Angry Metal Guy (3.5/5.0): "Through it all, the production is explosive but not exhausting. The guitars are beefy and sharp as hell, like a nail bomb stuffed down your ear canal. Likewise, Joel’s vocals sound so clear you can practically hear the spittle and food particles shooting from his mouth. It all serves as the perfect delivery mechanism for my favorite thing about Axis of Despair: the sheer sense of conviction." - read the entire review.
Astral Noize (no rating): "Contempt For Man is just rager after rager, with tracks switching from grinding blasts to more hardcore and d-beat influenced sections with biting punky riffs, also reminiscent of mid-’00s Napalm Death. The flow of the album is magnificent, leaving no breathing room and just keeping that intensity going." - read the entire review.
Ave Noctum (9.5/10): "Every track on the album releases megatons of energy via an explosion of blasting drum cannonades held together by viperous venomous vocal assaults that possess such animosity as to be terrifying. /.../ Those that crave the true sound and scorching inferno of grindcore can look no further as this album lives and breathes the genre in every single millisecond of its duration." - read the entire review.
Bravewords (8.5/10): "You look at the fact that we’re talking 20 songs in 33 minutes, and you start to get an idea of what might be in store. And you hit “play” on this, the band's debut, and you’re right: this is crisp, excellently produced, blindingly fast grindcore with crust-punk and death metal edges. " - read the entire review.
Close Up Magazine (8/10): "[Skivan] är något så glädjande som ett renodlat grindcorealster, fritt från långsam sludge, black metal eller andra för genren så populära smaksättare. /…/ Med sitt otroligt tighta och varierade höghastighetsmangel är Contempt for man årets hittills bästa grindcorealbum." - full review not available online
Echoes and Dust (no rating): "The entire album is an nonstop collection of grind madness that only really relents as concluding track, ‘Flytande Död’ with its grooving heaviness fades out with the triumphant and satisfying sound of feedback, confident that what has preceded it has done its job in terms of terrorizing the listeners eardrums in the best way possible." - read the entire review.
Exclaim! (8/10): "Furiously driving through 20 tracks of pure belligerence in a little under a half hour, Contempt For Man is unrelenting in its approach. Songs such as "Lockdown," "The Punishment Begins" or "Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike" deliver raw punk energy, but with a mature approach that shows the band aren't a bunch of kids wailing out random grind tracks." - read the entire review.
Ghost Cult (8/10): "Before attempting to listen to Axis of Despair’s debut LP, Contempt for Man (Southern Lord), make sure to wear a helmet and bite down into your mouthpiece as you may experience all manners of sonic trauma. Sure, it reads like its bordering on hyperbole, but these Swedes really hammer out tunes befitting of the album’s name. /.../ Not for the faint of heart, but those who dare venture it will find an album that will reward constant listens. But remember safety first." - read the entire review.
Global Domination (6.8/10): "When a kick in the teeth just ain’t enough." - read the entire review.
Good Guys Go Grind (8.5/10 ): "One of the things on this album that I love most, is it`s a great balance between instrumental parts and vocals. Joel did a great job; he screams exactly as much as these songs need, he does not clutter everything with roars, and that is necessary. Anders drum work is amazing, the reverberation of the cymbals and the stuttering blasts just get inside me and I lose all sense of time and place. Oskar managed to catch a really nice and low tone. The grizzly sound of his bass guitar brings some dense notes into the whole song structure. Fast riffing from Kristofer could smash your skull. The buzzing tunes from his instrument literally drilled my ears, ha! " - read the entire review.
Grizzly Butts (4.0/5.0): "The mix of grooves and grinding cuts completely revives the old spirit of the more polished Nasum stuff. /.../ Easily the best grind release of the year so far." - read the entire review.
Heavy Blog is Heavy (no rating): "For every relentless beating from a track like “Lockdown”, there’s a more variety-filled track like “The Noose Tightens” or “Crush the Empire”. But these subtleties are essentially all variations on theme, with that theme being complete and total annihilation. There isn’t a track on this record that doesn’t want to tear through your ligaments, and the violent reaction one feels when listening to this record is tactical and earned. With Contempt for Man, Axis of Despair have crafted a tight, concise, and fiery winner that is as well-constructed and carefully considered as it is maniacally violent." - read the entire review.
