|Review: Axel Rudi Pell - The Crest|
Year released: 2010
Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal
Review online: May 18, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Rated 3.94/5 (78.75%) (16 Votes)
While there is no disputing that the great reputation German guitar hero Axel Rudi Pell has acquired over the years is justly deserved, it has been a while since he's delivered a truly storming album, and sadly, with the latest in a long line of releases, he hasn't managed it this time either. While 2008's Tales Of The Crown was a varied release (and rather enjoyable, I remember), The Crest is pretty much the same from start to finish, except that perhaps the songs get slower as the record progresses, with practically no double kicking from skins veteran Mike Terrana, and very few of those cool fast segments from earlier releases, if any at all.
Things start well with the double pairing of "Too Late" (with its pounding riffage and catchy hook) and the fist-pumping "Devil Zone", both songs sticking to the Pell standard of kick-ass, hard rocking melodies, simple, anthemic refrains, and those blistering vocals from long standing frontman Johnny Gioeli, who sounds pretty much as good as ever here (if not better). But the rest of the album is just repeating the formula of the first two tracks, only without reaching the same heights. The production is nice and epic, and the atmosphere remains spacious and enveloping – particularly on "Dreaming Dead", where Ferdy Doernberg's effortless but nonetheless effective keys really bring the bombast to the fore – but overall, there isn't a lot to get excited about here. As usual, Pell's playing is precise, and the songs have a certain appeal, but ultimately it is a boring listen, albeit one that we all saw coming.
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