The fifteenth full-length studio album by the legendary German Hard Rock/Heavy/Power Metal band.
This is Pell’s fourteenth studio album, excluding "Diamonds Unlocked" cover album, and his eighth with Hardline vocalist Johnny Gioeli and journeyman drummer Mike Terrana on board.
Axel Rudi Pell is nothing if not dependable, and in addition to knocking out a new album every two years fans can always count on each new album sounding almost exactly like the albums that came before it. The formula goes something like this: start with a short instrumental introductory track (for Circle of the Oath it’s “The Guillotine Suite”), then blaze right through a couple of high octane Hard Rockers (“Ghost in the Black”, “Run With the Wind” and “Before I Die”). After that it’s time for a sweeping epic that clocks in somewhere around the ten minute mark (title track). Then do it all over again, with a couple more rockers and at least one ballad, before closing things out with another epic (“World of Confusion”). Another brief instrumental is optional. As for lyrics, just throw everything Ronnie James Dio ever wrote into a hat and pull lines out at random until you have enough to fill an album.
Now, if you love that formula then by all means pick up a copy of this album. You’ll get Pell’s dynamite guitar work, Terrana’s very steady drumming and, perhaps most notably, a powerhouse vocal performance by Gioeli.
Overall, Axel Rudi Pell’s newest effort “Circle Of The Oath” is sheer testimony to the fact that there is no end in sight for this brilliant guitarist, and yet again, he has churned out an excellent set of tunes!
Steamhammer/SPV, 2012 (SPV 260032 CD). Made in Germany. First press.
1. The Guillotine Suite (Intro) 1:52
2. Ghost In The Black 4:36
3. Run With The Wind 4:42
4. Before I Die 4:29
5. Circle Of The Oath 9:20
6. Fortunes Of War 5:19
7. Bridges To Nowhere 7:10
8. Lived Our Lives Before 6:31
9. Hold On To Your Dreams 5:47
10. World Of Confusion (The Masquerade Ball Part II) 9:30
Total playing time: 59:16 min.