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A little look back - 80%

Crossover, December 14th, 2016

Axxis originally were cut form the inauspicious realm of mid-era Priest and Scorpions clones. They bring a bit of a Heavens Gate-esque melodic power metal vibe at times. They always provide catchy choruses no matter the cheese level they reach. They would soon enough abandon this sound for more of an AOR song.

For starters, despite it's terrible drum sound, The World Is Looking in Their Eyes blasts away as a great melodic power metal track. Everything you would expect for the era. Good choir vocals, fast melodic guitars, happy keyboards; A classic. In fact it looks like they were able to churn out five separate singles from this album with major-label backing from EMI.

If you just want to hear more power metal on this release your only real avenue is the second track Save Me. The rest of this album bounces around from AOR to Scorpions and Turbo-era Preist rockers. It finishes with an emotional but ultimately weak single-track ballad. As far as the rest of the singles go, Touch the Rainbow is a stereotypical melodic-keyed Scorpions tribute which is a hallmark of early Axxis. It is by no means a bad song, it just can reach levels of cheese too rich for some palates. The lyrics would fit fine on a Hammerfall album for sure:

Touch the rainbow
And all dreams come true
Spread your wings and
Feel the breath of the wind
Touch the rainbow
And all dreams come true
Fly high - To breath the air of the sky

Throughout the album the guitars deliver some pretty tasteful solos, including the aforementioned track. Unfortunately save for the first couple of tracks the riffage can be quite uninspired and cliche. Ships are Sailing is a more pompous and grandiose tune. It is very positive and encouraging and I can see why it was chosen as a single even if it is not the strongest of the bunch. Little Look Back is probably the catchiest single. It is a staple in the Axxis live set, a synth-driven hard-rockin' Europe ode. The chorus is absolutely infectious. Everything else sounds like Turbo-era Priest and is well-played if not as memorable.

Overall it is a really nice release that shuffles around a few styles landing its anchor definitely in the melodic rock/metal realm.

Recommended tracks: The World Is Looking in Their Eyes, Save Me, Touch the Rainbow, Ships are Sailing, Little Look Back.