Axel Rudi Pell, is an institution, since the release of his first album in 1989, he’s gone from strength to strength exploring themes that no one else would think about. His music has inspired millions of people and gotten them through hard times. Knights Call is his eighteenth solo album, and boy does it bring a lot to the table.
Starting off with The Medieval Overture and its medieval melodies and notes, the listener gets an early indication of what to expect from this album, solid, hair-raising music. This is confirmed with the absolute riffage that is The Wild And The Young with vocalist Johnny Gioeli singing his heart out. We are then greeted with Wildest Dreams, a song that has melody, heart, soul, and pure riffage that would make Deep Purple proud. Long Live Rock is anthemic, a call to arms that would make even the hardest bastard of a biker sing his heart out. The Crusaders of Doom is in one-word epic, the guitars rip through solo after solo and riffage after riff, the vocals are on point to produce an epic sound that really makes the listener want the song to keep going.
Truth and Lies is a swing and groove-laden song that will get heads moving and bodies shaking when played live and has strong echoes of Deep Purple. Beyond The Light is another epic song, allowing Axel to shine through with his melodious guitar leads and the keys of Ferdy Doenberg provide some good accompaniment. Slaves on The Run is fast-paced, a solid rocker that will get people shaking their heads in envy. Follow The Sun is a reflective song, bringing elements of classic rock and metal together, in one song for a solid groove-based approach that truly gets the listener hooked in and ready for more. Tower of Babylon is the longest song on the record at 9:50, and is worth every moment of that time, from the Asian influenced chromatic scales playing in the beginning to the soaring vocals, and the head moving riffs that follow, every inch of it is worth it.
Knights Call has got everything, good riffs, good melodies, excellent vocals, and brilliant lyrical content. Be sure to get the album when it is released on 23rd March, via SPV/Steamhammer.