Axemaster (1985-1989, 2006-2008, 2010-present): a Thrash Metal band from Kent, Ohio, USA.


he power/thrash band Axemaster started in 1985 by founder guitarist Joe Sims (Real Name: Joe Simones) at the helm, along with fellow members drummer Brian Henderson, and vocalist/bassist Christopher Michael. Although remaining little known in the mainstream, Axemaster managed a reasonably successful career over its tenure starting with such releases as Slave to The Blade (1985; independent 5-song cassette), Blessing in the Skies (1986; full length album and cassette released by 'Azra International Records'), Crusades (1986; shaped picture disc issued by 'Azra International Records' as a limited edition release to promote Blessing in the Skies), Metalgon (1986) compilation featuring a track from Blessing From The Skies, The Vision (1987; shaped picture-disc single released by 'Azra International Records') and Death Before Dishonor (1989; full length cassette of rehearsal recordings, European-only release by 'S.A. Bucher Management' {France} and 'Skullthrasher Promotions' {Belgium}) before a line-up change saw Terry Wilson on vocals and Jim Newcomb on bass. 5 Demons (Imperative is their Demise) (1991; Independent 5 song cassette) was released when another line-up change saw Eric Lynch on vocals and Matt Smolk on drums.

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Joe was the restless sort and pursued other projects during this time including The Awakening (essentially a re-organized version of Axemaster also featuring a slightly different sound style), where he released the "best of..." compilation Axemaster & The Awakening 1985 - 1995 (1999) under 'Unisound Records' (Greece). The album was essentially a re-issue of selected songs from the previous four releases with three additional new tracks by The Awakening. The re-release of Death Before Dishonor (2002), also on Greece's 'Unisound', would follow; this CD featuring formerly unreleased material. The band also got a musical appearance on the comedy/horror movie Killer Nerd (produced by Entertech Productions and stars the former MTV personality Toby Radloff) before they split.

In 2006, after a falling out with his other band, Dream Or Nightmare, Joe would rejoin the now reforming Axemaster. The band had recently tried the efforts of Mike Hissam (drums) before seeing the original line-up come back together to release Blessing In The Skies (2007) on the 'Burning Star Records' (Greece) label, a sort of retrospective digi-pak album compilation of their so-called "classic era" on the late 1980's featuring songs from 1986-1989 with an introduction written by multimedia author (and Diskery website founder) Derek McDonald, as well as the act's video for Slave To The Blade, the same version featured on McDonald's Polishing of Metal CD-ROM the year before. The next move for the act would be in 2008 with Dan Kaisk now assuming the vocals. In the end, this reunion was short-lived, however, and the remaining members moved on to do a studio project under a different name.

In 2010, Sims re-launched Axemaster and over the next couple years, started work on a new album with a lineup that included Jim Curtis (bass) and Geoff McGraw (vocals). In 2014, the band, with drummer Denny Archer, signed a deal with 'Pure Steel Records' to release Overture to Madness in the following year.

After taking a year to play shows in support of Overture to Madness, as well as adding lead guitar Damin Bennett to the lineup (now offering the band a dual 'axe' attack), Crawling Chaos followed in 2017 featuring the signature Axemaster style of a mix of traditional metal, doom metal and thrash metal.

Shortly in advance of the new album, 'Pure Steel' re-released a collection of the band's material from the 80's and early 90's as a collectible remastered vinyl two record set titled Blessing in the Skies (and other cuts from the chamber). The album included all the material from Blessing in the Skies and 5 Demons...", as well as several additional bonus tracks. The collection helped prove that Axemaster's unique blend of styles has proven to be a combination that appeals to metal fans from two generations.

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Joe Sims

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Nation USA
City Kent, Ohio
Genre Thrash Metal
Formations 3
Active Years 1985-1989, 2006-2008, 2010-
Last Modified 2023-02-20
Promotional Address 676 Cleveland Road.
Ravenna, Ohio 44266. USA
Diskery ID 60

Artists Linked to Axemaster

The Awakening

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