Axenstar - Perpetual Twilight

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Arise Metal
Catalog Number: Arise037
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:44:00

Two words - Sonata Arctica. Not only are they close in sound but close in location as well since Axenstar hail from Sweden. The band were formed in 1998 under the name Powerage and after their first demo the band changed their name to Axenstar. With a second demo under their belt the band then signed with Arise Metal.

Perpetual Twilight opens in a flurry of full-on power metal that makes you think of a new Sonata Arctica album but you soon realise that, whilst a fairly straight-laced power metal album, that Axenstar have hit on to something. Fundamentally, this is a by-the-numbers melodic power metal album that has influences from the clean melodic style of bands like Nostradameus, Stormwind, Dream Evil and Supreme Majesty (all of whom are from Sweden) to the symphonic ramparts of Sonata Arctica to a youthful Stratovarius. It's catchy, hook-filled and rather enjoyable if you're new to the style with plenty of knock'em dead melodies. If you found Dream Evil or Supreme Majesty to be high-class, quality metal - then this should satisfy you just as much. Sure, criticise it for being unoriginal but this would be doing a disservice to those who enjoy melodic power metal. Clean and easy-listening the opening songs deserve credit because of their virtuous nature - these guys have a knack for catchiness, strong melodies, heavy guitar riffs, and galloping music. Lyrically, the band doesn't differ too much from the regular but special mention to the song "Scars" which tells a wonderful, honest tale. Other notable songs are "Enchantment" and "The Cross We Bear," basically due to the way the songs are a little different from the power metal.

A minor problem comes in the form of Magnus Eriksson's vocals (he also plays the ever-present, non-threatening keys) in that whilst he is not overly high, he is not a strong singer. Whether this is the recording of Perpetual Twilight or his lack of power remains to be seen (or heard) but he is a simple yet effective ingredient in Axenstar's attraction. Perpetual Twilight's song-writing is definitely a cut above the rest, due mainly to the work of Thomas Eriksson (lead and rhythm guitar) who wrote most of the lyrics and music. And chalk up another victory for the fantastic work of Travis Smith (Nevermore, Iced Earth) for the cover painting.

If you don't like power metal - then don't buy this album. If you love this style of power metal - then buy this album. Completely unoriginal, yes, but so what? Albums are meant to be fun and this is definitely a fun listen.

[This review originally appeared December 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
All I Could Ever Be (4:34) / The Cross We Bear (5:46) / King Of Tragedy (5:34) / Scars (5:06) / Enchantment (4:41) / New Revelations (7:16) / Secrets Revealed (3:12) / Confess Thy Sins (4:08) / Bonus Track: Evil Glorified (5:16) / Perpetual Twilight (8:31)

Thomas Eriksson - lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Magnus Eriksson - vocals and keyboards
Pontus Jansson - drums
Magnus Ek - bass and backing vocals
Peter Johansson - rhythm and lead guitar

Perpetual Twilight (2002)
Far From Heaven (2003)
The Inquisition (2005)
The Final Requiem (2006)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 1010
Language: english


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