AXEL RUDI PELL – Knight’s Call

  • 5.5/10
    AXEL RUDI PELL - Knight's Call - 5.5/10


Steamhammer / Napalm Records
Release date: April 2, 2018

User Review
4/10 (1 vote)

On Knight’s Call, the seventeenth album from veteran German guitarist and band leader Axel Rudi Pell, we find the metal stalwart basking in familiar themes and tones. Sometimes affectionately called Castle Metal, Pell’s style is a classic combination of Deep Purple / Rainbow vibes along with the influence of early Power Metal. Pell’s style has remained largely unchanged throughout his career, for better or worse. Certainly, this release will please existing fans of the act, but if we’re being completely honest, there is little or perhaps even nothing here, that we haven’t heard before. That redundancy and derivative nature is one of the major strikes against Knight’s Call, which would not sound out of place had it been released 20, even 30, years ago. Classic Metal purists will enjoy this and admire Pell for his consistency, while the more progressive listeners in the audience will hear a songwriter that has gotten too comfortably with his signature sound.

The production on Knight’s Call maybe also attract criticism, with its thinner sounding guitars and relatively amateurish synth and keyboard patches. Like the derivative songwriting, this too may also be embraced by long time fans as an artist staying true to their form. One does have to wonder though, couldn’t the substance of the material remain intact while the overall sound and presentation evolved?

All of that being said, Knight’s Call is certainly a genuine sounding album and is a good example of an artist doing what they love. Even with the dated sounding production and too familiar sounding songs, that still makes for a fun listening experience and solid, confident album.



  • Maxxxwell Carlisle

    Maxxxwell was a reviewer and the host of The Maxed Out Metal Hour here on Metal Express Radio. He is the current lead guitarist for LA based metal veterans Hellion. In addition to his ongoing role in Hellion, he has also released 5 albums as a solo artist and appeared as a guest writer and soloist on Michael Angelo Batio's Intermezzo album, named one of the Top 5 shred albums of 2014 by Guitar World Magazine. He continues to collaborate with various Metal musicians and teaches guitar technique and Metal composition via Skype. Additionally, he is a former competitive bodybuilder and enjoys a lifestyle based around health, fitness and Metal.

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