I am probably one of a small group of people that was looking forward to the new disc, Waters Rising by Lillian Axe. I have been a fan of this band since I heard their self titled debut back in 1988. I fear that I may be a little more critical of this release than most.
Much like a lot of the bands from the late 80’s and early 90’s, Lillian Axe has had its fair share of membership changes. In 2007, lead guitarist Steve Blaze finds himself the lone original member of Lillian Axe. The band has a new singer, Derrick LeFevre, and three additional new members, Sam Poitevent on guitar, Eric Morris on bass, and Ken Koudelka on bass.
The band’s sound is a little more mature, but still very close to that on the previous releases. Derrick LeFevre doesn’t have the range of former L.A. singer, Ron Taylor, however with the back up vocals of Steve Blaze, its a minor difference.
I have listened to this CD a few times now. On the first listen, I was disappointed. Each time I spin this disc, it seems to get a little better.
With so many new members in the band, I believe it was critical for Lillian Axe to establish their sound quickly on the first track. Luckily, the title track, Waters Rising starts the disc off nicely with a sound that all Lillian Axe fans are going to flock to. Antarctica is a heavy song that keeps the pace going. I didn’t care for this song at first, but its definitely growing on. Steve Blaze has some very good guitar work on this track.
It is hard for me not to like Become a Monster. This song has a killer groove. The song could have been shortened up a little bit, and it would have been a bit better. It is still a solid song.
The guitars on Quarantine takes this song down a heavy path, that twists and winds itself around a classic rock type of sound. It is almost like two songs in one. Very cool!
I Have to Die, Goodbye starts off with a guitar sound that reminds me of the beginning of Queensryche’s Silent Lucidity. This song mixes both acoustic and electric guitars. Between the mix of guitar sounds, and the extremely deep voiced back up vocals, I just could not get into this tune.
Fear of Time is a heavier tune that captures the classic sound of Lillian Axe perfectly. This is my early favorite on the record.
Until the End of the World is an extremely cool song that almost approaches progressive metal, but some how stays grounded with a base in 80’s style hard rock. This song is another favorite of mine.
I have an issue with Fields of Yesterday, and Deep in the Black. Both of these songs are way too long. Both songs clock in at 8:30. After five minutes, I am ready to move on to another song. To me, it messed up the pacing of the record.
Thirst and The 2nd of May are solid numbers, but not essential.
5 closes out this disc with a heavy instrumental that is nearly thrash metal. I don’t usually get into instrumentals very much, but this is very cool.
I have listened to Waters Rising several times now, and I will admit that this is my least favorite Lillian Axe disc out of the bunch. It isn’t bad, but I find myself getting a little bored at the last third of the album. Each listener may feel differently, and I am sure the Lillian Axe diehards will be happy with this effort. I just don’t think it is as strong as some of their prior releases.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Waters Rising
3. Become a Monster
5. I Have To Die, Goodbye
6. Fear Of Time
7. Until the End of the World
8. Fields Of Yesterday
10. The 2nd Of May
11. Deep In the Black