Chapter VIII


What about some old and good Power Metal offering? These Swedish veterans are up to deliver it to you!
January 17, 2024

As Power Metal became a commercial success in the second half of the 90s, many acts appeared and flooded the genre, and things became hard to separate what was good of those who were simply coping what already was done. Today, as the trend is over, Power Metal is a Metal genre played by the ones who earned success back then (and are still today being successful), and those bands that really love what they’re doing. On the second is the Swedish veteran AXENSTAR, here for another round with “Chapter VIII”.

The band doesn’t stay away from the inner elements of the genre, with the same hooking melodies and refined technical appeal, in a way that can resemble what HELLOWEEN did on “Helloween” and “Walls of Jericho” days (in other words, it’s in a classic trend on the genre, but with a boosted melodic side on the quartet’s music), but it’s obvious that their formula was sharpened by time in a way that it sounds personal. If one pay attention, it’ll be easy to check some Epic/Folk touches (as heard on the instrumental “Enchanted Lands”) and other features. It’s in a traditional form, so be prepared for excellent melodies and refined technical appeal, but with a clear and heavy outfit.

“Chapter VIII” mixing and mastering is a work of Ronnie Björnström (the same guy who already worked with 220 VOLT, KROW, BLOOD RED THRONE, CENTINEX, NIGHTRAGE, TOXICROSE and others), and the result is a fine and ‘stripped off’ sonority (what means that it’s clean and defined, but without being overloaded in endless digital editions), earning the band an organic appeal. The artwork, done by the Brazilian artist Rafael Tavares, bears a classic outfit, simple and without exaggerations (but beautiful and that fits on the band’s musical ideas).

These ten songs shine with a very good gleam for any Metalhead that has guts, and to taste songs as “Heavenly Symphony” (what lovely melodies and a catchy chorus, with charming guitar riffs), “Through the Fire and Brimstone” (a song with a clean traditional Power Metal appeal, with lovely melodic vocals), “Enchanted Lands” and “The Flame of Victory” (the short instrumental works and an intro to the main song, and it depicts some Folk/Epic Metal touches on the instrumental parts, and it demands a heavy and excellent work on bass guitar and drums), “Holy Land” and “Eye for an Eye” (wow, what lovely melodies and leads in the guitars are presented on both songs), and “Life Eternal” is a privilege for the ears.

It’s good to listen to a release as “Chapter VIII” today, after the flood of 20 years ago; and it’s great to see a veteran as AXENSTAR active today and still releasing very good songs.

8 / 10









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"Chapter VIII" Track-listing:
  1. Heavenly Symphony
  2. Through the Fire and Brimstone
  3. The Great Deceiver
  4. Enchanted Lands
  5. The Flame of Victory
  6. No Surrender
  7. Holy Land
  8. Eye for an Eye
  9. The War Within
  10. Life Eternal
Axenstar Lineup:

Magnus Winterwild - Vocals, Bass
Jens Klovegård - Guitars
Joakim Jonsson - Guitars
Pelle Åkerlind - Drums

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