Final Axe - Beyond Hell's Gate (Re-issue)

In the past I'd heard the name Final Axe, but I never had the chance to hear any of their music.  Come to find out, they only released one album in 1989 and it was available on cassette only, and it has been out of print for quite a long time.  Well, Retroactive Records has made this extremely hard to find album available once again.  This time however, it's been remixed, remastered, and reworked to provide "an enhanced heavy metal experience".

If you are into the classic heavy metal sound of the '80's ala Iron Maiden, Saint, Judas Priest, or even Barrencross, then Final Axe is a band you may be interested in.  The music is pretty heavy throughout with screaming guitar solos and semi-aggressive clean vocals.  Now while the sound has been revamped for this release, it still feels a little bit thin in spots...especially in the drumming department.  There are some memorable moments in a few songs, like the ripping song "Close to Deliverance", but for the most part this is a band that I will rarely be in the mood for.  However, those who spend their time listening to nothing but older metal should definitely check this out.  And as a side note, a couple member of this band went on to form the band, Titanic.

Packaging is simple with a four page booklet with lyrics and a band biography.  And speaking of lyrics, this band is very bold in presenting their Christian faith...which includes tons of scripture verses to back up what they are singing about.  However, the lyrics....while being bold...are fairly simple and nothing very creative.

This is definitely one of those albums that deserved to be re-released due to it's scarcity.  Retroactive Records to the rescue again!

Rating: 53/100

Review By: Matt Morrow

Label: Retroactive Records

Total Songs: 10

Total Time: 30:29

Tracklisting: 1. Baptized in Blood, 2. Are you Ready?, 3. No Time to Die, 4. Soldier of Compromise, 5. Blind Faith, 6. Close to Deliverance, 7. Thrown in the Fire, 8. Don't Run Away, 9. War Cry, 10. Rated X.

Best Songs: Tracks 6, 7, and 9.

Band Lineup: Keith Miles, Bill Menchen, Chris Lattimer, and Rod Reasner.

Band Website: ?