Axel Rudi Pell - The Crest
Steamhammer/SPV
Melodic Heavy Metal
10 songs (57'05)
Release year: 2010
Axel Rudi Pell, Steamhammer/SPV
Reviewed by Marty
In a recent article at Bravewords.com on Axel Rudi Pell, it stated that although he has averaged a new album every year for the past 20 years or so and is one of the top artists in Europe in the melodic heavy metal genre, he still lives in relative obscurity with very little exposure or following whatsoever in North America. Constantly writing music, he carries around a portable tape recorder and has even resorted to humming new melodies for his songs into his cell phone when the inspiration strikes. It's been a few years since we've reviewed one of his albums and although I own several of his CDs, this new album The Crest is quite possibly his best album yet as far as I'm concerned.

Besides having a strong grasp of how to write excellent riff-driven melodic heavy metal, Axel's band has the added benefit of having one of the best vocalists around with Johnny Gioeli. Joining the band in 1999, he consistently delivers powerful and passionate vocal performances and his voice is the perfect vehicle for Axel's songs. Tracks like Too Late and Devil Zone use a strong riff-driven metal format with Devil Zone having plodding razor sharp Accept style riffs. All of the songs have strong melodies, amazing soaring choruses and for the most part, Axel provides the listener with a wide variety of tempos, moods and atmospheres throughout this album. Dreaming Dead has Tony Martin era Black Sabbath like qualities and with its plodding heaviness and chord progressions even borrows a bit from Heaven and Hell. Glory Night provides the obligatory power ballad and what a good one at that. Dark Waves of the Sea (Oceans of Time Part II - The Dark Side) takes the listener on a progressive journey with this 8 minute epic that also features amazing melodies and a wide variety of styles.

Axel's guitar tone has a much "sharper" and heavier tone this time around and is much more up front in the mix. I was never a big fan of his lead guitar playing as I find his style to very cliche ridden. He does however have a great talent for writing solid melodic heavy metal based around catchy riffs and strong melodies. Much of his music could be compared to the Yngwie Malmsteen Trilogy/Odyssey era as far as style yet without the excess guitar wankery. The title of the album The Crest was a result of Axel sensing that this album could in fact see him at the top of his game and a "crest" or peak in the quality of his musical output over the years. I have to agree; a very enjoyable album with lots of solid riffs and very memorable melodies and choruses. If you're a fan of great melodic heavy metal, you'd be hard pressed to find a better album than this one.

Killing Songs :
Too Late, Devil Zone, Prisoner Of Love, Dreaming Dead and Dark Waves Of The Ocean Sea
Marty quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Axel Rudi Pell that we have reviewed:
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 - Kings And Queens reviewed by Danny and quoted 92 / 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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