Heavy Music Headquarters (3/5): "Only two songs go over the two-minute line, and it might not be a coincidence that they are the ones that leave the most sizable mark. “Crush the Empire” and “Flytande Död” halt the extreme progress for a reprise into mid-tempo, and surprisingly catchy, structures." - read the entire review.
Insanity Remains Webzine (4.1/5): "Something to remark in "Contempt for Man", every part that comprises this album, is undoubtedly very well structured, the heavy bass lines by Oskar Pålsson are tremendous, the guitar work is exceptional by Kristofer Jankarls, while the driven force falls totally behind the drum set by Anders Jakobson and nobody can ignore the energy delivered in every bark-style vocals by Joel Fornbrant, Axis of Despair really deserve to be in your forthcoming Grindcore bands list to check." - read the entire review.
Kerrang (4/5): "Contempt For Man finds these Swedish veterans continuing to fly the flag for music that is nasty, brutish and short, while its title neatly underlines that growing older hasn’t lightened their bleak worldview. From raging opener Värdelös onwards, the punky origins of the genre are clearly audible through the raw fury of the band’s aggro grind." - full review not available online
Last Rites (no rating): "The most notable improvement in Contempt For Man is in the production. Whereas Mankind Crawls didn’t sound bad, it sounds markedly thinner and hollower compared to this new one, whereupon the guitars are given a beefier treatment, the drums punchier. In terms of the songwriting and overall execution, Contempt is firmly within the latter-day Nasum wheelhouse, all whirlwind blasting and lightning riff, with Jankarls tossing out riffs both angular and thrashing while vocalist Joel Fornbrant bellows like a less-frantic Barney Greenway." - read the entire review.
Metal Hammer (6/10): "Axis of Despair deal in lean muscularity that's designed to cause maximum damage with maximum efficiency. /.../ It's a clean, clinical and utterly regimented brand of grind that doles out vicious beating like clockwork." - full review not available online
Metalnews (88/100): "Avec en tête de liste Joel Fornbrant (chant), Oskar Pålsson (basse) et Anders Jakobson (batterie), réunis en 2013 et au trio vite complété par l’arrivée de Kristofer Jankarls (guitare), ce nouveau concept érigé à la gloire des blasts et des riffs épidermiques et instinctifs nous pond un premier LP qui fera date dans l’histoire de la furie musicale, au même titre que World Downfall de TERRORIZER ou Helvete de NASUM, dont Contempt for Man emprunte la concision, la fermeté, la rapidité, et l’efficacité dans l’exagération. Pour faire simple et user de raccourcis, on pourrait d’ailleurs voir en ce premier jet une combinaison fatale des talents des deux groupes précités, agrémentés et augmentés de la puissance de feu des NAILS, et de l’esprit old-school des NAPALM DEATH, sans oublier une colère patente made in BRUTAL TRUTH, et quelques relents de THE KILL pour l’absence totale de baisse de régime." - read the entire review.
Metalireland (4/5): "‘Contempt for Man’, like all the best grindcore, straddles a fine line between control and chaos, sounding like it’s about to fall apart at any second, but is held together by sheer brute force. It’s amazing how many times this occurs and, throwing in the other previously mentioned elements, it’s a sonic tour de force. " - read the entire review.
Musipedia of Metal (7/10): "Grindcore rarely does much for me but this 33-minute, 20 song release just kicks you in the nuts. Fornbrant’s grizzled growl fits the aggression of the band’s music perfectly. The rest of the band descend into utter chaos as they plough through track after track, most of which are around the minute mark. " - read the entire review.
No Clean Singing (no rating): "Contempt For Man doesn’t really push at the boundaries of the drum-destroying, hyperfast, circle-pit-fueled grind segment of the heavy metal world, but it certainly delivers on the adrenaline-rush front, providing a solid white-knuckled experience as songs pile over one another for a little over a half hour and then quickly loop around to do so again." - read the entire review.
