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Doom Of Destiny

AFM (2007)
Rating: 7/10

Since they first hit the scene in 1989 with the cult classic Kingdom Of Night Germany’s Axxis has been bringing eager rock fans quality albums. They are one of the few bands who have failed to release anything less than stellar throughout their entire career. That said, their last album, Paradise In Flames (2006), was a wildly exciting ride and a highlight among highlights for this underrated band.

Many fans have likely been nervous about the band’s latest opus, Doom Of Destiny, but put your minds at ease lads and lassies because this album shines as brightly as anything that Axxis have offered prior to its release.

Citing the pressures put on the band during the recording and touring for Paradise In Flames, Axxis found themselves needing to recruit a new guitarist for Doom Of Destiny and beyond. Marco Wriedt rounds out the band in said position and what he brings to the table will surely delight the bands legions of fans. In many ways, Wriedt’s playing is more commercial sounding to be sure, but the massive tones and the just technical enough to let you know he is master of his instrument style takes Axxis to a whole new level. Produced by Weiss and Harry Öllers, the band recorded at their own Soundworxx Studios. Dennis Ward was enlisted to mix the album and longtime mastering collaborator Jürgen Lusky retains his role.

After a short choir introduction entitled ‘Voices Of Destiny’, the band waste no time in pounding the pavement with the fast-paced and explosive title track. With a slight Middle Eastern flare, provided mostly by the female vocals, the song is as anthemic as they come, quickly bringing to mind the band’s recent tour mates, Helloween and Gamma Ray.

‘Better Fate’ is up next and is the unquestionable highlight of Doom Of Destiny. The commercial sound the band has been leaning more towards over the course of the last few albums comes full circle in this song. This is a quality melodic metal song that has a hook so big it’s nearly impossible to shake from your psyche. Rock radio worldwide will likely be playing this tune for a longtime to come.

‘Revolutions’ is another highlight, boasting a more laid back feel during the verses and pummeling you during the heavy chorus. Likewise, ‘Devilish Belle’ is as unrelenting as it is gorgeous. It’s a bit more formulaic than some of the other songs but creeps deep into your eardrums nearly forcing you to remember it long after it finishes.

Although this album is amazingly strong overall, it does stumble here and there. The most notable stumble is the straight out of 1975 cheese ball sound of ‘The Fire Still Burns’. This song is like a sore thumb on the album as it breaks up the wonderful momentum the album has built prior to it. The album’s closer, ‘Astoria’, is another weak moment. It never seems to come together long enough to really suck you in, which, in turn, knocks at the creative melodrama of ‘Devilish Belle’.

All in all, Doom Of Destiny is another remarkable notch in this band’s belt. It’s always baffled me as to why Axxis have failed to break worldwide and yet again I find myself declaring that this must be the album that will do that for them. Power, melodic and progressive metal fans will definitely enjoy this album, but I believe that more than a fair share of radio and hard rock fans will find it exciting as well.

Mark Fisher

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