Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Country: Germany
Label: Steamhammer
Year: 2020

An artist, apart from his ability, can be characterized also from his/her need to create and from his/her productivity. Axel Rudi Pell with his personal band has managed to release 19 records in 32 years. Something admirable from whichever side you look at it. My favorite era is the one with Jeff Scott Soto as a singer, but Johnny Gioeli is by far the longest-serving singer in the band. Apart from that, of course, he is also a very talented one too.

We live in an age where there are many technically trained guitarists. The difficulty is in songwriting and this is a factor where Pell is shining, so there will always be a place for the German virtuoso.

Technically speaking he is flawless, but also with endless inspiration writing great songs. “Sign of the Times” is the nineteenth album for the band and as they no longer have to prove anything to anyone, seems to work in their favor. Without stress, they deliver a large amount of snappy Heavy / Power Metal in which they always have their own signature sound. Flooded with emotion, lyricism and melody and with discreet use of keyboards that does not cap the songs. The guitar obviously has a leading role but it serves the composition. The only easy thing would be to have chatter from soloing that would just fill the duration of the album.

But here we are dealing with really good songs that, apart from the obvious, that is, that they are well played, have the potential to stand out in their overall way too big and rich discography. Another stepping stone in their rich career and an album that will definitely be among the best of the year for the genre.

4/6