|Review: Axel Rudi Pell - The Crest|
Year released: 2010
Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal
Review online: October 20, 2010
Reviewed by: Lior "Steinmetal" Stein
After more than 20 years, nothing has really changed in the music of Axel Rudi Pell. While indulging his penchant for writing 80s-oriented Heavy Metal riffs, Pell also brings in elements of Hard Rock. 2010 sees the 14th album of the ex-Steeler guitarist's career, The Crest. Playing with other veteran musicians, like singer Johnny Gioeli and high rolling drummer Mike Terrana, Pell never lets the fans down.
The Crest, as with almost all of Pell's albums, doesn't fall short of what he's done in the past. It sounds like a continuation of the sound he's been perfecting over the years. This time Pell took the production reins, letting Charlie Bauefeind do the mixing. Pell does a magnificent job, keeping his innovative, sharp, trebled sound, with maybe a few adjustments that preserve its distinctive richness. Every open power chord, every drum beat, touch of bass, keys or vocals sounds amazing.
The material written by Pell has a heart that is hard to find, nowadays. His works should be cherished; a true metalhead. Beyond the riffs and aura of the album, Pell does what he does best, which is unleashing a stack of solos and rock-oriented, melodic leads. Without those, his tunes would sound dry (even with the great sound). The finesse of singer Gioeli can't be overlooked either. He gives quite an emotional performance on songs like "Devil Zone," "Dreaming Dead," "Prisoner of Love," "Dark Waves of the Sea" and "The End of Our Time." This combination, Pell and Gioeli, along with the rest of the band, is a gift to metal.
Yet, even as addictive as Pell's sound and writing style are, it is hard to shake the thought that, album after album, the songs sound rather the same. Much of The Crest sounds similar to Shadow Zone, Mystica, Tales of the Crown and Kings and Queens.
Overall, The Crest is a fine work by Pell's boys and a must album for anyone who appreciates good Metal. Don't expect aggression; expect class and tons of emotion. Long live Axel Rudi Pell and long live good, old school Heavy Metal.
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