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On disc: Axxis



Back To The Kingdom - Amir Djawadi - 6 stars
Collection Of Power - Katja Henning - 7 stars
Collection Of Power - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
Time Machine - Anika Peterson - 7 stars
Doom Of Destiny - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Utopia - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Utopia - Umberto Mino - 7 stars


www.axxis.de







Utopia

Utopia
(AFM Records - 2009)


For 20 years Axxis give us good music (I always remember, how many times I've listen Kingdom Of The Night during my military service) and also this last CD Utopia reaches this goal. Now the female vocals aren't in every song and we can consider this platter like a kind of back to the roots.
This CD starts with the usual intro Journey To Utopia and the title track Utopia gives us the possibility to listen how back to the roots they are!!!!! Last Man On Earth and Fass mich an follow the good impression of the title track, good songs with nice melodies and in case of Fass mich an a female choir is appearing..... Sarah Wanna Die is seriously the heaviest song of this CD until now and Father's Eyes is a power ballad for us, metal heads with a huge heart!
The Monster Crawl for me is the low point of this CD, and the follower Eyes Of A Child takes this album back on a high level!!! Great chorus and melodies one more time!!! Heavy Rain is on the same high level of Monster.... and the atmosphere changes with For You I Will Die, a classic song in their style with female choir. Last song on this CD is Underworld, that closes this CD in the fast way!!!!
Only one thing left to say to Axxis: Good job, guys!!!!


7 stars

Umberto Mino
 

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Utopia

Utopia
(AFM Records - 2009)


Axxis was founded in 1988, but singer Bernhard Weiss is the only founding member. Even if keyboarder Harry Oellers is no founding member so he is part of Axxis since the recordings of their 2nd album! In 1989 their debut was released and so Utopia marks the 20th year since the debut Kingdom Of The Night. Drummer André Hilgers had to leave the band, coz it was no longer possible to split up time between Axxis and Rage. His successor is Alex Lamdenburg.
The intro Journey To Utopia leads you into the album with an echoed pounding heart and with bombastic, dramatic sounds. They head into the title track Utopia, a fast guitar-driven rocker with a catchy refrain. Symphonic and also quite bombastic is the fast rocker Last Man On Earth. With Fass mich an the German melodic rocker offer a track with German lyrics, it's not the first time, but their first German tune was only the bonus track of the limited edition of Doom Of Destiny. The song has a dark vibe and the heavy riffs have a dash of NDH... And again they add some female vocals. A highlight is Sarah Wanna Die, a song which combines bombastic keyboard with heavy riffing. Mainly a fast tune, but they include some mid-tempo passage. With My Father's Eyes they give you a little break with this emotional balladesque tune. A heavy stomping rocker is The Monsters Crawl. The catchy refrain will soon haunt you - another highlight of Utopia! From the beginning of Eyes of A Child the melodic vocals build the counter part to the very heavy riffing. Electronic sounds and staccato riffing lead you into For You I Will Die, so if the title made you expect a ballad - that's not what you get! For You I Will Die is an up-tempo rocker. The closer is called Underworld and shows them quite heavy - and fast! Like they want to show that even after 20 years they can kick ass...
Fans of Axxis won't be disappointed by Utopia, even if they offer some new elements. Everybody else should check out Sarah Wanna Die, Underworld and The Monsters Crawl.


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Doom Of Destiny

Doom Of Destiny
(AFM Records - 2007)


The German melodic metal band Axxis is around for almost 2 decades and is now presenting their new studio album which is called Doom Of Destiny. For some people Axxis are too much cliche, others have a problem with the voice of Bernhard Weiß - and I confess I fit the later group. Anyway, as always Bernie is doing a good job. It's just a matter of taste....
The intro Voices Of Doom is influenced by classic music and leads into the title track. Doom Of Destiny has for a moment an oriental touch. Its a fast, riff-based tune and again Axxis got joined by Lakonia. Partly her vocals fit very well, but sometimes I find them irritating. While the duet parts at Doom Of Destiny mainly work out very well, Lakonia's duet part at Better Fate is annoying me. The track is very heavy with an epic touch, but surprises with slower parts and especially when they step back to give space for Bernie's vocals the song gets very intensive. With Bloodangel the quintet offers a catchy hook to sing along, but the song doesn't lack heaviness. But somehow this tune reminds me of something.... At least partly. Actually I think they do better when they reduce the speed a bit. The songs gets more intense, but they never really slow down - only for the powerful ballad The Fire Still Burns. The saxophone part makes the tune stick out and adds an emotionality to it. One of the fastest tracks on the disc is Father, Father which starts with keyboard and Lakonia's voice, but soon after Bernie joined in the track kinda explodes. Harry Oeller's keyboards add a symphonic touch á la Stratovarius and guitarist Marco Wriedt starts to battle Harry with some fast, melodic riffs. With it's positive vibes She Got Nine Lifes sticks out, but also through the partly distorted vocals of Lakonia.
Well, I miss a bit variety, coz most songs are speedy, even if there are some slower parts. Beside that I think that Lakonia is better when she's not hitting the high notes, coz she doesn't have the power. What surprised me was the excellent guitar work of new Axxis member Marco Wriedt. My resume: A decent album, but even if it's quite heavy its not one of my highlights in melodic metal of 2007! Check out: Bloodangel, She Got Nine Lifes and Father, Father. For vinyl fans they release a limited edition of Doom Of Destiny where the songs are in a different order. As it is limited to 300 copies better be quick!


