AXEL RUDI PELL - Knights Call
April 2, 2018, a year ago
The prolific German guitarist is back, with his 17th studio effort. So by now, you should know the drill: emotive playing, of the Blackmore/Rainbow variety. Hell, for the last five years he's even had drummer Bobby Rondinelli in his band! In addition to Pell's wizardry, it's the voice of Johnny Gioeli (Hardline) that's the star, here.
Of the ten titles offered, "The Medieval Overture", which kicks things off, is just a 1:43 intro, while "Truth And Lies" is a full blown instrumental, Pell going toe to toe with keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg (Rough Silk). Of the remainder, not as many speedy anthems this time around, although once past the harpsichord and mournful guitar introduction, "The Wild And The Young" (something of a lyrical look at yesteryear) packs a punch. Appears Pell became enamored with the poppy, Joe Lynn Turner era of Rainbow ("Stone Cold", Street Of Dreams") rather than his usual Dio infatuation. That said, the title "Long Live Rock" recalls the diminutive singer (solo, as well as with Ritchie) and is musically a spirited cross between that and Axel's countrywoman, Doro Persch. More introspective lyrics, many concerning the state of mankind, including "Slaves On The Run" an revving number where Pell asks, "Is this what life is all about, being stuck to a computer?" Follow-up, "Follow The Sun" maintains the pace and should have finished the disc on a high note.
At nearly ten minutes duration the "Tower Of Babylon" finale is thumping and belabored, with its slight Middle Eastern rhythm. A rare misstep from Pell, beings as it's left till the end, seems as if they too knew it wasn't worthy of higher billing.