AXEL RUDI PELL - XXX Anniversary Live

June 25, 2019, 20 days ago

(AFM)

Mark Gromen

Rating: 8.0

review heavy metal riff notes axel rudi pell

AXEL RUDI PELL - XXX Anniversary Live

Another live testimonial from the white-haired guitar wizard. In case you've missed 'em, in the last 11 years there's been three onstage DVDs and an additional trio of multi-disc CD sets: the vast majority featuring duplicate songs (albeit ARP gems), like “Fool, Fool”, “Casbah”, “Mystica”, “Carousel” and “The Masquerade Ball”, amongst others. No matter, each new album adds a couple of tunes to the mix, and offers an excuse to tour around his homeland. Case in point, this two disc set includes opening intro, “The Wild & The Young”, “Wildest Dreams” (in the same, studio version sequencing), “Long Live Rock”, “Truth And Lies” and “Tower Of Babylon” from the 2018 Knights Call album.

The opener is a Pell composition worth keeping beyond said tour, especially to kick off the live show. Ditto Dio-esque anthem, call & response potential of “Long Live Rock”, but can't see the others remaining in the set, come next time round. With a line-up that's had but one addition in nearly two decades (Bobby Rondinelli on drums, for Mike Terranna), the considerable vocals of underrated Johnny Gioeli (Hardline) present the guitarist's musical vision at the highest level. A compilation of live tracks, rather than one particularly concert, the unpredictable Gioeli gets loose (dropping F-bombs at will) in locations like Budapest, Hungary, as opposed to the more straight laced delivery in their seeming home of Bochum, Germany.

Following an emotional, and at times sparsely instrumented “Oceans Of Time”, the classical structure/introduced “Only The Strong Survive” gets the tempo pumping again. At 14:23, the aforementioned “Mystica” sing-along not only gives Pell a chance to stretch the strings, but is also packaged with Rondinelli's solo. Gioeli ad libs personal lyrics in “Long Live Rock”, referencing the other players. Speaking of solos, keyboard flourish begins the back-to-back pairing of a meandering “Game Of Sins” and “Tower Of Babylon”, which kick off Disc #2. As keyboards sustain the intro to the sporadically gritty ballad, “The Line”, Gioeli mocks his repetitive/unimaginative stage banter. No “Nasty Reputation” this time out, but fast paced “Warrior”, from '94, is the oldest inclusion. It concludes with the singer assessing their performance as “Oh, what a fucking mess,” then telling those that have to go to work the next day to fake illness, stay home and sleep! “Edge Of The World”, with personalized band introduction for one young lady, segues into short 2:28 “Truth And Lies” instrumental, a chance for the namesake to display his handiwork. “Carousel” continues the unedited string of music, ultimately ending the proper set. Lone keyboard greets “The Masquerade Ball” encore, topped with “Rock The Nations” sending everyone home happy. Probably never get the chance to witness it live, in North America, so check it out here.


Featured Audio

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SABATON – “Great War” (Nuclear Blast)

Featured Video

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GREYSTONE CANYON Premiere "Path We Stray"

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