Review: Axel Rudi Pell

Axel Rudi Pell
“Shadow Zone”

Axel Rudi Pell has been churning out his guitar driven tunes for over ten years now.  The songs are all little poems from guitar god Axel Rudi Pell to his big bad guitar god self.  Many of the songs, epics really with three of them pinging in at over eight minutes, reside in the traditional metal genre, occupied in the past by bands like Crimson Glory, Grim Reaper and Queensryche, while at other times the guitar god feels the urge to show that he too can play as fast as the fastest fast players out there which causes us to veer sharply and not all together comfortably into a region of metal occupied by Gamma Ray and others of their general ilk. Since this is a guitar driven album by every definition of “guitar driven” I’m pleased to note that the use of over loud and aggravating keyboards which is becoming oddly common amongst wildly shredding European metal bands is confined mostly to the song’s intros and otherwise kept buried in the mix.  Hallelujah.  It can’t be just me who doesn’t feel the need for tragically misplaced keyboard solos in metal can it?  Let’s thank Mr. Pell right now for being so insanely guitar obsessed as to squash those keyboards down and shove them back.