Punktastic (no rating): "Axis of Despair aren’t reinventing the wheel here – they are simply fitting the wheel with Ben Hur-esque chariot spikes before sending it hurtling towards your face at 200mph. It’s probably the last record of 2018 that you’ll want to play to your nan, but for the merciless purpose it serves, Contempt for Man leaves little for you to despair over." - read the entire review.
Slavestate (4/5): "[Det är] en dynamisk, tajt och knogjärnsförsedd grindcore med komplexa låtstrukturer som levereras. Ett lika stilrent som hermetiskt sammanfogat sound, där Oskars och Anders hårdföra och kompromisslösa rytmsektion driver Kristofers blixtrande riff till att slå sprakande gnistor under sin framfart. Joel har en stämma som övertygade redan under Coldworkers tid. Nu har den mognat och därutöver blivit hårdare i konturerna, vilket på ett utsökt sätt bidrar till att förstärka känslan i Örebroarnas maliciösa sound." - read the entire review.
Sunday Sport Newspaper (4/5): "Contempt for Man is a game changer, delivering blistering extreme metal with grease gun percussion. Each track cuts through the air like a frenzied slash from a crazed surgeon’s scalpel. /…/ Easily the best out-and-out grindcore album I’ve heard in years!" - full review not available online
Sweden Rock Magazine (6/10): "Örebrobandets debutalbum är en stormvind av kulturella uttryck från en mylla som sällan visar sig på radarn för gemene man. Och det tillhör ju själva charmen med hela rörelsen kring grindcore, hardcore och extrem metal i största allmänhet. Jag gillar envisheten i att fortsätta rakt fram utan att vika sig för några påtryckningar från utomstående och att Axis of Despair är explosiva så det räcker råder inga tvivel om." - full review not available online
Two Guys Metal Reviews (no rating): "This is a mature and driven grindcore record of the highest degree. Contempt For Man represent grind in its finest form, high powered, angry and un-fucking-relenting. There are no 'chill' moments here. Instead you find your head being slammed into a wall for twenty minutes and are made to deal with it." - read the entire review.
We Rock (8/10): "Av alla subgenrer jag lyssnar på inom metallen, så ligger grindcoren bra till när det gäller att så snabbt som möjligt vid en första lyssning avgöra om det som hörs är bra. /.../ Det tar mig två sekunder av öppnaren Värdelös för att fatta att detta är inte bara bra grindcore – det är en uppvisning som genast ger mig den där ack så sköna känslan av hemkomst." - read the entire review.
Wonderbox Metal (no rating): "The development between Mankind Crawls and Contempt for Man is notable. Although clearly still the same band playing the same style, Contempt for Man is less rough and more focused, more streamlined in delivery. This is still scathing, underground grindcore, of course, so don’t mistake my words for implying the band have somehow gone all ultra-polished and shiny. No, this is nasty, belligerent stuff." - read the entire review.
Wyborcza.pl (3,5/5): "Contempt for Man jest debiutem dojrzałym i wzorcowo wypełniającym wszystkie założenia gatunku." - read the entire review.
Astral Noize: Axis Of Despair’s Furious Grindcore Will Fuel Your Contempt for Man (July 22, 2018)
Breathing the Core: Interviews: Axis Of Despair (July 6, 2018)
Echoes and Dust: Interview: Anders Jakobson from Axis of Despair (July 19, 2018)
The Metal Wanderlust: Interview: Axis Of Despair< (August 21, 2018)
Slavestate: Intervju med Axis of Despair (July 31, 2018)
Axis of Despair features former and present members of such bands as Nasum, Coldworker, Infanticide, Volturyon, Livet som insats, Nervgift and Overtorture. To be exact: The band was formed by former Coldworker members Anders Jakobson (drums), Oskar Pålsson (bass) and Joel Fornbrant (vocals) in the end of 2013. About half a year later the line up was completed by Livet som insats member Kristofer Jankarls playing the guitar. In the Summer of 2015 a 12 song recording session took place, ending up as the two 7” EP’s ”Time and Again” and ”Mankind Crawls” released in 2015 and 2016. After doing a few shows the band continued to write songs and by the Summer of 2017 the album ”Contempt for Man” was recorded, containing 20 songs and ultimately released by Southern Lord in 2018.