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Axxis: Doom Of Destiny
Melodic Power/Heavy Metal
Rating: 5.0/5.0

I'll say this right up front; this is the best Axxis album ever! Even though I enjoyed 'Paradise In Flames' (2006) and the now classic 'Kingdom Of The Night' (1989), there was a huge gap (as far as I'm concerned) in the quality of work between those two albums. 'Doom Of Destiny' proves that Axxis is at the top of their game and easily rising above their peers in this overcrowded genre. Everything comes together on this work: brilliant arrangements, diverse vocals, sterling musicianship, and, in the end, simply compelling melodic metal.

'Doom Of Destiny' begins with a prelude that foreshadows the epic metal that is to come. From the opening strains of 'Doom Of Destiny' to the finale 'Astoria,' this work thunders along and keeps your interest. Bernhard Weiss has never been finer on vocals; and thanks to the partnership with returning guest vocalist Lakonia, he seems to surge into new and greater heights. There have been some personnel changes: Guido Wehmeyer (guitar) and Kuno Niemeyer (bass) have been replaced by Marco Wriedt (relatively unknown, but definitely amazing on guitar) and Rob Schomaker, respectively. These gentleman are excellent additions to the band. The result is that 'Doom Of Destiny' is the most compelling and significant Axxis recording to date (I think I said that before!).

Here are some of the best cuts on the album: the title track (Weiss and Lakonia are simply brilliant), 'Bloodangel' (incredible), 'I Hear You Cry' (everything you want in power/heavy metal), and 'Revolutions' (great keyboard intro that leads to a wild melodic rocker). But there is more! Is that a saxophone I hear on 'The Fire Still Burns' or is it some tricky keyboard programming. Check your liner notes. This is a metal ballad of impressive quality. 'Father, Father' is quintessential power metal with a melodic arrangement that defies expectations. 'She Got Nine Lifes' bridges the gap between melodic hard rock and metal with a foot-tapping beat and catchy chorus. This is song that you drop into your car stereo, push play and drive on. 'Devilish Belle' falls into this category as well: hard driving, yet melodic. The album rounds out with the completely different 'Astoria:' strong, symphonic, and complex in a single arrangement. It moves with quick acceleration and leaves you breathless in the end. Marco Wriedt kills on this song with his excellent guitar work.

As I said at the beginning, this is the best Axxis album ever. Hands down, Axxis has produced some of the best power/heavy metal I have heard in some time. Get this album today! Excellent! Highly recommended!

In Short

In the past, I've been ambivalent about Germany's Axxis. Sure 'Paradise In Flames' was good and set Axxis on a new direction. But, 'Doom Of Destiny' is a quantum leap forward for them. This is profound and significant melodic metal. Everything about this album is screams talent, creativity, and metal beauty. Find it and buy it today!

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