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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Axel Rudi Pell

The Crest

Review by Gary Hill

This latest disc from Axel Rudi Pell continues the tradition of powerhouse epic metal releases. It’s not a big surprise, but it’s also a great album. You just can’t argue with the consistency this guy puts out. If you like classic metal and hard rock, you can’t beat this. If you like modern epic metal, this might be a bit too streamlined and straightforward for you, but if you give it a chance, it will probably win you over. It just plain rocks!


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Prelude of Doom (Intro)

There is a definite European epic metal element to this symphonic sort of introduction. Yet, it also reminds me a times of the little intro pieces Dio era Sabbath used to do. It’s almost exactly a minute and a half in length.

Too Late
The riff that opens this reminds me a lot of Judas Priest, but the track takes on more epic metal elements on top of that as it continues. The vocals are rather Dio-like in some ways, with a rawer element. In a lot of ways, though, if you were to take something from early Rainbow, turn it more metal and add a little bit of progressive rock, you’d probably get something close to this.
Devil Zone
This starts as a delicate ballad that has elements of old world music. The vocals are more rock oriented, despite this mellow musical motif. It powers out later into a metal riff that has a lot of 1980’s metal built into it. 
Prisoner of Love
Here we have a fairly straightforward metal number. This is sort of along the lines of the music Bon Jovi made in the glory days of the 1980’s. 
Dreaming Dead
Take a Dio type sound and blend it with a modern epic metal mode and you’ve got a good idea of what this track is like. The extensive guitar solo section on this borders on amazing. 
Glory Night
Starting in a piano ballad motif, this powers up into an epic, anthemic ballad. It might not be the most original thing you’ve ever heard, but it’s a great rocker. 
Dark Waves of the Sea (Oceans of Time Pt. II: The Dark Side)
This starts out very heavy. It shifts towards the melodic, ballad-type stylings as it continues. The vocals at times remind me of The Scorpions on this one. It alternates between heavy and mellower sounds as this continues in an almost prog fashion. There are parts of this that make me think of Heaven and Hell era Black Sabbath. 
Burning Rain
This powerhouse is quite heavy, but also very dramatic. There are hints of Eastern musical textures and this just rocks out like crazy. It’s one of the best tracks on show here. The reference to Rainbow shows up again in places. 
Noblesse Oblige (Opus #5 Adagio Contabile)
An instrumental, this is slow and melodic. It reminds me a lot of Pink Floyd. 
End of Our Time
This powerhouse is an incredible epic metal tune. It isn’t the most unique thing we’ve heard, but when it’s this good, it doesn’t matter. It’s a great way to end the set.
 
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