Axel Rudi Pell - Kings And Queens
Melodic Heavy Metal
10 songs (53'30)
Release year: 2004
Axel Rudi Pell, SPV
Reviewed by Danny
Album of the month

Two thumbs up Axel, two thumbs up !!! Kings And Queens is the best ever album of the band. Simple as that.

Of course if you know Axel Rudi Pell's music (and song-writing) you will have the feeling after the first spin that Axel does the same things again. That's what happened to me. After the first spin I throw the album away : "bah, here we go again with the same stuff, the same riffs, the same melodies". After two days, I get myself singing songs .... Strangely I was not able to spotted which band it was. Guess what ? I was singing the first three tracks of the new Axel Rudi Pell. Unbelievable! I listen to that "shit" only one time, throw it away and these songs were hunting me. Something was wrong at this stage. I took the album and put it in the player again. Well ... since mid-January, the bloody cd is stuck there ;) There is not a single misplaced note, not a single boring track, not a single moment where the listener is left behind.

Let's visit together Kings And Queens track by track :

The Gate (intro) : The entry ;)

Flyin' High: Ultra melodic speed track in the vain of Talk Of The Guns (first track on the album Between the Walls). The voice of Johnny Gioeli is wonderful. Axel' solos scorched the sky. The kind of top-notch opener I like. The listener is glued to the cd-player.

Cold Heaven: My favourite track. The guitar riff is so simple but soooooo amazing at the same time. Johnny drives me crazy on Cold Heaven. You have to listen to the lyrics, but let's resumed it this way : if there was a woman who drove you mad before in your life because she is (was) cold as ice, this song is for her ;). The drums are terrific - thanks to Mike Terrana again - and the melody hunts you all day long. The "hit" on Kings And Queens.

Strong As Rock: Much slower but what a groove. This track will be a killer live! The chorus invites you to sing (to shout, to yell !!!).

Forever Angel: Another great song. This one is a ballad. The kind of ballad I like, with a lot of emotions in the vocals. Johnny does (almost) everything on this 6 minutes song. Congratulation Johnny.

Legions Of Hell: The arabesque melody surrounding this track sends you somehow to Kamelot. An epic atmosphere for another great track. Axel "plays" with his guitar ... like very few guitarists can do it on this planet. Nothing complicated, nothing fast : just the right notes at the right time & place. The sign of the best ;)

Only The Strong Will Survive: What a start, what a riff. Top-notch chorus, top-notch melodies, top-notch everything. My second favourite track after Cold Heaven. The "destructive" solo is another brilliant footprint of Mr. Axel Rudi Pell. My mind is blown away each time I listen to Only The Strong Will Survive ... and I am sure the chorus will drive you mad, will hunt your mind for a loooooong time !

Sailing Away: Another ballad. Less "successful" compare to Forever Angel, but it still contains emotional and interesting atmospheres ... thanks to Axel and his magic guitar touch. Here again, the guy shows us how to play with a guitar and "talk" to the listener via his instrument. It took me time to accept this one, but after many spins I must admit Axel has this "magic touch" Rainbow had.

Take The Crown: At the crossroad between Flyin' High and Cold Heaven. Once again Johnny does a terrific job with his voice. This track has a strong hard-rock flavour. Axel delivers again a guitar lesson (rhythm & solo). Another great song.

Sea Of Evil: The end of the show. A very slow and atmospheric track where both guitar and keyboard "send you to bed". I mean this is a very quiet track ... Sea Of Evil is may be a bit too long but with Axel delivering again a perfect "scorecard" with his guitar, Sea Of Evil is a fine way to put an end to this marvellous and highly recommended release.

That been said, Kings And Queens must belong to your metal collection ... especially if you are a fan of melodic heavy metal. Buy or die !!!

Killing Songs :
Cold Heaven, Strong As A Rock, Flyin' High, Only The Strong Will Survive
Danny quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Axel Rudi Pell that we have reviewed:
Axel Rudi Pell - The Crest reviewed by Marty and quoted 88 / 100
Axel Rudi Pell - Diamonds Unlocked reviewed by Mike and quoted no quote
Axel Rudi Pell - Mystica reviewed by Mike and quoted 80 / 100
Axel Rudi Pell - Knights Live reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Axel Rudi Pell - Wild Obsession reviewed by Ben and quoted 83 / 100
To see all 9 reviews click here
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