Toponymy is the study of the place names of a region or a language. Avestan is an ancient Iranian language that was spoken in various parts of Southwest Asia (the sacred writings of Zoroastrians are written in Avestan). What does all this have to do with metal music? In this case, one of today's most brutal one-man death metal bands would not have its name without it.
Axsaena is Zoltán Petres from Toplița, Harghita County, Romania. Petres decided on the name Axsaena for his band because, after learning its meaning is most likely "black" in Avestan from his college toponymy class, he found the word interesting and kept it for his band name.
Originally a two-piece band, Axsaena was formed in 2012. After playing their first live show, which was an intimate setting at a small local bar attended by some friends, Zoltán recalls, “At that time, it really boosted my confidence and made me realize that I have to continue making music, no matter what.” Not long after that, Axsaena went from being a two-piece band to a one man band, as it still remains to this day. Still unsigned, Petres utilizes social media and music websites in order to get his band name out there. “In my opinion, social media is the best thing that ever happened to musicians,” states Petres, “I mean, it’s super easy to get your stuff out there and let people know you exist. You have to be a fool to not use it.“ Zoltán is clearly focused and has a strong vision as to the direction of his work.
“The main idea was to create interesting and captivating music while being as brutal as possible, so death metal was the obvious choice,” explains Zoltán. Although his own music is quite brutal, some of his early musical influences may be a little surprising. As a young boy, his parents listened to acts including Queen, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Rod Stewart, Elton John, and Tina Turner. When Petres entered his teen years, his musical tastes then took a turn to rock, grunge, and metal bands that were popular at that time such as Metallica, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and the Hungarian hard rock band Tankcsapda. It was also during this time that he began listening to heavier bands like Death, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Dying Fetus, Neurosis, Mastodon, etc. It is safe to say his musical influences are quite varied, causing his taste in music to be complex.
Zoltán Petres not only has a college education, he also has a good head on his shoulders. Instead of running up an extensive debt on equipment before he is able to get his feet fully planted in professional music, he likes to stay within his financial means. “My main instrument is the bass, so I’ll start with that. At this point I use a Warwick RB Corvette 5 Classic with D’Addario XL nickel wound string, through a 100W Kustom KBA100 bass combo with nothing between. During recording I plug the bass directly into a Behringer U-Phoria UM2, adding some compression an EQ later. Regarding the guitar, I use a cheap Cort X1 plugged directly into the interface, adding VST effects. When practicing, I use the BOSS HM2 and the BOSS MT2 pedals through a cheap practice amp. The vocals are recorded with a Behringer C-1 condenser microphone, which is surprisingly good; I recommend it to all “budget” musicians.” This sounds like excellent advice for budding musicians looking to create a heavy sound on a tight budget.
In 2013 Axsaena released a demo titled Contemporary. The most recent release is the single “Burn It To The Ground”, both of which are available on Bandcamp as free downloads; just enter “0” in the “name your price” area. More music will be available soon, so be sure to follow Axsaena on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the band. Click on any of the following links to find out more about Axsaena.