “Shallow Grave” has a slow acoustic intro before building up into a heavy riff-fest with soaring vocals and a full-on Power Metal end. “Mystify The Dream Hypnotic” is an instrumental break between the pounding Metal and provides and eerie musical compliment to the chaos theme. “Knight of Pain” is another full on head banger along with “Bravado” and both have a thunderous Metal delivery. - Metal Temple


1) "Slave to the Blade" (1985 - Independent 5-song cassette)

2) "Blessing in the Skies" (1986 - Full length album and cassette released by Azra International Records)

3) "Crusades" (1987 - Shaped picture disc released by Azra International Records as a limited edition record to promote "Blessing in the Skies")

4) "The Vision" (1987 - Shaped picture-disc single released by Azra International Records)

5) "Death Before Dishonor" (1988 - Full length cassette of rehearsal recordings. European-only release by S.A. Bucher Management {France} & Skullthrasher Promotions {Belgium})

6) "5 Demons (Imperative is their Demise)" (1991 - Independent 5 song cassette)

7) "1985 - 1995" (1999 - A "best of" 14 song CD released by Unisound Records {Greece} which includes songs from the releases numbered here as 2, 3, 4, and 6. Also includes 3 songs by the band The Awakening)

8) "Death Before Dishonor (Reissue)" (2003 - Re-release on CD of the original recordings by Unisound Records {Greece}. Also includes previously unreleased material and songs from the releases numbered here as 1 and 4)

9) "Blessing in the Skies (re-release)" (2006 - The album in it's entirety released on CD by Burning Star Records {Greece}. Also includes a video for the song "Slave to the Blade" and 3 bonus tracks)

10) "Overture to Madness" (2015 - Full length CD released by Pure Steel Records {Germany})

11) "Blessing in the Skies (and other cuts from the chamber)"  (2017 - Re-release of 19 of the band's tracks from 1986-1991 [re-mastered] on a collectible vinyl double-album by Pure Steel Records {Germany})

12) "Crawling Chaos" (2017 - Full length CD released by Pure Steel Records {Germany})

AXEMASTER's music/albums are available through outlets online such as I-Tunes, Amazon, Walmart, Apple Music, Target, and FYE, as well as many others


Axemaster's music is also featured in the movies "Killer Nerd" and "Metal Maniac" as well as the documentary "The Polishing of Metal", the DVD "Defenders of the Faith", and 6 physical compilation releases



AXEMASTER is an all original metal band that combines elements of traditional, doom, and thrash metal to create a distinctive sound. The band has a long and established history that spans 3 decades and includes 11 official releases on 4 different international labels, and has had music included on several compilations as well as in 2 movies.

Between 85 and 87. the band's original lineup recorded their first 4 releases, the last 3 being released by Azra International Records. They were also featured on Azra Record's compilation shaped picture record "Metalgon" and in the comedy/horror movie "Killer Nerd". After subsequent lineup changes. from 88-91 the band had 2 additional releases before altering their musical direction and changing the band name to The Awakening. However, during the band's inactivity from 1995 to 2010, 3 CDs of re-releases from the band's past material were put out by Unisound Records (2) and Burning Star Records (both from Greece). These CDs were invaluable in keeping the Axemaster name alive and relevant during the period that the band was inactive.

In 2014, Axemaster signed a worldwide record and publishing deal with Pure Steel Records and in 2015, released the full length album "Overture to Madness" (the band's first since re-forming in 2010). After a year of shows in support of "Overture", the band hit the studio in 2016 to record their most current album "Crawling Chaos" which was released by Pure Steel in late 2017. These releases illustrate the band's evolution while still and always paying respect to their metal roots.

Shortly in advance of the current album, Pure Steel also released a re-mastered collection of the band's material from the 80's and early 90's as a collectible vinyl 2 record set (19 songs) titled "Blessing in the Skies (and other cuts from the Chamber)".

Currently, the band is beginning work on a new album. The music for 12 songs and an intro have been written, it's now a matter of fine tuning the material and then moving forward with starting to record.

The current Axemaster has performed with such acts as Sebastian Bach, Grim Reaper, Riot, Cloven Hoof, 7 Witches, & Halloween; and festivals they have played include Ragnarokkr Metal Apocalypse (Chicago), Hollowfest (Delaware {twice}, & Cleveland), The Pure Steel Fest (Detroit), and The Pure Steel Metal Fest (Cleveland). Furthermore, the band's material has been played regularly on radio stations internationally since 1986, and during that span of time has been featured in thousands of publications/websites worldwide; among which include "Metal Hammer", "Rock Hard", "True Metal Lives", "Hard Rocker", "Heavy Metal Pages", and "Break Out".

Axemaster's unique blend of styles has proven to be a combination that appeals to metal fans from 2 different generations, which has helped to allow the band to stand the test of time and remain strong after over 30 years.

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Band Members