The flaxen-haired German guitar virtuoso Axel Rudi Pell returns with another release, The Crest, his 14th studio album. Itís a very typical ARP album, therefore, knowing what to expect from Axel, is exactly what you get. 10 tracks of huge melodic heavy metal greatness, and of course Axelís standard ballads. And for the first time, Axel was behind the knobs working as the producer. The vocals were prepared through Skype (voice over Internet) allowing Gioeli to record his vocals in the US while Axel and the rest of the band remained in Germany and pieced them together without Gioeli having to step into the studio.
Like every ARP album, it opens with an intro. When the riff on the first proper song "Too Late" comes in, you know youíre in store for a familiar rocking ARP record. Right away, you feel the power and emotion of Johnny Gioeliís voice, which sounds a lot like Dio, combined with Axelís ever present crunchy and crisp power riffs.
Most of the songs have that "epic" feel with tracks ranging from 4:09 to 8:01. Some tracks seem to drag a bit and the songs get slower toward the end of the disc. But an ARP album is usually high quality, and The Crest is no exception.
Songs such as "Too Late," "Devil Zone" and "Dreaming Dead," with an extended solo that just absolutely shreds, are the true rockers, while piano-laden ballad "Glory Night," is standard fare for an ARP record. "Prisoner Of Love" has an í80s WHITESNAKE commercial pop rock sound. Itís very polished and layered with huge melodies.
The downfall to The Crest is its repetitive formula after the first two blistering rockers. This is no where near his last release or even what he achieved on Mystica, as far as heaviness.