Unfortunately, 'Wheels Of Purgatory' is just as polished and clean as the Pontiac on front of the cover. That's a pity, because actually MOTORJESUS do almost everything right. Christoph Birx is a talented singer and his expressive style increases the value of recognition, even though he reminds me more than once to James Hetfield during the 1990's. The two guitar players Guido Reuss and Andreas Peters do a good job, while the rhythm section consisting of bassist Roman Jasiczak and drummer Oliver Beck harmonizes perfectly with the rest of the band. From a technical standpoint, there's nothing wrong with MOTORJESUS' blend of hard rock and metal. I also have to admit that they have a knack for writing anthemic rock songs.

However, I often have the impression that each track has been trimmed to be commercially successful. Of course, I have no problem with musicians or bands who earn money through their music, but I despise it when it will be enforced, come hell or high water. Furthermore, I miss some sort of emotional impact and profoundness. In the long run, 'Wheels Of Purgatory' is shallow and one-dimensional. But perhaps I have missed the point. Most probably, MOTORJESUS are just a party band and it is for this reason that each track is based on a hymn-like structure. If this is the case, I always prefer bands such as early AC/DC, which at least have also enough dirt under their nails, quite contrary to MOTORJESUS. The only song that really stands out is 'Old Man'. Too bad, that it's only a cover version but they have done justice to Neil Young. They also have proven a good taste with this choice and the new arrangement is tasteful and elaborated. In all other respects, however, 'Wheels Of Purgatory' doesn't manage to convince me due to the above-mentioned reasons. But if you're looking for party-compatible and harmless hardrock that includes a couple of over-used rock 'n' roll cliches, then you will probably like this album.

(KK)

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