Axxis - Time Machine
Naaahhhh.....I have no doubt that Axxis mean well, and want to rock our world with their traditional german rock/metal, but this is a bit too weak and flat for me. Axxis is a new aquintance for me, even though this is their 8th fullength album since the debut back in 1989. Since this is reported to be their absolute strongest and hardest album so far, I will not be running out of the house trying to get a hold of the earlier efforts.
Axxis play metal that is heavy, basic and has some pompous and orchestral elements baked into it in the veins of Mob Rules and Edguy to name a few references. The album starts with an uptempo track that does not really impress, but has qualities in form of a personal refrain and some good riffing. Already here we hear the influences from Edguy with the same kind of symphonic arrangements. The titletrack which follows is standard, midtempo which is nothing special, and a more rocky and poppy Wind In The Night follows, which even contains some ska-rythms but it works and is quite catchy. Nothing wrong with the melodies on this album, but it's just very standard.
The tempo increases after that with Lost In The Darkness, which is uptempo and Axxis don't have to be ashamed to have written that song, but it is a bit too much Edguy for it's own good. 3 songs in a row after that which are pretty anonymous manage to sink the album even more than it really deserve, but it's enevidable to feel that since the album loses tempo at that point. One ballad and one semi-sleazy rock song is a bit too much at that point, and rest of the songs on the album are decent, midtempo ones but they are unfortunatly too similar to each other so they tend to feel as one long song. Dance In The Starlight has a strong Moonlight Shadow(Mike Oldfield)warning, by the way.
With the Helloween-ish, when they show themselves from the more rockier side, Gimme Your Blood it starts to point upwards in terms of energy again, but by then it's too late. I already yawn and am since long looking for something else in the cd rack that can bring some metal with pondus in my veins. When the last song Don't Drag Me Down starts, it's a done deal. Another attempt to play a heavy rocksong does not work well, and is not a worthy end of the album. When they are showing themselves form the more powerful side with some juice behind the riffs it works, like in Angel Of Death and Battle Of Power, but they decide to not use that approach especially much and the result speaks for itself.
Production wise it is plain good - nothing more, nothing less - and the same goes for the vocals, even though there lies a veil of Edguy Light over it all most of the time. This works for the moment, but does not make a lasting impression.
also review of: Paradise