Axehammer – “Marching On”

Axehammer – “Marching On” (Pure Steel Records)

The latest in ‘true’ metal resurrections, LA metal band Axehammer only had a couple of demos out in the 80s while playing legendary clubs such as the Whisky, Troubador and Gazzaris (today known as Key Club). Despite recording a debut, management problems and the arrival of the glam metal scene soon resulted in the band disbanding and to all intents and purposes, forgotten. Then in the late 90s their demos resurfaced and finally prompted a proper release of their “Lord of the Realm” album, although it would be almost another decade before the band would formally reform resulting in the recording of “Windrider” with legendary producer Bill Metoyer. Since then the roller coaster has continued with band members leaving or simply dying, leaving only guitarist Jerry Watt as the sole original member, although his strength and belief in his band have remained steadfast, at last resulting in success with the band touring with the likes of Michael Schenker, Lizzy Borden, Gamma Ray and playing European festivals like Headbangers Open Air. Moreover, the release of the aptly titled “Marching On” is very much proof that Axehammer haven’t dulled in any way! Drawing inspiration from Maiden and Priest, Watt’s driving guitar work very much forms the basis of songs like ‘Fire Away’, ‘Demon Killer’ and ‘Swing The Steel’ which are to all intents and purposes pure heavy metal mayhem! New Brazilian vocalist Kleber Freitas has a powerful high end voice but amazingly resists the temptation to scream like Halford and Dickinson, adding to the finesse of Axehammer’s material while Horacio Colmenares’s bass twangs like Stevie Harris could be plucking it himself and Joe Aghassi’s drums just pound and crash away like on a riot rampage! All in all a truly excellent release done in fine style from one of the original purveyors of classic US heavy metal who truly deserve a second bite at the cherry!

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