Hiya, I haven't expected that. I found the first two AXXIS albums very cool and what followed afterwards that hasn't been up my alley. So I completely lost hearing eh sight of the band. Accidentally I listened to “Dance With The Dead” on the AFM label sampler and was gobsmacked. This should be AXXIS? That sounds really cool, so I had to check out the whole album. And what shall I say, this is the best AXXIS album I've ever listened to including the first two ones “Kingdom Of The Night” and “II”.
What has changed? It's more Metal again, there is guitar power in great profusion and the songwriting is very cool! “Tales Of Glory Island” is good mood Power Metal, indeed somewhat kitschy but damn well made. Aforesaid “Dance With The Dead” has a slight Gothic appeal and an incredible chorus that is good for filling the dance floor. On “Take My Hand” we get served an bombast number that will make mad every fan of EDENBRIDGE/NIGHTWISH. Here the vocalist Bernie gets assistance by a lady named Lakonia and she is really a discovery! The other highlights are in my opinion “Lady Moon” that also owns hit potential and downright haunts you. And the heaviest song “Break Your Soul” which will make every head banger go overboard with its killer riff! Here Bernie really is allowed to scream!
Not to forget the obligate ballad which is called “Stay By Me” this time and arouses a real campfire vibe as it's purely unplugged. Again it's about a duet with Lakonia who really proves to hold one of the most beautiful female voices generally, here. “Talisman” is a catchy tune in a positive sense, again! With “Icewind” a true speed tatterer is featured. Unfortunately, I don't find the two pieces “Passion For Rock” and “Gods Of Rain” as thrilling but they also can't be rated as complete failure.
A frighteningly good album of a band that I had already counted out. Persistent rotation is an obligation! As bonus of the DigiPak there's also a making of video! (Online April 5, 2006)