AXEHAMMER – Marching On

AXEHAMMER - Marching On
  • 8.5/10
    AXEHAMMER - Marching On - 8.5/10


Pure Steel Records
Release date: September 21, 2012

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The origins of Axehammer date back to the early 1980s. Although the band only got so far to release two demo’s in the ’80s, they reformed in 1998 and released an EP titled Lord Of The Realm. They went on to finally release their debut album in 2005, Windrider. Now Axehammer is back with a vengeance with a great formula of classic Power and Thrash influenced Metal. Marching On is filled with steadfast and dominant melodies, which certainly leave a mighty impact.

One of the most noticeable elements of Marching On right off the bat is the unique production value. This album was produced by the famed Bill Metoyer who has recorded albums by such greats as Slayer, Sacred Reich, and Flotsam and Jetsam. His creative style of production gives the album a raw and organic sensation, and also enhances the classic elements as well by withholding a polished and clean sound.

All of the tracks on Marching On are entirely riff driven. Although the band has one sole guitarist Jerry Watt, Metoyer has successfully created the illusion of a definitive twin guitar Power Metal attack. Watt’s talent as a riff master shines through. His style of playing is right on par with that of the Metal pioneering work of Tony Iommi and Mick Box. One of the coolest riffs is featured on the track “The Dragons Fly,” which has a very early Uriah Heep-like feel.

The other major component to Axehammer is the forceful and commanding vocal talents of Kleber Mandrake. His prevailing high tenor meshes extraordinarily well with the vibrant guitar riffs. Mandrake’s vocal talents can be compared to many classic vocalists at various points throughout the album; Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Robert Plant, and Geoff Tate just to name a few. Mandrake has an incredibly vast range and an immense amount of versatility. He is an extremely commanding force behind the microphone and puts a considerable amount of passion and emotion into each track.

One of the best songs on Marching On exemplifying the full talents of Watt and Mandrake is the epic “Cemetery.” This track features a mid-tempo, pulsating guitar riff with some great opening solos, as well as persistent and fervent vocals. This track is clearly the embodiment of what Axehammer is about and a defining song. It contains all the classic elements of Power, Progressive, Thrash, NWOBHM, and early Heavy rock genres.

There is no question that Axehammer can compose and perform some above average Metal. Some may find the rough production value a turnoff, and others may also find a lack of diversity as well. With only nine tracks and a total playing time of 39 minutes, there could be more compositional development. However, Axehammer does possess raw talent at its finest, and definitely leaves the listener wanting more.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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