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Axel Rudi Pell
The Crest
Type: CD
Company: SPV/Steamhammer
Release: 2010
Genre: Traditional
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 6/25/2010
A shining star of his catalogue

Axel Rudi Pell
The Crest

Company: SPV
Release: 2010
Genre: Traditional
Reviewer: EC

  • A shining star of his catalogue



  • I'm not sure if Axel Rudi Pell has ever sounded better. Honestly, this guy has been burnin' six strings since '84 and "The Crest" may be the Holy Grail he has been searching for. I've followed his exploits from day one, with the "prime time" being his collaborative works with legendary vocalist Jeff Scott Soto. While I've always enjoyed album after album, this new recording is just a shining star of his catalogue.

    For the first time in his career, Pell stepped up to produce his own work with additional assistance with mixing from the esteemed Charlie Bauerfeind. The production values are stellar with plenty of attention to detail from the hard hitting drum work to the extraordinary bass lines and up front guitar work. The sound just really stands out and sets itself apart from previous releases. Pell quoted "there's real teamwork in our band" and it clearly shows this time around.

    I found it interesting during the pre-release that Pell stated there is no double-bass notes on the entire album, a far stretch from his fast galloping power metal numbers previously. "The Crest" envelopes a classic metal sound, a record that really doesn't have a sense of urgency. That aspect really appeals to me, the group allowing some riff-rockers that leaves plenty of time for Johnny Gioeli to belt out some soulful notes. I've always though Gioeli was an under rated singer, a vocalist that sort of fits the Tony Martin mold. He nails some higher numbers and has just enough authority in his voice to keep you in line.

    I think Pell has delivered an album as close to "Eternal Idol" perfection as one can get in this day and age. Highlights are the grand spectacle of "Devil Zone" and the hard hitting Terrana beat of "Dreaming Dead". In comparing it to previous albums, it certainly has the Pell mythos, complete with the atmospheric intro, the obligatory instrumental and doomy epic ("The End Of Our Time").

    The Bottom Line - Axel Rudi Pell is better than ever with "The Crest", delivering an album as worthy as "Eternal Idol" in the halls of metal glory.



    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: AXEL RUDI PELL
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    REVIEWER DATE
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    Eric Compton4/10/2013
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