|Review: AxeHammer - Windrider|
Label: Sentinel Steel Records
Year released: 2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: September 27, 2006
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Axehammer were a legendary underground band from the mid-80's who produced one EP that never even got released. For most bands that would be it, but not this one. Sentinel Steel's metal boss Denis Gulbey got ahold of those recordings, had them remastered, and released the now-hallowed Lord Of The Realm disc. The strong response to that release motivated the band members to reform and get into the studio to record a long-overdue follow-up. So seven years after Lord Of The Realm we get Windrider, which absolutely kills. KILLS!
Twenty years after their glory days in the 80's, these guys still have it, and Windrider is a crushing, smashing, headbanging lesson in what heavy fucking metal is supposed to be about. From opening cracker "Stand Up And Fight" through the furious "Rise Up" and "Back For Vengeance", all the way to the jaw-dropping title track, there is not a bad riff or an off note anywhere to be found. If you love old-school (read "real") metal as much as I do, then you will be in heaven by track 2, I know I was. Hard to believe these guys have been out of the game this long, because they are tight. The solos are excellent, the riffs are rock-solid, and singer Bill Ramp just rules with grace and power to spare. A stellar, crunchy production job by the great Bill Metoyer certainly doesn't hurt either.
Sentinel Steel records has put out some first-rate stuff over the years, but I honesty think this is the best album yet to bear the SS label. So much more than just a nostalgia trip, Windrider is one of the best True Metal albums in years. If you bow down before classic stuff like Overlorde, Attacker, Icarus Witch, or Wolf, then this is an album you cannot afford to miss. Highly Recommended. No, make that Fucking Essential.
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