"The Crest", the thirteenth studio offering from German guitarist AXEL RUDI PELL, will be released in North America on June 1 via SPV/Steamhammer.
With an impressive 20 releases in 21 years, the AXEL RUDI PELL band counts among the most consistent, lasting and creative acts in the whole of Europe. Very few German guitarists can point to as long and successful a career as the musician from Bochum, whose unmistakable signature marks not only his characteristic guitar style, but also his compositional skills.
"'The Crest' sounds absolutely typical of me and my band," says Axel. "In a way, the new tracks mark a return to our roots. And I'm proud to say that there isn't one double-bass number on 'The Crest'."
The guitarist and songwriter knows that this decision will not be considered archaic, but makes him one of the spearheads of a thoroughly contemporary development: for months, there have been reports from America, the U.K. and Scandinavia that an increasing number of bands are relying on drum arrangements which adapt to the melody of a song.
His 13th studio album impresses with varied compositions at the interface of melodic metal and hard rock. The collaboration between Pell and his American vocalist, Johnny Gioeli, which was established some twelve years ago, has experienced yet another magic moment on "The Crest". The American's raw, charismatic voice is a perfect complement to the deeply melodic numbers by the AXEL RUDI PELL band, who in turn prepare the ground perfectly for their frontman, allowing him to unfold his timbre to perfection. "Naturally, I came up with the main features of the melody and lyrics, but I'd be ill-advised if I didn't listen to Johnny's suggestions," says Pell. "There's real teamwork in our band."
"The Crest" also features an innovation: for the first time, Axel Rudi Pell has taken care of the production himself. Between November 2009 and January 2010, he, bassist Volker Krawczak, keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg and drummer Mike Terrana recorded the nine tracks (plus intro) at the W.A.T. Studios in Bochum. Pell worked on the vocals in great detail with frontman Gioeli via Skype, and Gioeli recorded his parts in the U.S. The album was mixed, as usual, by Charlie Bauerfeind at the Mi Sueno Studios in Tenerife and at the Twilight Hall Studios in Grefrath, Germany, the hallowed halls of their colleagues BLIND GUARDIAN.
In view of the album's compositional density, it wouldn't seem fair to highlight individual tracks. At the same time, it must be mentioned that Axel Rudi Pell has come up with a continuation of his classic "Oceans Of Time" in the eight-minute "Dark Waves Of The Sea" (including unmistakable quotes from the original), and that the album features an impressive instrumental in "Noblesse Oblige (Opus # 5 Adagio Contabile)". And, of course, there's another great Pell ballad on the album, entitled "Glory Night".
So as usual, the band have done their homework brilliantly, and soon after the release of "The Crest", the AXEL RUDI PELL band will introduce their latest release as part of their 2010 tour: the first leg will kick off in May, followed by a number of big festivals during the summer, before the second leg is set to start in autumn. Following the enthusiastic reactions to their shows with HEAVEN & HELL in summer 2009, Pell is open to suggestions regarding another tour with a renowned act. "We had a lot of fun with HEAVEN & HELL, so I'd definitely consider a similar concept."
"The Crest" track listing:
01. Prelude Of Doom (Intro)
02. Too Late
03. Devil Zone
04. Prisoner Of Love
05. Dreaming Dead
06. Glory Night
07. Dark Waves Of The Sea (Oceans Of Time Pt. II: The Dark Side)
08. Burning Rain
09. Noblesse Oblige (Opus #5 Adagio Contabile)
10. The End Of Our Time
Check out a widget for "The Crest" below.