Artist: Axel Rudi Pell
Title: Circle Of The Oath
Genre: Hard Rock/ Melodic Metal/ Power Metal
Release Date: 23rd March 2012
AXEL RUDI PELL has a career behind him that spans over 30 years. He started with STEELER and went on to play with some of the rock heavyweights. His soul belongs to the spirit of Rock’n’Roll and he loves it, that indeed shows in this CD. It feels like something out of golden era of hard rock with gleams of metal, be it strands of melodic and power genres, but also at times EUROPE - remember them(?!) in terms of the vocal sounding commercially appealing. It’s probably more apt to go with SCORPIONS though because PELL and co are more than just those old pretty faces from Sweden. The heightened catchiness in choruses of course will take you back to old Hard Rock bests, the guitar solos a granted one of those pulls back in time.
At first this retro thing about it was putting me off, but with giving it another chance I found a sense of fun in this - because the guy is simply enjoying himself full on and his enthusiasm is like an avalanche that will take you with him. You might want to stop when ‘Circle of The Oath’ comes in as the fifth song, where it gets bit slow and cheesy, as if AEROSMITH tuned onto a country vibe before it gets going. The good bit is not going to stay though and the song is far too long. It’s not your Progressive metal, so there’s not too much to show even if they tried to add a bit of oriental tinge to the riffs - it comes out as too forced and put in for the sake of latest fashions. The rest of the album is within similar way, it starts losing that unshakeable sense of fun and guts, a ship losing its wind and losing passengers overboard as well somewhat. The only slower and balladic bits that don’t dampen the listen is the superb closing song ‘World Of Confusion (The Masquerade Ball Pt. II)’ which also escapes the retro feel the best by being more modern whilst retaining the feel of the classic era of the genre at the same time in a most balanced way.
It’s an enjoyable album, played with obvious skills and old school passion, recommended for nostalgiacs especially. Even if you find that old school irrelevant now that said passion and that great deal of spirit should allow you to let the gauntlets down and have a good time, a beer or two or more, so cheers!
01. The Guillotine Suite (Intro) 01:52
02. Ghost In The Black 04:36
03. Run With The Wind 04:42
04. Before I Die 04:29
05. Circle Of The Oath 09:20
06. Fortunes Of War 05:19
07. Bridges To Nowhere 07:10
08. Lived Our Lives Before 06:31
09. Hold On To Your Dreams 05:47
10. World Of Confusion (The Masquerade Ball Pt. II) 09:30
Johnny Gioeli – Lead and Backing Vocals
Axel Rudi Pell – Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars
Ferdy Doernberg – Keyboards
Volker Krawczak – Bass
Mike Terrana – Drums
Total: 6.75 / 10
Buy the album here!