Axenstar - The Inquisition
Arise Records
Progressive Power Metal
8 songs (38'48)
Release year: 2005
Axenstar, Arise Records
Reviewed by Chris

While I was quite impressed with Axenstar's debut album, their new offering shows how far the band went ever since their debut album. The Inquisition, their third, is their best album to date, so is their perfect blend of Progressive and Power Metal. The only thing that I would complain about would be the length of the album, with only 39 minutes of music overall. Having 8 songs only is okay, its often the case in Prog albums, but then the average length of the songs is usually longer. On the other hand I prefer a short album filled with wonders than a long one with fillers.

The album starts with a good song that demonstrate what's to come while not being the best of the album (by far not). I would have started with Run or Hide or even the amazing second track : Under Black Wings, but that's just me :). While the first track (The Fallen One) started with a lower drum attack than you would expect from Axenstar, Under Black Wings is more crunchy in that area and delivers a more pronounced beat. But unlike typical Power Metal bands, Axenstar varies the style of their song all along, with excellent breaks, worthy of great prog bands like Symphony X or Vanden Plas. The guitar sound is amazing, and the solos remind me of the japanese J-Rock band Siam Shade from time to time (especially in Under Black Wings), but nothing is left behind, and that wonderful song gets an amazing piano break as well (who said X-Japan ?). While the inspiration might not have been done on purpose, it will sure tip off any fan of the mentioned Japanese bands. The album goes on alterning fast and quiter moments until the very last song, Run or Hide, which ends the album perfectly. The short ballad (almost an interlude) is not the best of the genre, but its not a bad song either. Keys are used smartly and they blend in Axenstar particular sound perfectly. Vocals are getting better with each albums, and while not being stellar, they also contribute to the bands' sound by blending with the rest very nicely. Last but not least the production is spotless, with a clean and powerful sound.

If you like melodic songs with excellent vocal melodies that will stay with you all day long (and under the shower), then you must check out Axenstar latest offering : The Inquisition. By far the most accomplished album of this talented band, that will undoubtebly aquire new fans with this new album. I look forward to listen to their next album, if they continue the progression, the next one might very well be a masterpiece in the genre... In the meantime, if you like melodic power songs with an excellent progressive touch, heavenly melodic guitars with very different songs from start to finish, then be sure to pick up The Inquisition. Thumbs up !

Killing Songs :
Under Black Wings, DayDreamer, Run Or Hide & Salvation.
Chris quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Axenstar that we have reviewed:
Axenstar - The Final Requiem reviewed by Cody and quoted 70 / 100
Axenstar - Far From Heaven reviewed by Mike and quoted 78 / 100
Axenstar - Perpetual Twilight reviewed by Mike and quoted 75 / 100
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