Axel Rudi Pell

Tales From The Crown

Written by: TL on 10/12/2008 11:20:32

Here at Rockfreaks, we're receiving and increasing flow of promotional albums from especially Germany and Italy that have me somewhat struck with wonder. You see the impression you get from a large part of these, is that the scenes in those countries haven't noticed the turn of millennium yet - in some cases it even seems like they didn't even notice the passing of the 90's either - and I have to wonder if music in those places are trapped in some sort of time-distorted bubble?

Whether or not that is the case, a point in case could easily be the band at hand in this review. Axel Rudi Pell, a band started by and named after the guitarist of the 80's heavy metal band Steeler after that band's breakup in 1988, releasing twelve studio albums and four compilations before now giving us their latest opus "Tales Of The Crown".

If you're already thinking that this reads like a band that hasn't changed a bit since their conception, then your mind and mine are in the same place. I'm not a long-time Pell fan, so I can't say for sure, but as hinted by my introduction, I think the adjustments this band has made since their conception have been minor, bordering on insignificant. They play a traditional and totally predictable batch of classic heavy metal, sometimes tilting slightly towards power, without ever giving completely in to its speedy mania. Casual listeners will instantly think of famous representatives of the style like Europe or Scorpions when they put on "Tales From The Crown", while guitar-enthusiast may also send a thought towards Yngwie Malmsteen perhaps.

And the question is, what more can I tell you about such an album, that hasn't already been communicated in the words "traditional" and "totally predictable". This is just exactly what you expect it to be, no surprises, no disappointments - except if you were expecting originality. Revivalists will get their kicks with these songs, as will solo-lovers, this is a guitarist's band after all, but apart from them, Axel Rudi Pell don't seem to be too concerned with pleasing the rest of us. There's simply nothing to imply any ambition to stand out from the average impression one has of this kind of band, nor anything to suggest a relevance to the state of music today. The musicianship is technically of high quality of course, and the production is professionally done too, so no complaints in that department, but that just doesn't go anywhere near getting me really excited about this kind of "blast" from the past. Maybe if the guys had at least brought some songs that were catchy above the average, their regressive nature could be forgiven, but seeing as that isn't really the case, they're going to have to settle for a;


Download: Higher, Ain't Gonna Win, Riding On An Arrow
For The Fans Of: Europe, Scorpions, Yngwie Malmsteen

Release Date 27.10.2008
SPV Records
Provided by Target ApS

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