Axxion join the legions of traditional heavy metal bands out of Toronto, and though the band is only a couple of years old, they have plenty of experience. With former members of Skull Fist and Midnight Malice (among other bands), Axxion are well versed in writing old-school classic heavy metal. On their debut record, “Wild Racer”, Axxion prove that they’re ready to compete with giants like White Wizzard and Striker.
“Wild Racer” is the type of record that lives and dies on the quality of its songwriting. The music will do nothing to surprise you. It is straightforward, with plenty of guitar solos, riffs and heaviness, but it ultimately comes down to the quality of the songs. In this case, they’re all pretty good. Most songs are high-speed assaults, but the band is able to slow things to a more rocking tempo on occasion (“Still Hungry”). Even after just one listen, quite a few of these tracks are likely to be memorable. This is due, in part, to D.D. Kerr’s high-pitched vocals. He tends to use that range where the vocals are understandable, but are never completely clear. There’s definitely a bit of attitude to the way he sings on “Wild Racer”. In addition, the guitar work of Sir Shred really strikes a great balance between being melodic and memorable, and being a full-on shredding assault. Even when he is playing extremely fast, the parts are generally quite interesting. The riffs, drumming, and bass playing on “Wild Racer” are pretty standard. This isn’t a bad thing; I’d even compare it to a band like Accept or Axel Rudi Pell where those elements work together to allow the vocal and guitar melodies come to the forefront. One element that Axxion have that few of their contemporaries have mastered is to have some subtly to the music. Most other traditional heavy metal bands are bludgeoning you over the head with how metal they are, how fast their songs are, and how many guitar solos they can put on a record. Little of what these other bands do feel as natural as the songs on “Wild Racer” do. This is a huge draw for people who aren’t as into newer metal bands, and even for someone like me who is a big fan of this style, it makes Axxion a refreshing change of pace.
There isn’t too much else that needs to be said about “Wild Racer”. It’s a very solid debut album from a band that has a lot of potential. This style has been done a lot lately, but Axxion still deliver a record that is well worth hearing.
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4.1/5 or 82%.
Written by Scott