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| 4 February 2016 | Reply


Label: Steamhammer / SPV

Release Date: January 15, 2016

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Some lead guitarists shine on their own and others play second fiddle, so to speak, to a front man or are simply the icing on the cake.  In the case of Axel Rudi Pell, all three come into play at various points on his latest release, Game Of Sins.  The instrumental piece that opens the disc, “Lenta Fortuna” gives us a small insight to the insanity that is about to ensue.  “Fire” rips open the disc with furious guitars and a breakneck tempo, thanks to the drumming.  The vocals kick in and we are off to the race, while the keyboards set a mood in the background.  This song sets the pace and the bar for the rest of the disc.  Title track “Game Of Sins” is a moodier track that showcases different guitar sounds and styles from Axel Rudi Pell, including mellow fret board work in the opening, morphing to a searing guitar lead.  Lead singer Johnny Gioeli brings his killer pipes to the table on this track, especially at the chorus, producing some of the best vocals on the collection.  “Lost In Love” opens with sounds that bring you back to the opening, but soon we are treated to a different style track that shifts between power ballad and moody rocker, with great string work, especially at the bridge.  “Till The World Says Goodbye” is a cool track that really shows the talent behind the six-string.  The songs construction takes you on a journey from earthy rocker to melodic beauty and back again, accentuated by the keyboard work from Ferdy Doernberg that blends with the guitars and steady pounding of Bobby Rondinelli’s drums.  Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower” is a fun bonus track that gives you a glimpse at Axel Rudi Pell’s influences, and his ability to stay true to an original, while adding his own touches to a classic guitar track.

“Sons In The Night” is a heavy handed track that benefits from the guitar work of Pell, in addition to the strong vocals of Johnny Gioeli.  The bass and drums anchor the track, which trucks along at a decent pace from open to close.  “Falling Star” is a driving track that gives us more chugging rock supported by bassist Volker Krawczak and breakneck drums from Rondinelli.  The guitar work that seems to duet with the vocals gives the song punch and keeps the rock vibe flowing on the disc.  “The King Of Fools” is a great track that has a col rhythm section sound with heavy handed bass and pounding drums supporting the Pell’s guitars and Gioeli’s vocals.  This is a melodic piece that blends an older rock sound with a modern flare.  “Breaking The Rules” sounds a bit like a Scorpions track, but soon the guitars and vocals soar above the mix, separating this track from the pack.  The cadence of this track gets the foot tapping and the head banging, even while sitting at a desk!  This is one of my favorite tracks on the disc.  “Forever Free” opens gently with keyboards and is soon joined by the rest of the band.  The vocals keep the song in line with the rest of the disc, while the rhythm section keep the songs mood and tempo intact and give the song a push when needed.

​Tracklisting: Lenta Fortuna – Fire – Sons In The Night – Game Of Sins – Falling Star – Lost In Love – The King Of Fools – Till The World Says Goodbye – Breaking The Rules – Forever Free – All Along The Watchtower





Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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