September 17, 2020

I guess Attaxe is a band that very few of us have heard of – and they seem to have had a history that makes the woes of Anvil seem like scaling the heights of rock stardom! Active from the mid-’80s to the early-’90s, Attaxe released numerous demos but that elusive record deal was always just out of reach, and the band ultimately folded. Hailing from Cleveland in Ohio, the band played old school heavy metal with hints of Lizzy Borden, Lillian Axe and huge NWOBHM influences – particularly early Iron Maiden and The Tygers Of Pan Tang. Finally, fifteen tracks were culled from the earlier demos and this compilation album, 20 Years The Hard Way was released in 2006.

There are a number of musicians on the album reflecting different versions of the band with Juan Ricardo (Ritual, Sunless Sky, Wretch, Dark Arena) supplying the vocals and a host of guitarists in Scott Stage (ex-Lizzy Borden), Greg Perry (Purgatory), Steve McDonald (ex-Born Rude) and Paul Konjicija (Antithesis, Dark Arena). There are no fewer than five bassists in Ray Hitchcock, Steve McCabe, Bill Zurlo, Michael Siefert and Calvin Burgess plus three drummers in Joey Coach Hanna, Steve Sinur and Kenny Easterly. It must be remembered that the songs on here are all demos, but that does not mean that they are rough and ready, and you will be surprised at the quality on display. There are some rough edges for sure, but these actually add to the charm of the recordings. Neither is the album disjointed given the high number of personnel involved, as each track flows seamlessly into the next. Juan Ricardo has a great, piercing voice and the guitar work is raunchy and exciting. Nothing too sophisticated here, just a group of musicians knocking out some pretty clever and exciting old school metal – making this a re-release that is worthy of exploration.

Track list: Calling The Messiah (0:22), Metal Messiah (3:48), Unholy Realm (4:35), Blood On The Moon (3:32), Pedal To The Metal (3:22), Remember Me? (1:14), Suicide (3:46), Lovefire (4:48), Jealousy (4:23), Powermad (5:39), Out Of The Storm (3:58), Leave It All Behind (3:00), Capture The Universe (3:54), Are You Ready? (2:51), Playing With Fire (4:49).

The album will also be available as a
limited Vinyl Edition of 250 black copies
coming with an insert.