The debut full-length studio album by the legendary German Hard Rock/Glam Metal band.
After his exodus from 80s German Glam Metal outfit Steeler, Axel Rudi Pell decided to go it alone and create a music all his own, and in subsequent years would grow to develop a sound more worthy of his abilities than what he had been doing.
However, like with all solo projects, one can’t help but imitate what one knows at the time until new ideas begin to form, and this release succeeds mostly in being a slightly more musically interesting version of Steeler. It’s full of great guitar work, vocalist Charlie Huhn does a decent job, but overall this is still 80s Glam Rock.
Charlie Huhn sounds a tiny bit like Jeff Scott Soto in his low to mid-range, but when he launches into his higher register, he sounds a bit more like a combination of Bon Scott and Udo Dirkschneider. The resulting combination of his vocals and the mostly Rock driven riffs, is quite good for singing cheesy love ballads like “Broken Heart” in the Dokken style, as well as for Rock anthems about strippers like “Call Her Princess”. But it is painfully obvious that such a voice would not be able to pull off a more art driven work like “Oceans of Time” or “Legions of Hell”.
The musical on here is pretty much as far removed from the current direction of the band as the vocalist is. The principle riffs of 80s Glam anthems like “Slave of Love”, “Snake Eyes” and “Cold as Ice” are heavily Mötley Crüe inspired, while the choruses are a bit more towards the Dokken formula of dense harmonies and multiple backup singers. “Broken Heart” has an interesting acoustic line and plenty of slow melodic solo work, but its overall presentation is not as deep or thought provoking as “Forever Angel” or “The Clown is Dead”.
The musical highlights on here are the areas where Pell seems to be moving towards a more aggressive and Progressive style. “Hear You Calling Me” is quite similar to later and heavier mid-tempo rockers such as “Follow the Sign” and “Ride the Rainbow”. “Call Her Princess” is mostly a heavy riff oriented song, despite the ode to stripper style lyrics and still enjoys regular play at live venues on Axel Rudi Pell tours. “Wild Cat”, although lyrically another sexual anthem to a pretty Vixen, is a fine piece of early Speed Metal work. “Don’t Trust the Promised Dreams” is the closest thing to an Axel Rudi Pell epic to be found on here, although it lacks the epic feel and sounds more like a heavily riff oriented mid-tempo song. The lyrical direction gives an indication of more thoughtful things to come and the musical middle section gives hints at Axel’s fascination with Eastern mysticism.
This is essentially a solid 80s Glam Metal album that unlike the Glam outfits of the late 80s actually has the riffs and the attitude to qualify as Metal. It is nonetheless an overtly 80s album precisely because it was recorded in the 80s. If you like bands such as Dokken, Mötley Crüe, Skid Row, Accept, and Warlock then this album will treat you well! It’s a lot different than the albums that followed it, but is still a good listen!!
SPV/Steamhammer, 1989 (SPV 84-7610). Made in Germany. Re-press.
1. Wild Cat 3:39
2. Call Of The Wild Dogs 3:51
3. Slave Of Love 4:36
4. Cold As Ice 6:21
5. Broken Heart 5:04
6. Call Her Princess 3:19
7. Snake Eyes 5:13
8. Unchain The Thunder 3:31
9. Return Of The Calyph From The Apocalypse Of Babylon 0:51
10. (Don't Trust The) Promised Dreams 6:28
Total playing time: 42:53 min.