Beyond Hell's Gate

Final Axe

There was a group of Whit Metal bands featuring 'family tree' members in the wider […]
By Grigoris Chronis
May 2, 2010
Final Axe - Beyond Hell's Gate album cover

There was a group of Whit Metal bands featuring 'family tree' members in the wider Las Vegas, Nevada area back in the 80s/90s: TITANIC, REV SEVEN and FINAL AXE I can now recall. "Beyond Hell's Gate" is the first album by FINAL AXE originally recorder in 1989 but put to shelf until it was pressed in 1,000 CD copies (circa 2005); Greece's Steel Legacy Records also issued an LP format limited to just 500 copies a couple of years ago. This present collector's edition offered has a new cover artwork - the original one can be considered as quite obscure/cult for today's standards - with a new audio remix and remastering and re-recorded drum parts by STRYPER's skinsman Robert Sweet. Three new instrumental tracks are also present (one of them being Sweet's drum solo) and the whole idea behind this deluxe re-release aims to the recognition of FINAL AXE as a driving White Metal force.

This is true, let's confirm. The music of FINAL AXE surely is traditional, straightforward and resembles a little to the roads Metal music headed on after the early 90s; think of early JUDAS PRIEST, SAINT, CHASTAIN, early SAVATAGE and ARMORED SAINT and taste the guitar madness of "Beyond Hell's Gate" courtesy of none other than extraordinaire Bill Menchen (TITANIC, REV SEVEN, SEVENTH POWER, REDEEMER). The riffs and leads will give extreme pleasure to lovers of the way Metal music was played in America 20-35 years ago. No lame chords, no loud-mouthed solos and most of all no tendency for some fuzzy and misguiding music. All - and I mean all - of the album's songs are alone tributes to classic Heavy (and only) Metal made in the USA.

Keith Miles' vocals are manful and take no prisoners; he keeps an earthly tension in his voice, he throws quite a deep form of singing and his voice's warmth has the potential to enthrall your senses if you always admired voices in bands like ARMORED SAINT, SWORD, post-80s SAVATAGE and 'rocking' METALLICA. If - in any way - Christian Metal lyrics is not something you can stand in this music fact is with Miles's singing you won't even feel such a threat.

Adding a couple of comments to the FINAL AXE debut (the "The Axe of the Apostles" follow-up was released in 2006), let's insist on the tracklist's old-school US Metal integrity. The solos are thorough and in-your-face but with enough melodies lurking under some monstrous licks (WHITECROSS's axeman Rex Caroll could have shared credits in specific themes), and the energy of the riffs in the album's faster numbers is out of tale. Your mind and your soul shall not probably resist FINAL AXE's typhoon of classic Metal hymns drawing the line between original and wannabe guitar-driven Metal music.

This is a must-have CD for the genre's lovers.

8 / 10


"Beyond Hell's Gate" Track-listing:
  1. Beyond The Gate
  2. Baptized In Blood
  3. Are You Ready?
  4. No Time To Die
  5. Soldier Of Compromise
  6. Blind Faith
  7. Area 51
  8. Close To Deliverance
  9. Thrown In The Fire
  10. Don't Run Away
  11. War Cry
  12. Rated X
  13. Eternity
Final Axe Lineup:

Keith Miles - Vocals
Bill Menchen - Guitars
Rod Reasner - Bass
Rober Sweet - Crums

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