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Axel Rudi Pell - Mystica review


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Band: Axel Rudi Pell
Album: Mystica
Release date: August 2006

01. The Mysterious Return (Intro)
02. Fly To The Moon
03. Rock The Nation
04. Valley Of Sin
05. Mystica
06. Living A Lie
07. The Curse Of The Damned
08. Haunted Castle Serenade (Opus #4 Grazioso E Agresso)
09. Losing The Game
10. No Chance To Live

"We are a wild creation, and we will rock this town! We gonna rock the nation, so shout it out loud!"

Mystica is the latest album of the band of the German guitarist Axel Rudi Pell, and his first album that I heard. I discovered this very talented band on personal recommendation of the owner of my local metal CD-shop and was instantly charmed by the great cover artwork. Not fully knowing what to expect I entered the CD in the CD-player and was curious as to what would come. When it came I was quite overwhelmed and bought the album after listening into the first two songs.

At home again I couldn't wait to have a go at my new purchase. And I certainly wasn't to be disappointed. Axel Rudi Pell plays a mix between hard-rock and traditional power metal, using a few minor neo-classical influences in the guitar playing, but only some minor ones. The music is mainly quite slow, yet technical to an almost astonishing level. The only instrument that is sometimes in the upper part of mid-tempo is the drum kit, operated by the great Mike Terrana whom I already was familiar with through the band Rage. The guitar also sometimes goes into mid-tempo but quite seldom. Most of the time the music is very slow. The vocals are, if I can say so, quite hard-rocky. At the same time melodic and rough (for non-extreme metal standards) and with a lot of variation. The bass has its few great moments on the album but is usually pushed away by the great guitar melodies and soli. The keyboard is used sparingly most of the time but sounds great when it's used more extensively on a few songs.

The lyrics are actually surprisingly good. Although throughout the CD there are a few words which are repeated conspicuously often and some lyrics are quite fantasy-tinctured and cheesy. Yet there are also a lot of great metaphors. "Still searching for our way, our way through the dark, mountains we left behind, the fire and it's spark, fighting the spell, drowning coins into the wishing well, dreams turned into nightmares and heaven turned into hell." The cover art is, like I already mentioned, fantastic. The production kind takes away some of the greatness though. On a few passages it just doesn't do justice to the music at all and makes it a bit less enjoyable at times.

The music is in general not very new or original but it is very technical and rich in talent. This is exactly your thing if you like more laid back and "jazzy" or "proggy" power metal or hard rock, which doesn't always have to roar at 300 BPM and be soaked in screams, but which can also be quiet and tranquil for a moment. For me personally this is an album I like to listen to in quiet moments to which I can just lay back and enjoy the spirit of music.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 7

Written by Bas | 13.12.2006


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 40 users
05.10.2008 - 16:05
This review here deserves a bumb. Good job

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