Lillian Axe – XI: The Days Before Tomorrow
MRI, February 2012
Lillian Axe has been on a roll for the last few years, and that streak continues with the release of XI: The Days Before Tomorrow. Guitarist and band leader Steve Blaze has always had a formidable challenge in replacing powerhouse vocalist Ron Taylor who sang on the band’s most well-known recordings (including 1993’s amazing Psychoschizophrenia album), and I thought the most recent vocalist, Derrick LeFevre, was a great fit for the band. Derrick’s now out, and in comes Brian Jones to man the mike. Although initially skeptical, Brian’s also an awesome singer with a fantastic high range that immediately won me over. Steve and the rest of the band continue to write quality, consistent material that never disappoints. The Days Before Tomorrow contains every you’d expect from Lillian Axe – great, melodic hard rock, spine-tingling melodies, and amazing guitar work that’s not over the top. Everything about this album exudes class and attention to detail. Most of the songs are slow to mid-tempo, and all have an energetic vibe that makes the album a pleasure to listen to. The clear highlight for me is “Death Comes Tomorrow”, a mellow song that incorporates piano and builds into an incredible, haunting melody in the chorus. Album opener “Babylon” and “Lava On My Tongue” are also standouts that showcase the heavier side of the band. Take it all together and The Days Before Tomorrow is yet another top addition to the band’s catalog. Most fans of melodic hard rock are already at least familiar with Lillian Axe, and if you aren’t you owe it to yourself you give a listen to this vastly underrated band.
Here's some pictures of Lillian Axe performing August 25, 2009 at Primetime in Burnsville. Click here to read my review of that show.