The Felix Culpa - Bury the Axe (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Felix Culpa

Bury the Axe (2011)

No Sleep

The Bury the Axe EP is a nicely complementary addendum to the Felix Culpa's 2010 full-length, Sever Your Roots. After initially being self-released by the band, No Sleep Records reissued Sever Your Roots recently in a proper digipak casing, and the new EP even gets its own CD (even though there's no pocket left for the relatively thick liner notes). It seems deserving, though: It's a compelling 17 minutes and change, and with the band's recent breakup announcement, it could be the last new batch of music we hear from them. Each track hovers around the six-minute mark, and thus all have plenty of time to develop and change throughout.

Opener "Mallets" is all instrumental, toeing the line between wandering Colour Revolt-esque post-rock and snarling post-metal. About two-and-a-half minutes in, a heavy bass comes thudding through, prowling for a little while. Maybe it's one of the mallets in question, while the band dig into a groove-laden dirge in the last two minutes à la Thrice's Beggars, closing it out in an angular, heavy fashion.

"Towers" is all hushed vocals and buoyant guitar crescendos, with the band's trademark, soft climactic transitions allowing for quick vocal strains you wish would last a little longer. "Spaces" sounds like it has some nimble finger-tapping interspersed throughout, like the band are filtering post-American Football emo through their moodier, lower-fi filter. Moreover, though, Glassjaw's "Ape Dos Mil" has always seemed like an appropriate song to compare the Felix Culpa to, and it's this track especially where a lounge-y, low-lying delivery and procedure has definite parallels.

Bury the Axe shouldn't change anyone's opinions of the Felix Culpa, but for their closest followers, it will likely only strengthen the love. The band cultivated an interesting and creative sound over their nearly decade-long course, and while it seems they had further potential untapped, this bonus EP of sorts is a pretty fine way to finish things.