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Axenstar: The Inquisition

Somebody, please answer this question: How many frickin' Swedish power-metal bands does the world need? Not that there's anything inherently wrong with Axenstar's third album, The Inquisition - and not that there's anything remotely original about it, either - but I'm just wondering how many times bands can generically copy each other's relentless double-bass sound before wearing out their welcome. I suppose this happens in all genres; look at how many hair-metal outfits tried to cash in on Motley Crue's success in the late-Eighties and early-Nineties and kept labels like MCA Records busy signing any spandex-clad band with three dark-haired guys and a blonde dude. But modern power metal is different: The audience is considerably smaller, the financial payback is significantly less and the listening choices for fans are arguably greater. So why settle for impeccably played but by-the-numbers, AOR-influenced power metal from the likes of Axenstar (and countless other bands) when you can experience the sense of power-metal adventure offered by Rhapsody, Blind Guardian, Sonata Arctica and even Kamlot? (To be fair, even those bands can get stale, but at least they're trying.) All that said, a handful of tracks on The Inquisition - namely "Salvation," "Inside Your Mind" and "Daydreamer" - do leave a mark, either because of their melodies or their arrangements. But for the most part, this album deserves to be filed under "average."

Track Listing:
1) The Fallen One
2) Under Black Wings
3) Salvation
4) Inside Your Mind
5) Daydreamer
6) Drifting
7) The Burning
8) Run or Hide

Added: September 6th 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Axenstar Web Site
Hits: 2632
Language: english

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