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 






Time Machine

Time Machine
(AFM Records - 2004)


Axxis have seen better days - the days when this kind of music were more popular. Perhaps they wish that they could return to that days with Time Machine. Opening with Angel Of Death they show that this time they offer more then the usual stuff. This one is a straight up-tempo song. And with Lost In Darkness and The Demons Are Calling they show that they have a heavy side and know more then AOR / Hard Rock. Melodies are combined with fast riffing, but they vary their speed. Vocally Bernhard Weiß is more variable on this disc. But there are more hard rock oriented songs like Wind In The Night which has a Celtic touch. A party rocker is Gimme Your Blood and with Battle Of Power they have a very epic track recorded. On Alive they use a string orchestra - at least it sounds like one - which gives this one a different touch. The quintet ends the album with Don't Drag Me Down which sounds like a recent Deep Purple songs.... A walk on the edge. Probably some old fans will find it too heavy and for real metalheads it's partly too soft...
Btw, on drums they got a helping hand from Pink Cream 69 drummer Kosta Zafiriou. The production is powerful and nothing to complain about that.
Btw, the limited edition has 2 bonus tracks - unfortunately I have the normal version.   :-(


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 






Collection Of Power

Collection Of Power - Live, Acoustic & Unreleased
(Massacre Records -2000)


If it make sense to buy this CD, well... It's up to you. Die-hard fans of Axxis will buy this, no doubt. But everybody else should consider buying this CD, there are many other releases... On this CD you get live versions of Shadowman, Flashback Radio, Little War and Kings Made Of Steele as well as two acoustic songs - Julia and Heaven In Black - and an previously unreleased one called Moonlight. If you need to own this EP is up to you...


7 stars

Katja Henning
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 






Collection Of Power

Collection Of Power - Live, Acoustic & Unreleased
(Massacre Records -2000)


After the tour Axxis are now presenting an EP with 7 tracks incl. Flashback Radio and Moonlight. This EP is interested because of the acoustic versions of Julia and Heaven In Black as well as other interested stuff. The fan edition includes a screen saver and is not just interesting for fans, also for the ones who saw them at a festival this summer and wanna hear a little bit more of them....


7 stars

 






Back To The Kingdom

Back To The Kingdom
(Massacre Records - 2000)


To understand the meaning of the new Axxis CD Back To The Kingdom you have to travel back in time. In 1989 the Dortmund-based combo released their debut titles Kingdom Of The Night and so it all goes in circles. A reminiscence to the euphoria of their early days and the rise to be one of the well-known German metal bands which you can reckon with in future.
At Wacken open-air 1999 they showed a brilliant per­formance and let everybody know that they are back after taking a 2 year long break. They released 5 studio albums and a live one, now they are back with a new line-up to take the European metal scene by storm. The 12 tracks are a solid basis for the coming tour with Pink Cream 69 where they will present the new material live. Opening with Shadowman they show their direction, to put the listener under a ban with the catchy songs. All songs can keep the standard and tracks like Flashback Radio or Heaven In Black fill this CD with tracks which are a pleasure to listen to and are a seal of quality.
Their balladesque side they present with Only God Knows and they don't lack a hymn which is the final track on the disc and will be a highlight on the coming tour. Bernhard Weiss is a charismatic shouter with an impressive voice which is a kind of trademark for Axxis. He's supported by keyboarder Harry Oellers and drummer Richard Michalski. On guitar they have a new band member, Guido Wehmeyer and the bass is played by Udo Niemeyer.
Okay, long time Axxis fans and metal fans who want to take a closer look at the sympathetic band, buy it now! And don't forget to see them live on tour!

6 stars

Amir Djawadi
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 

           ©2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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