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Axe: Final Offering
Axe - Final Offering Music Review

Axe: Final Offering

Melodic Hard Rock

The story of American rock band Axe is one of both triumph and tragedy. Formed in the late Seventies, the band had a string of popular albums, hit singles, MTV videos, and tours with Judas Priest, Ozzy, Iron Maiden, KISS, among others. Then, in 1984, tragedy happened when guitarist Michael Osborne was killed in an auto accident which a badly injured Bobby Barth, founding member, vocalist, and guitarist. The band abruptly disbanded.

Barth would eventually resurrect Axe with 1996's Fifth. Another album, Crown, followed three years later. Now, nearly 20 years on, Barth and Axe offer a new album, Final Offering for England's Escape Music. The album title seems a bit perplexing. It references Axe's 1982 release The Offering, but also seems to suggest that this may be the last we hear from the band. We'll see what we'll see.

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Nothing Here

For the sake of nostalgia, and my memory, I watched some of those old Axe MTV video. Axe played some energetic and entertaining straight up melodic hard rock. Rock n' Roll Party In The Streets was a particular favorite. But on to the present. What's Axe sounding like today? Perhaps the best description is simply guitar-centered melodic hard rock with some blues thrown in.

Essentially, twin guitar riffs and solos rule the roost in an Axe song. These things are propelled by a thick and satisfying rock groove from a tight rhythm section. Taking a page from their Seventies rock roots, a helping of keyboards offer atmosphere and texture. You'll find some straight ahead hard rock tunes with Bad Romance, Fire And Stone, and Money. The blues motif is self-evident at the start with Born To Lose, but also later within Old Scratch, the acoustic Years Slip Away, and Road To Damascus with its fine Hammond organ. Actually, Road To Damascus sounds like a Clapton song, perhaps even a Traffic tune.

And then it hit me, with Final Offering, Axe and Barth are re-exploring their roots, bringing classic Seventies hard rock forward to the new century, even a new generation. But, I have to admit, while I was raised on Sixties and Seventies rock, Axe's music can sound dated, like something lost in time. Nevertheless, if you enjoy guitar-forward, bit bluesy, melodic hard rock you will enjoy Axe's Final Offering. Check it out and support the band.

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The Bottom Line

If you enjoy guitar-forward, bit bluesy, melodic hard rock you will enjoy Axe's Final Offering. Check it out and support the band.

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