Crystal Viper – “The Last Axeman” (2008)


Label : Karthago Records

Review by Tony Cannella

Crystal Viper are a female fronted band from Poland. Their last album “Curse of Crystal Viper” announced the bands mission statement, loud and clear. This band specializes in no nonsense and straight forward metal. It’s refreshing to hear a band that are not swayed by the current trends (or whatever seem to be selling these days) and just play the type of music they love and from the heart. Crystal Viper is one such band. They have just released their newest output titled, “The Last Axeman”. I am not sure if this can be called a new album, because although it features a couple of new numbers, it also includes previously released songs and a bunch of live recordings. “The Last Axeman”  begins with the title song. The opening riff reminds me a bit of Running Wild as the vocals Marta Gabriel come in and away we go. “The Last Axeman”  was also featured on “Curse of Crystal Viper” CD. Next, we have the first of three cover songs presented here. “Blood & Gasoline” is a remake of the Virgin Steele classic and it also includes guest vocals by non other than Virgin Steele front man David Defeis. Next we have a new song “The Anvil of Hate”. This is just a pure metal song with pounding rhythms and just an overall powerful in-your-face approach. The next song “The Banshee”slows things down a bit. It opens with some pretty piano and some nice orchestration. Marta comes in on vocals and gives an inspired and emotional performance on this track. This song is very different than everything else on this album, but it is also one of the best tracks. Next up is another version of  “The Last Axeman”, this one with the lyrics sung in Polish. It is a different take on the song, but very cool. The first half of the album is completed by two more cover versions. “Flaming Metal Systems” by Manilla Road and “Wild Child” by W.A.S.P. are both excellent and they definitely capture the spirit of the original versions. The second half of the CD contains 6-songs that were recorded live in Andernach, Germany in 2007. Here you can feel the energy, passion and power of the bands live performance and singer Marta shows she really knows how to work a crowd. You can hear the band tear through such live favorites as: “I Am Leather Witch”, “Shadows on the Horizon” and the moody, atmospheric “Sleeping Swords”. When all is said and done, “The Last Axeman”  features 13-songs and 64-minutes worth of high quality, traditional, female fronted power metal. If you are a fan of this kind of music than this should be an essential release. Crystal Viper are a pure metal band. They are proud of that fact and are proud to fly the flag for true metal and that is one of the things I love about this band..

Rating – 100/100



  1. The Last Axeman (Album Version)
  2. Blood and Gasoline (Virgin Steele cover)
  3. The Anvil of Hate
  4. The Banshee
  5. The Last Axeman (Polish Version)
  6. Flaming Metal Systems (Manilla Road cover)
  7. Wild Child (W.A.S.P cover)
  8. The Island of the Silver Skull (live)
  9. I Am Leather Witch (Live)
  10. Shadows On the Horizon (Live)
  11. The Last Axeman(Live)
  12. Sleeping Swords (Live)
  13. Flaming Metal Systems (Manilla Road cover) (Live)


Line Up

  • Leather Wych (Marta Gabriel) – Vocals
  • Andy Wave – Guitars
  • Pete Raven – Guitar 
  • Dee Key – Bass 
  • Golem (Tomasz Danczak) – Drums  



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