"Murder the Planet" is the second demo by Axeslaughter since it's resurrection in 2010, and their third release in total. As did the previous demo "Tape II," this one also features a couple of (re-recorded) songs dating back to the group's debut demo from 2007, but the rest of 'em are brand new compositions.

The demo opens up with an intro of distorted feedback and even more distorted growls, but it only takes a minute for the actual slaughter to begin. The opening tune gives a pretty accurate description of what this demo is about; filthy oldschool death metal, ranging from mid-tempo churning to all-out blasting a'la Blasphemy. The songs are rather simplistic, but they have a good drive, enough variation and a lot of attitude to make up for it.

The soundscape is one of the major things which separates this demo from the mass and brings out the band's attitude. The bass guitar has a nicely loud and plump sound which serves as a steady pulse and some clarity amidst the guitars with grainy distortion. The drums are equally lo-fi but still powerful and sharp, which makes them both fitting to the soundscape and capable of keeping up the songs' drive. The vocals are rather loud in the mix, but not too loud to become an actual bother. Their sound is the most distorted, and the sound gives the demo a lot of personality. The shouts and growls sound pleasing and hostile, so aside of the slightly unnecessary loudness taking space from the riffs, there's no room for complaints here.

The cover image is once again hand-drawn. Although I like the style, the covers on "Tape II" looked a lot darker and less sloppy. No lyrics are included, so all the listener gets is the track list and the sentence "Heil the death of a modern world." It's enough to enjoy the tape, but I'm nonetheless curious about the lyrics' content.

This demo gives a lot more flattering image of the band than the previous one - which is understandable, since this one's a real demo recording whereas "Tape II" was more of a rehearsal tape. The songs would need more personality to do some actual damage, even though the band already shows a lot of potential; for example the slow and ghostly mid-part of "Cemetery..." and the all-out blasting that follows it are a real treat to the ears. The soundscape, on its part, shows that the band isn't afraid of bolder experimentations, which also bodes well for their future. Well done.

4 / 5