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Review: Attaxe - 20 Years the Hard Way
20 Years the Hard Way

Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2020
Originally released in: 2006
Duration: 55:42
Tracks: 15
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: October 12, 2020
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
20 Years the Hard Way

Rated 3/5 (60%) (3 Votes)

It seems hard to believe there are still bands from the '80s that are being dug up by the Pure Steels of the world yet here we have Cleveland's Attaxe who, according to Metal-Archives, had enough interest from Metal Blade back in the day that they recorded an entire album in anticipation of a deal. Metal Blade ultimately passed, the album was never released, and Attaxe continued to churn out demo after demo, building up an impressive catalog of material before disbanding. They've come back a few times with various lineups but the late 2010s is a good time to be a metal band, so here we are again with Pure Steel Records re-releasing the band's 2006 compilation, 20 Years the Hard Way.

As this stuff was all written in the mid-80s, it has that unmistakable raw, energetic sound and lyrics that reflect the times when singing about fantasy and adventure were first popular. The songs are all in a rocking metal vein, like the early days of the NWOBHM and US scenes and cuts like "Metal Messiah" and "Pedal to the Metal" are anthemic and entertaining. The vocals are solid though not particularly distinctive, and the riffs are decent but generic. Most of the album, though, is just sort of faceless and inoffensive, not really standing out for being too good or overly bad. Serviceable is what comes to mind when trying to describe 20 Years the Hard Way. Allegedly Attaxe is preparing a new album and here's hoping they've upped their game since the '80s.

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