|Review: Axxis - Utopia|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: October 19, 2009
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Stretching back many years, the career of German power rangers Axxis is one that has been subject to a great deal of neglect. Perhaps due to their quirky lyrical standpoints or their comical façade, they seem to have been overlooked by numerous members of the metal community, despite producing an output that can rival fellow Germans Gamma Ray in the least, not to mention the cluster of Power Metal bands that centre round its core. With their latest endeavor, the slick Utopia, Axxis once again remind us of how damn close these guys came to greatness.
Enjoying similarities with the aforementioned Gamma Ray, Utopia is a light, fluffy shot from the Power Metal cannon, bursting at the seams with massive backing choirs, huge sing-along choruses, sweeping, symphonic keyboards, and naturally, a plethora of double kicking; a sound that in this instance resembles a blended Edguy, Helloween, Chinchilla, Avantasia, and Freedom Call smoothie, topped off with a sprinkle of Iron Savior and Masterplan for good measure. There is quite a degree of variation in tracks like "Last Man On Earth" and "The Monsters Crawl", perhaps detracting from the band's standard formula, but with the catchy title track and the fabulous closer – the best track the band have produced in ages – the double-bass-owned "Underworld", Axxis yet again pull out all the stops, giving us another wedge of lightweight Melodic Power Metal that, despite a boxy production and some odd structural choices, is a grower that I'm sure will have fan boys reaping the benefits.
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