Axel Rudi Pell - Game of Sins

Axel Rudi Pell Game of Sins cover
Axel Rudi Pell
Game of Sins
Axel Rudi Pell is known for pretty steadily churning out Blackmore inspired hard ‘n heavy metal, employing some of the better vocalists, the genre has to offer and at times, coming up on occasion with some pretty good albums/songs. He’s so prolific and workman like that he’s published some 21 original releases (including live, but excluding compilations) in the 27 years that he’s got his solo band going on. Thus, the problem is that from time to time, stagnation and repetitions seems to set in and even the incredible musicians that he surrounds himself with can save his albums from being predictable. “Game of Sins” the overall seventeenth (?) studio album isn’t bad, but it’s hardly exciting.
This time, the somewhat “side-show” appropriate intro of “Lenta Fortuna” is followed by the mid-tempo “Fire”, which is both full of cliché lyrics and imagery but also has a vocal melody that’s too close to Chroming Roses’ “Louis XIV”, for comfort.
“Sons in the Night” is a little better, but cut of the same cloth with riffs that sound recycled from some previous ARP album.
The title track “Game of Sins” is a little better, more majestic etc., but it probably feels a little too long at almost nine minutes and if it wasn’t for Gioeli being such a fantastic singer, I’m not sure I’d really bother.
“Falling Star” is a little livelier and the first song that harkens seriously back some 4-5 albums ago, where things were kinda “better”. It’s incredibly formulaic still, but at least the results of applying the formula are way more acceptable.
“Lost in Love” will easily get a place in “Ballads V” whenever that happens… (haha)
The King of Fools” is a spirited mid-tempo that is quite pleasing and the darker and slower “Till the World Says Goodbye” is quite good as well.
“Breaking the Rules” is the usual “Carousel like” tune that Axel keeps rewriting far too often with little variation.
“Forever Free” attempts to close the album with an epic tone and it’s not too bad, if not a little too generic.
Lastly, there’s an average cover of “All Along the Watchtower” in the digipack edition that’s rather faithful but is given a new lick to paint so as to sound more compatible with ARP’s style.
Overall, “Game of Sins” is a very average album with few worthwhile moments and those often reminiscent of past glories. If I were in Axel’s shoes I’d take a bit of a break, to come up with something either original sounding or at least something really good. Cause right now he’s only tarnishing his own “Nasty Rep” and if it weren’t for Gioeli singing these song, I doubt anyone would really give a damn.