Axxis - Paradise In Flames
Axxis from Germany bring out their ninth album and for me, who hasn't heard them in about twelve years, this comes as a big surprise. It is still the same basic structures of german hard rock with their signature catchy tunes but this is definitely heavier and also speedier with many of the tracks, something that I favour. Paradise In Flames serves you a great deal of up-tempo tracks and not seldom rather powerful ones with the catchy tunes and hymnal choruses that are typical for Axxis. There is a positive feeling that surrounds the tracks and they put you in a cheerful mood when your are listening to them.
Dance With The Dead starts the album heavily with good riffs, yet it has the catchy and easygoing attitude and with the up-tempo beat and bombastic choir it is a good starter. Next song Tales Of Glory Island also has some of the bombastic choirs and picks up the pace even further with a really catchy Edguy sounding vibe to it and some tasteful vocal lines. In Take My Hand they still hold on to the powerful approach but in a mid-tempo pace and now the female vocals are given some more room. Lakonia, that was also on their former album Time Machine as a back up vocalist, is now sharing the vocals with Bernhard Weiss in a couple of songs and their voices compliments each other very well.
Some of the songs on the album is unfortunately sounding a bit too simple and has to much of a pop music vibe in them for me, like Stay By Me and the ballad Don't Leave Me. Nevertheless they are catchy and you catch yourself humming along to them, so in that sense they might be good but I think that they lack a bit of substance. Best song on the album is Lady Moon, a mid-tempo track that is balancing of being almost too banal with its german schlager kind of metal but it pulls through with its catchy melodies. It has probably the most positive vibe of the tracks and also the one that they have seem to done the most work with considering the arrangements. Bombastic and powerful with great backing vocals from Lakonia in a song built in a pace for the guitarists to sway back and forth as they play.
Flames In Paradise by Axxis is close of being too much for me, regarding catchy tunes that is border line cheesy and banal, but they pull it off. With the deliverance of the music with power and elegance and a great melodic sense complete with a good balance with the bombastic choir, this album starts my review year of 2006 in a pleasurable way. And it is with the speedier and heavier tracks, where they have the most comparisons with Edguy in them, that they are showing their best side.
also review of: Time Machine