Great Metal Albums of 1986: Kick Axe- Rock the World

Probably said this in the past but one pleasant benefit I get from writing this blog is that not only do I get to go back in time and reminisce about the great albums I listened to in the golden decade of heavy metal, but I also get the chance to listen to some of the albums I missed back in the day. “Rock the World,” the third album from Canadian metallers Kick Axe was one of those albums. I remember hearing the name Kick Axe in the 1980s, it is an amusing name, but because there was so much other great music around, I never got around to listening to any of their stuff. Now, I get to chance to hear what I missed in 1986.

“Rock the World” is an album of two parts. The first four songs of the album are what I call straight ahead heavy metal. The title cut opens things well but the second song is a surprise for me. Before this, I thought the only cover of the Fleetwood Mac classic, “The Chain,” came from Shark Island in 1989. However, listening to Kick Axe’s take on the song, I think they might give Shark Island a run for their money here. It gets my vote for song of the album. The two tracks following that track continue in the traditional metal vein. I do like Larry Gillstrom’s guitar solo on “Red Line” and “Devechan” is the most powerful track on the album and again, Larry’s guitar shines.

Things take a change to the progressive side starting with the fifth track, “Warrior.” With this song, if I needed a song to relax and sail away with while partaking of the magic dragon, I would use “Warrior” provided I didn’t have any Pink Floyd available. It’s one of those songs I would describe as being a bit ‘out there.’ Saying that, the way the guitars are used is rather impressive.

With “Warrior” and the remainder of the songs, I sense the influence of Uriah Heep or possibly Hawkwind. Example: the very cool closer, “Magic Man” bears some resemblance to the Heep classic, “The Wizard.” There are still power chords a plenty but it is done in a more progressive or even space rock fashion. This brings me to wonder if maybe Kick Axe were early pioneers in what we today call, prog-metal or stoner metal. The power chords, harmonizing choruses and the progressive sounding melody all point that way. I can’t fault the musicianship of Kick Axe either, they are all masters of their craft when it comes to singing and playing. The best example of what I mean is found on the track, “We Still Remember” though I won’t take anything from any of the other tracks, they’re good too.

Track Listing:

  1. Rock the World
  2. The Chain
  3. Red Line
  4. Devachan
  5. Warrior
  6. We Still Remember
  7. The Great Escape
  8. Medusa
  9. The Dark Crusade
  10. Magic Man
Kick Axe

George Criston- lead vocals

Larry Gillstrom- guitars, backing vocals, keyboards

Victor Langen- bass, backing vocals, keyboards

Brian Gillstrom- drums, backing vocals

I know there are five in the photo but only four band members listed. This photo was obviously taken when guitarist Raymond Harvey was still in the band.

To be honest, I don’t feel that I missed some history changing moment by not listening to “Rock the World” or any Kick Axe material. However, I do wish I had this album back in the day as it would have been a fine addition to my collection. I will check out the two Kick Axe albums which preceded this one.

Next post: Quiet Riot- QRIII

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at:

10 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1986: Kick Axe- Rock the World”

  1. I love this album. They never made a bad one. I know Victor said it might be their best. The title track is incendiary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I still like the debut the best. But give them credit they still kept trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know of them, but have never heard anything (that I know about). But based on Mike and Deke maybe I should give some of it a try.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember the band, Axe, who sang “Rock and Roll Party in the Street” in the early 80’s. But I don’t know Kick Axe.

    Liked by 1 person

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