Inner Axis is a German Heavy Metal band founded in 2008 and this autumn marks the release of their second album: We Live by the Steel. At first glance, some might take them as Manowar copy but that’s not the case.
The band is clearly fascinated by Euro-metal traditions and the album kicks off with nice amount of energy, the riffs are fast and aggressive but I had to collect my jaw from the floor when the vocalist first opened his mouth. Sounding like Joey Ramone on the iconic Ramones debut album, I couldn’t help but to wonder what is Mr. Kai doing on a band like this. Surely, breaking the rules has been a metal trademark throughout the history but I really had to take my time getting used to his unusually low and hoarse vocals are not something you’d expect from a heavy metal singer.
While the album lacks of high-pitched screams, it doesn’t lack traditional guitar riffs, which are technically well composed and organized, maybe not the most original ones but solid nonetheless. Maybe that’s the greatest flaw of the album afterall, we get lots of constant bombardment of energetic songs, one after another, so they blend into eachother and fades catchiness away.
The album has it’s moments too, for example The Brave rises up above the others by it’s Manowar vibes. It rolls forward steadily and nicely, being arranged in a little bit different format as the majority of songs it’s easier to memorize by its galloping rhythm. Another song to rise above is the folk-ish final track Rain or Shine which sounds like a drinking song, being most deviate of the rest but only in a good way.
Overall, the album is pretty decent heavy metal with an interesting choice for vocals. Once you get past that, you get nearly an hour of Heavy that rocks okay. You can hear the band’s skill level in mastering their instruments but a hint of originality to the riffs wouldn’t hurt.
|Tracklist:1. Blades of Death
2. All Is One
3. Night Rider
4. The Brave
5. Red Dead
6. Storm Lords
7. Hound of Hell
8. The Call of Steel
9. We Live by the Steel
10. Rain or Shine