Axxis - Kingdom of the Night II - White Edition
Phonotraxx
Hard Rock mostly
11 songs (42'56)
Release year: 0
Axxis, Phonotraxx
Reviewed by Chris
Album of the month

The White edition of Kingdom of the Night II is the "softer" release of the two albums released on February 28th. It's barely softer cause the Black edition isn't all that powerful to start with. Don't get me wrong, the Black Edition is a KILLER album and so is the White Edition if you ask me. But neither album pack the punch delivered with the latest studio albums of the band in terms of raw power.

Do you like Axxis in general, and loved their Kingdom of the Night debut ? That's the only question you should ask yourself and if the answer is yes, then you'll love this album as well. It starts with Hall of Fame, an instant classic hit from the very beginning. It does sound commercial though, and this could definitely be on radio (and I bet it is in Germany :) ). Hall of Fame starts this album perfectly. I was worried that the White edition would be too soft for me but immediately with Hall of Fame the album puts those fears to rest. The next song Heaven in Paradise is also a great song, reminding me of My Little Princess. Then comes Living in a Dream, which is a re imagining Living in a World. According to the band, while Axxis copied themselves on this song and KotN II, they are mostly saying thank you to these songs for the impact these had for their careers. To tell you the truth I find Living in a Dream better than Living in a World :) (I find the main riff has improved), but of course it couldn't have existed without the original so everything's relative. 21 crosses is also a great song that talks about a tragedy that happen during the Loveparade in Germany on July 24th 2010 where 21 young people lost their lives in a panic move from the crowd, probably due to bad organization, and years after nobody is still taking the blame for this horrendous accident, so Axxis wrote a song about it. I find the song almost too catchy for the subject, but it's a beautiful song nonetheless. I like that the names of the victims are mentioned at the end of the song, so they aren't forgotten. This album reminds me more of Return to the Kingdom somehow, maybe because of the catchiness of so many of the songs and the definitive Rock vibe. There's a second version of Mary Married a Monster, a song about violence in the couple, and how it is felt from the two sides of the story (on Black album by the friends of the victim, and on the White Edition by the victim herself). Both version are great songs. The White edition contains a little more ballads, My Eyes, for one, that is a typical Axxis song reminding me Stay Don't Leave Me (though not as strong IMHO) and Gone with The Wind that is in the same veins as Tears of the Trees but again Tears of the Trees is simply the better song. But in the end it's not an album filled with ballads like I had feared. My favorite song from both albums is on the White Edition though, and it's Take Me Far Away ! I can listen to it in a loop over and over again, one of the best songs in the band's career, with an incredibly catchy melodic riff like only Axxis could write ! Dance into life is a bit more powerful than the rest and I thought it could actually have been on Black Edition :). We are the World is a song that contains a Mandolin played by bassist Rob Schomaker. It's an interesting instrument to find into a metal song but it works well in my opinion.

Just like the Black Edition, this album guitar work is simply amazing, strong riffs and stronger solos. As mentioned in the other review Bernhard vocals are at the top of his game, and it seems he gets better and better with each and every album, cementing my feeling that he is one of the best singer there is, with an original and powerful voice ! While I found the White Edition a tad softer it still contains two of my favorite songs from both albums : Take Me Far Away and Hall of Fame (which is the first song the band wrote for both albums). As with the Black edition, I could live without the last song on the White Edition, Temple of Rock, while a good old rock song, but one I wouldn't miss. The White Edition will be released on February 28th, at the same time as the Black Edition. It's not everyday that one of your favorite band releases not one but two albums at once, and it shows how much Axxis love their fans. Any other band could have released a lazy best off or re-recording for their anniversary, instead Axxis present us with 22 songs, 24 if you purchase the limited edition metal box including both Black and White edition into one package with 2 bonus tracks. Thank you Axxis for these two fantastic albums and trip back to memory lane. My wish now is for Axxis to hit the studio in the coming years and deliver some Power Metal masterpiece that will go beyond what they did with Paradise in Flames (okay I know I'm putting the bar very high, but I know they can do it !). And why not release the most powerful sounding album yet ! If you're a fan of Axxis you cannot miss either the Black or White editions of Kingdom of the Night II !! I can't wait to receive the limited edition and give these bonus tracks a go. Long live Axxis !

Killing Songs :
KS : All but Temple of Rock, with my favorites being Take Me Far Away and Hall of Fame !
Chris quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Axxis that we have reviewed:
Axxis - Kingdom of the Night II - Black Edition reviewed by Chris and quoted 92 / 100
Axxis - ReDISCOver(ed) reviewed by Chris and quoted no quote
Axxis - Utopia reviewed by Kyle and quoted 88 / 100
Axxis - Doom Of Destiny reviewed by Chris and quoted 94 / 100
Axxis - Paradise In Flames reviewed by Chris and quoted 95 / 100
To see all 16 reviews click here
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