History & BiographyAxenstar was a mere cover band upon formation in 1997 playing old hard rock and heavy metal tunes. Powerage featured both Johansson and Ek, as well as Magnus Soederman of Slapdash. Powerage can be heard on an Iron Maiden tribute CD. Three known demos are immortalised, but not before the line-up underwent an upheaval and the band switched to the more original Axenstar monicker. The band's first demo was entitled appropriately In The Beginning and recorded at Studio Underground in the band's hometown. The same studio was utilized for Perpetual Twilight. Axenstar could also be heard on Arise Records' Helloween tribute album.
Far From Heaven was issued before Christmas 2003, but first the band played at Sweden Rock Festival that year. The group toured as the opening act for Falconer, but Magnus Ek was absent and was replaced by Joakim Jonsson (Skyfire and The Mist Of Avalon). The band's third album, The Inquisition, was released on May 6th of 2005. The album was recorded at Underground Studio and mastered by Peter in De Betou. Guitarists Johansson and Eriksson left in 2005. The group parted ways with bassist Magnus Ek and drummer Pontus Jansson in late 2006. The new members were Henrik Sedell and bassist Thomas Ohlsson. The act played three concerts with Nocturnal rites in Sweden in 2007. Magnus switched from guitar to bass in 2008. Jens Klovegård and Adam Lindberg joined in 2008.
There was an album in 2014. It took five years for the album after that to be released. Hampus Fasth was on the 2019 album, but did not stay. Pelle Åkerlind of Morgana Lefay joined on drums in 2022. The band was working on a new album and hinted at a new recording contract in 2023.
AXENSTAR - FAR FROM HEAVEN - ARISE
What does a girl need from a band other than long flowing hair? Let us talk about the band's music. How does the heavy metal of our five long-haired musicians flow? Axenstar's second album, Far From Heaven, is an accessible and smooth form of power metal with loads of hooks, catchy melodies and refrains. The music is quite tight as the band is obviously well rehearsed. The backing vocals work and the lyrics are elaborate. The sole thing Axenstar needs to address next time is the guitar levels. The mix pushes the vocals to the front and the guitars don't get the attention they deserve. Solos are rare too, but if one listens to the song Children Forlorn it is indisputable that the lead guitarist knows what he is doing. No matter, the stars are on the right trajectory. This is a sure thing for fans of Helloween, Iron Maiden or Requiem. - Sheila Wes Det
AXENSTAR - THE INQUISITION - ARISE
Axenstar's album title and cover artwork indicate a thematic album revolving around the story of the Christian Inquisition of the dark ages. Whether that is true or not is not clear to me. Far from fire and brimstone and a hellish metal sound, Axenstar's new album bridges the gap between power metal and pop music. The music is easy to listen to despite metallic tendencies, solos and the odd heavy chord. For, in essence, the quintet has very simple structures which take advantage of melody, hooks and catchiness to deliver a commercial form of heavy metal with not too many fancy additions - the occasional keyboards excepted. The vocals of Magnus Winterwild have a limited range, but nonetheless work for Axenstar. His matter-of-fact delivery and the aforementioned elementary song patterns make the album ultimately work. The risk is that metal fans might deem the album too light and pop/rock fans find things too heavy. Otherwise, the album is a good listen for occasions when underground or offbeat metal won't do and going to the charts is not an option either. Axenstar's The Inquisition is a nice album with a twist of its own. - Anna Tergel