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Monday 5 November 2018

Reviews: Axxis, Immension, My Regime, Sechem (Rich & Paul H)

Axxis: Monster Hero (Phonotraxx Publishing) [Rich]

Axxis are a band I have heard of but never paid much attention to despite Monster Hero being the fifteenth album by the German heavy metal veterans. Axxis play straight head heavy metal with some songs veering in a more hard rock direction and some in a more power metal direction. The songs all follow the same pattern with solid riffs, good guitar solos, melodic vocals and catchy choruses with the only variations being some songs are more driven by the guitars and others by the keyboards. It’s a formula that works for Axxis but means that with the songs sounding so similar that nothing really sticks around in your head for long after. Fifteen albums in Axxis stick to a tried and trusted formula on Monster Hero that either sounds like a band working a sound they know works well for them and doing it to a high standard or going through the motions depending on your perspective. A solid yet unspectacular album. 6/10

Immension: Worth Dying For (Self Released) [Rich]

Immension are a melodic thrash metal band from Sheffield and Worth Dying For is the second album from the band. Immension have a sound that takes influence from classic thrash metal and contemporary mainstream metal sounding like a mix between bands such as Megadeth, Testament, Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine. It’s a bold sound that incorporates crunchy, fast and frenzied thrash riffage and it’s equally furious rhythm section with stadium filling hooks and melodies which are ably carried by frontman Jake Kearsley. There’s no doubt that Jake is a capable singer but his voice has that whiny nasy quality which puts me off so much contemporary metal bands. Had the vocals been more in a traditional heavy metal or power metal style then this album probably would have agreed far better with me which is a shame as there are some damn tasty riffs and lead playing in abundance throughout Worth Dying For. I’m a bit of a thrash metal connoisseur and usually like it far more on the dirty and violent side of things. Immension just sound a bit too clean for me and for that reason are probably more of an appeal to fans of mainstream metal rather than the old school thrash brigade. 5/10

My Regime: Peek Through The Pines (Scarlet Records) [Rich]

My Regime are a Swedish thrash metal band featuring members of the now defunct The Mushroom River Band and are fronted by Kayser and former Spiritual Beggars frontman Spice. Peek Through The Pines is the third album by the band released through Scarlet Records and is based around The Zodiac Killer who was a serial killer in Northern California in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The music on the whole throughout Peek Through The Pines is chunky mid paced thrash with plenty of groove and melody though the songs aren’t afraid to kick into an all out speed assault with Deceit and Unglue My Soul. On the most part though this is stomping mid paced thrash with plenty of slower groovier mid sections and a keen sense of melody. The vocals by Spice are a bit more on the rough side than normal but still retain that melodic sensibility. Peek Through The Pines is a solid album with plenty of chunky headbanging riffs but for a thrash album it just lacked that chaotic urgency that I so love about thrash only hitting high speeds on the last couple of songs. Enjoyable but unessential. 7/10

Sechem: Disputes With My Ba (Atcys Records/Soulfood Distribution) [Paul H]

Sechem are a six-piece band who play Oriental metal based on Egyptian themes. So far so good. I like a bit of the Eastern style metal, the melting pot of influences creating an interesting and often extremely creative sound. With Yossi Sassi at the production helm, this should have been even more exciting. Sechem’s press stated that the band represent ‘a fierce combination between the crazy and heavy rhythms of the new subgenres of metal, and the ancient and exotic instruments and melodies from different parts of the world’. Unfortunately, repeated plays have failed to register an impact. Ikena’s monotone vocals are uninspiring, the constant use of the recorder in every bloody track becomes irritating rather than uplifting and whilst the actual song structures cover a range of styles, there was far too much repetition to maintain any level of interest. 4/10

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