There aren't many surprises with an Axel Rudi Pell release. You know you'll get melodic songs with a lot of hooks and of course Pell's first-class axe work. “Too Late” is a strong opener, an upbeat song that's memorable and features soaring vocals from Johnny Gioeli, who has been the band's singer since 1998.
“Prisoner Of Love” is the catchiest song on the album; a mid-tempo, radio-friendly anthem. “Dreaming Dead” takes a darker and more deliberate tack, and is one of the longer songs on The Crest at nearly 8 minutes. “Glory Night” is the requisite ballad, starting with just piano and vocals before firing up the rest of the band.
A couple of the tracks drag on a little too long, and the instrumental “Noblesse Oblige” seems a little unnecessary, but for the most part The Crest delivers quality songs, sufficient variety and good musicianship. It's exactly what you'd expect from Axel Rudi Pell.
(released June 1, 2010 on SPV Records)