Ever since their beginning AXXIS were a band to me that had some damn good songs on every album, but also some fillers. Melodic Metal of the relatively easily digestible kind and without a doubt borne by the pretty unique and for some people simply indigestible vocals by Bernhard Weiß. Their debut “Kingdom Of Madness” (1989) sold more than 100 000 times and was followed up almost as successfully by "AXXIS II" and the live album "Access All Areas". After that followed five more studio albums with "The Big Thrill", "Matters Of Survival", "Voodoo Vibes", "Back To The Kingdom" and "Eyes Of Darkness", which makes “Time Machine” the already eighth long player, quite some career the Germans can look back at.
Bernhard Weiß by now is the only remaining founding member after drummer Richard Michalski vanished without a trace prior to the recordings of this album and has not re-appeared ever since. So the band drafted in PINK CREAM 69 drummer Kosta Zafiriou on short notice and here on “Time Machine“ he does a damn good job, powerful, versatile, strong performance! But that is not the only change that AXXIS went through, because they also left Massacre Records and signed with AFM Records.
Not only compared to “Eyes Of Darkness" AXXIS present themselves a lot stronger and at times also heavier as the opener "Angel Of Death" proves, which is pepped up with some dramatic choirs and driven forward by double-bass, but without neglecting the strong melodies and culminates in a super catchy chorus, the choir "Chaos Angelus Mortifer" alone burns itself into your brain, so that you would not forget it any time soon, very strong beginning!
What has stayed the same is the very big catchiness of the songs that had been a trademark of the Germans ever since their beginnings, not just with very catchy choruses, but altogether, as the two following "Time Machine" and "Wind In The Night (Shalom)" prove before “Lost In The Darkness” unleashes the double-bass again, crowned by great melodies. Bernhard Weiß' voice has been a love/hate thing in 1989 and still is so in 2004, I always had liked it and objectively his performance is impeccable and it also fits the songs, no matter if you like it itself or not.
All in all “Time Machine“ has turned out to be a really good album, maybe even the best the quartet has brought forth so far, “Eyes Of Darkness” definitely is forgotten with this one! (Online March 1, 2004)