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Various - The Axemen 1988


01. Whitecross - Shakedown

02. Bride - Hell No

03. Saint - Returning

04. Force 3 - Warrior of Light

05. Lightforce - Babylon

06. Jerusalem - Covered by Blood

07. Daniel Band - Party in Heaven

08. Rosanna's Raiders - Serve Someone

09. Novella - Running Home

10. Scarlet Red - You Live Fast

11. Bjorn Stigsson - Come Together

During the mid- to late '80s there was a flood of compilation albums being released in the Christian metal market. I guess they were great promotional tools for labels, such as Pure Metal, Regency, Intense etc. 'The Axemen' was released through Pure Metal Records in 1988. It has a somewhat different angle as most of the other compilations from that era. Instead of just showcasing the bands from their roster, this one is trying to highlight the guitarists in the bands from the labels roster....

Now, I'm not so sure that all that many people would agree that the Christian metal scene fostered all that many true guitar heroes. So in that retrospect this compilations seems a bit far fetched. The only one featured here that I feel deserves a tag like that is Rex Carroll from Whitecross.

They should have at least featured Jeff Scheetz! Sure, there are lots of great players represented here. But I wouldn't call them guitar heroes, and most of them aren't even worth highlighted as excellent players at all. Also, a compilation like this should perhaps foremost contain instrumental stuff, or solo work. But the only instrumental here is Saint's "Retuning".

This album works best as a timeframe picture. This is a glance back at Christian metal history in the making. Some of the favorite bands from that era are here, and Pure Metal did have an impressive line of acts! Several tracks are featured here even before they were released on the bands albums. The Novella track didn't see an album release 'til 3 years later! / The Axemen' comes with no liner-notes, but some cool artwork from Jeff Spencer.


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