Sjak : Like clockwork the German axe-wizard Axel Rudi Pell releases high-quality melodic power metal releases and this meanwhile seventeenth full-length studio-album ‘Knights Call’ is no exception to that. With singer Johnny Gioeli, drummer Bobby Rondinelli, bass player Volker Krawczak and keyboard player Ferdy Doernberg he has surrounded himself with world class musicians who deliver a great performance of the high quality song material on offer. Without diminishing the effort of the other band members, it’s really singer Gioeli and guitar player Pell that draw the most attention tot hem, and rightfully so I might say.
As everybody will probably know: when you’re looking for innovation you don’t have to knock on the door of Axel Rudi Pell as all his albums have the same structure and content. Also this time the album is started with an intro (‘The Medieval Overture’), which traditionwise is followed by a fast headbanger entitled ‘The Wild And The Young’. The remainder of the record contains a mixture of mid-tempo and fast rockers, alternated with longer, more epic songs and also this time it’s definitely to my liking. Especially the mid-tempo ‘Wildest Dreams’ with lovely riffs and a melodic chorus, the long and epic ‘The Crusaders Of Doom’ and the Rainbow-alike closing track ‘Tower Of Babylon’ are very enjoyable tunes, although as a matter of fact that account for the majority of the album. The majority of the album you might ask yourself? Yep, because with the very simple sing-a-long song ‘Long Live Rock’ (which probably will do very well in a live situation) there’s also a real mishit to be found on the record and that’s a pity.
Of course also the ballad can’t be ignored and with ‘Beyond The Light’ (with a lovely guitar solo) they have again placed a very beautiful one on the album, on which singer Johnny Gioeli gets lots of opportunities to excel and he grabs this opportunity with both hands. Besides the already mentioned ‘Long Live Rock’ this ‘Knights Call’ contains everything what the traditional metal fan could wish for: great musicianship, good riffs, nice melodies and excellent vocals. ‘Knights Call’ is certainly not the best album that Axel has released, but definitely worthwhile to add to your collection.