Inner Axis - Into the storm 3/5

Reviewed: 6-1-11


1. Riders of the mist
2. Hellbenders
3. Killing lullaby
4. Soultaker
5. The last stand (Of the 300)
6. Metal on metal
7. Firestorm unchained
8. The punisher

Inner Axis is a German heavy/power metal band and 'Into the storm' is their full-length debut. While comparisons escaped my mind at first, after many listens, I'd throw this band into the group that contains Paragon, Spiral Tower, Defending the Faith, Iron Savior, Predator, Stormwarrior, Rising Faith and Gamma Ray. Basically, Inner Axis is one of those heavier German heavy/power metal bands, though they're not quite as intense as some of the heaviest stuff from Paragon (for a quick example). Still, don't expect happy power metal with this CD, as the song titles alone should give you an idea of what this band is all about.

There's no doubt that German power metal has many success stories, and what will make or break it for this band is vocalist Kai Hagemann. His vocals are extra-clean, accent-free and easily understood, but they're kinda monotonous throughout much of the CD, so I can envision some power metal fans avoiding this band/CD for that reason. For me personally, I don't love the vocals, but I don't hate them either. So my best advice is for you to hear Kai for yourself, as the music's quite good and it's also consistent.

My favorite song on the CD is 'Soultaker' as, simply put, I think it's the catchiest; the chorus is overdone a bit, but it's still a very strong song. The remainder of the songs all hover around the above average level and there isn't one song that I dislike. In addition, the band mixes up the tempo enough (between fast and mid-paced/stomping) and there are some killer guitar solos, so it's far from a boring CD. Actually, to make sure this review is crystal clear, I'm going to simply say that I'd give the vocals 2.5/5 and the music 3.5/5, thus settling on the 3/5 rating. This one you've got to hear for yourself though.




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