Review by Jack on July 25, 2003.
Huge production opens the chapter of Axenstar's "Perpetual Twilight" in impressive style. Every instrument is perfectly audible and clear, allowing perfect harmony for each member's contribution. So fundamentally, Axenstar seem to have hammered down each nail in the right spot. No use getting off on the wrong foot.
Stylistically power metal represents one of the most restricting avenues of music with countless bands opting to operate in safety and blandness for recording their music. It's easy to see why people tend to stick to the more well known bands in the genre, as there are so many second and third tier acts who are all equally competent musicians, yet lack the songwriting finesse and know-how to break into the inner sanctum. Which begs the question of where Axenstar fits in.
As indicated previously "Perpetual Twilight" is certainly at the forefront of the genre for production values and sound musical contribution. But obviously in this day and age you will need a whole lot more to really make it, and this is unfortunately where Axenstar falls down somewhat. The fundamental problem that belies so many bands is creativity and songwriting, and Axenstar is no exception. Unfortunately most songs are stock standard thoroughfare in power metal. Fat guitar riffs, tight drumming and slightly charismatic – if not technically correct vocals are what you get with Axenstar. One or two tracks do break the mold on "Perpetual Twilight," but you really have to question whether forking out your dollars for slight variation is worth it.
Bottom Line: I think power metal as a sub genre is one of the hardest to break into. Axenstar are as technically competent as the best of them (but mind you, try naming a power metal band that aren't musical wizards), but I think "Perpetual Twilight" is a few steps shy of decent recognition and adulation. Mark Axenstar down as band hovering around the edge, but not quite attaining a gold pass.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 6.4 out of 10