Into The Serpent's Den


You kids today, with all your fancy Internets and such, have probably heard prey tell […]
By Andrew Sifari
April 21, 2016
Axevyper - Into The Serpent's Den album cover

You kids today, with all your fancy Internets and such, have probably heard prey tell about the great guitar bands of the late 70s/early 80s, back when shred wasn't a bad word yet. A time when Rock was more about guts and bravado than angst and ProTools, and you could actually hear great riffs on the radio. The guys from AXEVYPER know a thing or two about it, and have dedicated themselves to spreading the word of Heavy Metal since 2009.

With two full records and a handful of side releases to their credit, AXEVYPER is, at this point, a well-oiled machine, and they sound like it on their latest effort, "Into The Serpent's Den." It'd be easy to write them off as yet another IRON MAIDEN clone, especially with some strong "Powerslave" vibes present throughout the album, but you have any sort of appreciation for driving riffs, galloping rhythms, and all-around powerful music, you'll only do yourself a disservice in ignoring them. Their style is a bit derivative, but they certainly honor the form more than they rip it off.

"Brothers of the Black Sword" is a cool mid-tempo opener, setting the tone with its mystical air and sense of adventure, and wastes no time getting busting out the harmonized leads. Guido Tiberi and Damiano Michetti are a formidable pair, both technically skilled and possessing of that all-important sense of nuance in their playing that keeps things both listenable and exciting. "Metal Tyrant" kicks the energy up a notch, beginning with a stop-start riff reminiscent of the opening of "Wrecking Crew" by OVERKILL. "Soldiers of the Underground" sees the band further pledge their allegiance to Heavy Metal, making great use of the classic 'MAIDEN trademark of rapid, galloping triplets during its extended solo break. "The Adventurer" opens to the sound of soft guitars and fret-dancing dual melodies, picking up steam as it flies on through.

"Under the Pyramids" takes a slightly darker approach than the preceding material, but this only adds a dimension of intrigue to the band's sound not yet explored in the prior material. Towards the end, the band go for the home run with the towering "Beyond the Gates of the Silver Key." While you'll be excused for expecting this song slot in the album to be occupied by a "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"-type epic, the band do a good job blending the variety of attitudes and emotions the album offers into one confident, aggressive package.

Above all else, this is an album for people who enjoy Metal, and "Into The Serpent's Den" is undeniably fun to listen to (Imagine that! Music? Fun? What a world we live in!). The record doesn't really bring anything game-changing to the table, but if that's what you were expecting, you're missing the point. "Into The Serpent's Den" is a celebration of everything that makes classic Heavy Metal great.

7 / 10


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"Into The Serpent's Den" Track-listing:

1. Brothers of the Black Sword
2. Metal Tyrant
3. Soldiers of the Underground
4. The Adventurer
5. Under The Pyramids
6. Spirit of the Wild
7. Solar Warrior
8. Beyond the Gates of the Silver Key

Axevyper Lineup:

Luca "Fils" Cicero: Lead Vocals
Guido Tiberi: Guitars
Damiano "La Favola" Michetti: Guitars
Andrea Tognetti: Bass Guitar
Niccolò Vanni: Drums

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