AXEWITCH – OUT OF THE ASHES INTO THE FIRE (Pure Steel Records / Soulfood)

Review by Stefan

This Swedish act began its quest back in 1981, prior to that they called Hazy (1979-1981). Axewitch’s existence was not always without controversy. Through many years they called it quits three times but blood is thicker than water and apparently they couldn’t live without Heavy Metal music and returned to the scene over time.

From 1983 to 1985 they released three albums that, to my knowledge, did not get the attention they deserved. “The Lord Of Flies”, “Visions Of The Past” and “Hooked On High Heels” are fine Heavy Metal gems that are still close to my heart. Underrated in my opinion and I suspect this was the reason Axewitch went down a few times.

In 1991 they tried again but in vain, again things went wrong until finally in 2017 they reappeared with new bass player Tommy Brage (also participated on “Pray For Metal” EP’82). Plans were forged to record a new album, an ambition that has since become a reality. After several years of hard working on new material, the time has finally come to spread the word of Axewitch’s new, fourth full-length album entitled “Out Of The Ashes Into The Fire” ! To give you the right information on the present Axewitch personnel, Björn Hernborg has replaced Tommy Brage.

Well goddamn, I’m glad to see that most of the original members are still around. As they say, you should never change a winning team, “Out Of The Ashes Into The Fire” really sounds good ! All those who love the good old tradition Heavy Metal that Axewitch played in the 80’s can purchase their latest output with confidence. Ten brand new compositions and two re-worked versions of their classics ‘Axewitch’ and ‘Nightmare’, as I just told you… a killer album. The singer of Axewitch has always reminded me of Saxon’s chief Biff Byford, you may not agree but that’s my personal hunch, by the way, being compared to almighty Biff is quite an honor !

I will be brief and report that the new album is simply the continuation of when they stopped at the time. Their way of Classic Heavy Metal is just unchanged which to me means as much as fidelity to the good old days of 80s Metal scene. The not-too-bright production also plays to their advantage, I love it and gives an accurate indication of exactly what their style encompasses. For me it’s about the simplicity most of the songs radiate, without beating about the bush, going straight to the point… and then finished successfully… Then you can speak of a successful mission ! Even though the members are not getting any younger, take it from me that they are still playing like old times. Headbangers make a stand and obey to the nature of songs like ‘Dues To Pay’, The Pusher’ and ‘Going Down’, Axewitch will also take you by surprise with strong compositions like ‘Let Sleeping Dogs Lie’, ‘Violator’ and probably the most heavy hitter ‘Lie To me’ !

I am blazingly enthusiastic about this new Axewitch album and hopefully will get the recognition they have deserved for many years. Very wise vocal service, well balanced guitar lines, strong bass works and remarkably good drum rhythms make me a satisfied man while listening to “Out Of The Ashes Into The Fire”. Old School Heavy Metal Never Dies ! Axewitch online: Order:

My rating: 88/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)