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Beginning in 1988 and releasing their debut CD in 1989, German melodic metal band Axxis have continued to chug along, releasing strong CD after strong CD despite staying relatively unknown in the metal scene. Flash back to 2007 and Axxis have released their 11th studio album, this entitled ‘Doom of destiny’.
One thing which makes Axxis stand out is the unique high-pitched vocals of singer Bernhard Weiss, who has been with the band since its inception in 1988. His vocals are unmistakable and also quite enjoyable, if you can stand such high vocals. If you enjoy the vocals from such singers as Freedom Call’s Christian Bay, Secret Sphere’s Roberto Messina or Power Quest’s Alessio Garavello, then you will thoroughly enjoy Bernhard Weiss’ high-pitched and emotionally-charged vocals.
I first caught onto this band with their 9th studio album, called ‘Time machine’, released in 2004. Having enjoyed that CD and subsequently their following CD entitled ‘Paradise in flames’, I was rather eager to see what Axxis had in store with their new CD. After some listens, I can say that ‘Doom of destiny’ is very good, very fast, and also their heaviest CD in quite some time. One thing that I've always thought was a weakness with this band, was their ‘happy’ vibe throughout their music. Yes, it is melodic with high-pitched vocals, but it was their overuse of the keyboards which gave it a ‘happy’ feel. Don’t get me wrong, it still sounds good, but I've always felt it was something which was continuing to keep them from being better than they are.
Well, good news, as ‘Doom of destiny’ is quite heavy, still very melodic, but that overuse of the keyboards has diminished. My only gripe this time round, is Axxis’ use of a 2nd vocalist, who happens to be a woman. Sounding almost pop like, I cannot say that this female vocalist has a great voice. Her vocals are questionable at best and really weren’t needed in this CD. Weiss is good enough to do it on his own, but I can understand the reasons for Axxis using a 2nd vocalist. All is not lost, as her parts are not long and by the end of spinning the CD, you have really forgotten about them.
I am really impressed with the quality of the tracks on this new CD. Axxis have really improved in the last few years and their releases keep getting better. Their new heavier feel will attract a lot of new listeners and will make someone like me delve deeper into their past discography.
There are a lot of great songs on here, and it is a well balanced CD with really just one average track. Standouts include the title track “Doom of destiny (Arabia)”, which is the first track after the intro. It’s a slab of heavy and fast melodic power metal which really sets the scene of what the rest of the CD is like. In my opinion, “Doom of destiny” is also the best track on the CD.
“Better fate” is another top track on the CD. Sounding epic-like, it is one of the better songs where the female vocalist is used. A catchy chorus and a nice solo are included in the track. “Bloodangel” is another nice track. It sounds like your typical Axxis track: fast, melodic and catchy. “The fire still burns” is the only ballad on the CD, and it’s also a top song. Axxis do ballads very well and in this case, the same applies. Weiss’ emotional vocals are the standout. Finally, the last of the standout tracks is “Devilish belle”. It’s a mid-paced rockin’ track, very melodic and catchy as hell. Weiss’ vocals are again the standout.
In just a few short years Axxis have really improved on their sound and overall makeup. Every CD for Axxis recently seems to top the other and I can say that ‘Doom of destiny’ does just pip their previous release ‘Paradise in flames’. I really like Axxis’ harder edge in their sound on this release, and for me personally, I was looking for this band to become heavier. Anyone who hasn’t checked this band out yet, I urge you to do so, as there is plenty to enjoy. Sweet riffs, emotional vocals, hot solos and excellent songwriting. Excellent CD.
Originally reviewed for www.metalcdratings.com
After discovering Axxis shortly after the release of their Time Machine album, I quickly became a fan and sought out all their other recordings, which entrenched them as a favorite of mine in the heavy/power metal genre. I could count on an average of 6 tracks per album being added to my ever-expanding favorites playlist, and Doom Of Destiny follows in that tradition with 5 tracks I'd consider worthy of repeated listens, but it's the other 5 tracks (not counting the Voices Of Destiny intro) that severely weaken this album.
The reason for my poor rating is quite simply the overkill of female vocals taking some of the edge off what the band has created. Better Fate, Bloodangel, Revolutions, Devilish Belle, and Astoria manage to rise above the yelping contributions of the female singer, Lakonia, but she drags the remaining vocal tracks down in a quagmire of unnecessary poppiness.
Father Father begins with a sappy intro courtesy of Ms. Lakonia, and quickly goes downhill from there - the intro being about as sucky as intros can get.
The Fire Still Burns starts off with one of the cheesiest examples of saxophone, or synthed sax, and never ascends above cream puff quality. Note to metal bands - if the producer suggests saxophone to enhance the sound, consider a blunt object to the back of the skull. It will avoid listener frustration later on.
She Got Nine Lives is just plain embarrassing for all invloved - including the listener, as I shudder to think what anyone would think if I pulled up beside them at a stoplight with this dreck emanating from my car stereo. The hokey slop of "Na na na na nine lives" is an exercise in poppy nonsense, which I hoped Axxis had left behind with their tepid cover of that stupid Steam A.M. hit from yesteryear, Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye on their Back To The Kingdom album. Maybe Bernhard Weiss still had a few "Na na's" left in his system from that session. Who knows? The bottom line is that, by and large, "Na na's" do little more than inject a large amount of suck into any song, and this song certainly rests in the category of suck. Very seldom does an album contain more than one lame intro, but this track gives Father Father a run for its money in the sappy intro department.
Doom Of Destiny (Arabia) has its moments, but the Eastern-sounding vocals at some points give off reminders of local ethnic programming on Saturday morning TV, in which some hip-only-in-India dude and dudette caterwaul in a language the vast majority of heavy metal fans can't comprehend. Again, the local immigrant population might consider it cool if I spun it on the car stereo, but to me, it just sounds damned silly in a metal setting.
Overall, the music is certainly heavy enough and Weiss' vocals are killer as usual, but the reliance on an overabundance of female vocals reeks of pure overkill and drags the album down to a sub-par rating. Here's hoping they lose the chick before entering the studio for the next album.