Release DetailsLABEL AFM
RELEASED ON 1/26/2004
posted on 3/2004 By:
I miss Styx. No I don't, that was a lie. But I did enjoy some of Styx's songs. A few, anyway. Yes, they were almost terrifyingly cheesy and canned, but they seemed to have at least one or two decent ideas hidden in all the glitz and pansy. And when they were fun, hey, they were. Axxis has me referring to it as a powermetal version of Styx. I am not going to sit here and try to convince you that this is a fucking kick ass record. I am not even going to defend their style. It's corny as fuck. But if you listen you can find some pretty cool musical ideas fighting for sunlight amid all the mid tempo power cheese. And in all honesty, it's a fun listen.
I guess a couple of reasons the Styxism came to mind was that the chorus parts are gang falsettoed like Styx used to do, and the lead vocalist reminds me of a european Dennis DeYoung - just about as annoying as you can get without actually causing hatred in me. Another reason is the musicians play well, but never seem to let go and flame. Styx was notorious for that. Everything always sounded planned and executed without emotion, apart from the occasional guitar solo or vocal part. It sounded conservative and proper and afraid of it's own potential. So it is with Axxis. Everything is just too...steady. The opening track starts with a very cool key and guitar part that becomes instabland once the whole band kicks in. Again and again you get these moments of brilliance, but end up wishing a more intense band would take the idea and run with it. Remember when the double bass in "Fast as a Shark" made your heart race and your eyes dilate? Here it almost causes me to want to take a nap.
So it's not a fantastic record. But it is a fun little listen. The band plays tightly and performs well. The songs are almost poppishly hooky, and move along well enough. The production is very good, perhaps even adding a layer of excitement that helps the band out. Songs like "Lost in the Darkness" really show off what the band can do when they get all the pieces to fit. Punchy, upbeat, anthemic...it's the good cheese. But as the record proceeds, the punchy fun parts aren't quite enough to remedy the general safety of things
Bottom Line: The real problem: can I recomend a fun little record to the metal buyers at large? It's one thing to listen to a fun record, but quite another to ask someone to pay for it. If you just adore power metal or older 80's style pop metal bands like Europe or whoever, I bet you would dig this. I don't think you would call it the best of the year or anything, but still, it's a well made record of fairly well written songs. But if you are not a fan of these things, if you like heavy, intense, brutal and/or technical music, this is not for you.
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