Wednesday, January 12, 2011

FINAL AXE: "Beyond Hell's Gate (Collector's Edition)"

Rating: 3/10

Label: Retroactive 2010

Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Originally recorded in 2005, this "heavy metal classic" from one of Bill Menchen's many Christian Metal projects has been remixed, remastered and partially re-recorded. With a new artwork to boost, this re-issue is now a "Collector's Edition". Funny, I thought that the original, limited edition would be more collectable than this version, which will get a wider release?

I'm sure that this CD will find its' way to several Christian Metal collections if only for the fact that Robert Sweet of Stryper plays the drums on it. Some people really have to have everything by Stryper and related acts... and sure, there are a few metal heads who'll get a kick out of this because of the music, but I'm afraid I'm not one of them. "Beyond Hell's Gate" is simply real "meat'n potatoes" metal, the kind of stuff that bands like Anvil have churned out for years, chainsaw riffs and choruses that consist of the track title repeated over and over again. Enjoyed in small portions this is okay, but a dozen songs in a row... not very enjoyable at all.

Extra special mention has to go to the intro and the outro bits - I'm sure they're supposed to sound orchestrated and pompous, but they actually sound like they were done with a cheap casio keyboard choir sound or something.



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