Nima : The German veterans of Axxis are definitely no quitters. The band has been around for thirty years now and has released many studio albums, singles and live albums over the past decades. As I’ve mentioned many times before, the band around vocalist Bernhard Weiß and guitarist Harry Öllers never made the same record twice but has always remained faithful to its distinctive and recognizable sound and style. The new studio album, 'Monster Hero', is no exception to that rule.
'Monster Hero' is in many ways a logical continuation of its predecessor, ‘Retrolution’, but is also slightly different. Was the last studio album more of a rocker in general, on the new album the band comes with a sturdier approach more regularly. The power metal elements of albums such as ‘Paradise In Flames', 'Doom Of Destiny' and 'Utopia' are much more present and are especially prominent in the faster songs such as ‘Rock Is My Religion', 'Firebird', 'The Tragedy Or Mr. Smith' and the magnificent ‘Glory To The Brave'. Songs such as the title track, 'Living As Outlaws', 'Make Me Fight', 'Give Me Good Times' and 'We Are Seven' are slightly heavier and more progressively-touched rock/metallers, while 'All I Want Is Rock' and 'Gonna Be Tough' are more 80s heavy hardrockers. 'Love Is Gonna Get You Killed' on the other hand, has a semi-ballad-like feel to it and definitely maganes to hit the sensitive string. 'Monster Hero' has therefore, traditionally, become a very varied album and has everything you expect from Axxis. All twelve songs are strong compositions and are immediately catchy, and also make a lasting impression even after a single spin. With every new spin, this memorability and with it the addictiveness, and therefore the appreciation for the record grows.
The good thing about all this (and about Axxis in general anyway) is that the music sounds delightfully old-school, but at the same time dated for even a second. As a result, the band can constantly gain a new following, while at the same time keeping the old fans satisfied. On the instrumental level the band never left room for discussion and here too everything is tip-top. Weiß’s voice remains a matter of taste, but personally I find his voice/style to be very charismatic and can appreciate it very much. And here too the man sounds strong as always. Thanks to the good production the whole thing also comes into its own perfectly, and all in all 'Monster Hero' is one of the stronger releases in the band's history. And that after thirty years! Respect.