Axel Rudi Pell - Wild Obsession (SPV / Steamhammer) 1989
"Wild Obsession" is Axel Rudi Pell's first solo-effort, after his departure form Steeler. Unlike much of his follow-up material, this CD isn't filled with neo-classical songwriting. Rather, "Wild Obsession" is much more straight forward, melodic, heavy metal. Charlie Huhn, former Ted Nugent vocalist does stellar job on the vocals here. Whether anyone likes him better than the other powerhouse vocalists that Axel has worked with over the years is a matter of opinion. In mine, I think the vocals are outstanding. Standout cuts here are "Slave to Love" and "Cold As Ice", both heavy riff driven songs. Drummer Jörg Michael formerly of Rage, later went on to join Running Wild and Stratovarius. Bassist Volker Krawczak was also formerly from Steeler.
Axel Rudi Pell - Nasty Reputation (SPV) 1991
1. "I Will Survive"
I swear that Rob Rock could sing over a busy signal on a phone and it would sound sweet. Rob just has one of those awesome, distinguished voices of metal that few can match. That is not to say that the music on this album is bad. On the contrary, it's quite good. Ex-Steeler guitarist Axel Rudi Pell is not only a competent and technical guitar player, but an excellent songwriter as well. Add to this the incredible voice of Rob Rock and you have one heck of a metal platter. Axel is another of a long list of bands that I get emails about telling me I should check out. Well, once I found out Rob Rock did the vocals on this album, I immediately began my search. At long last, I have this disc and because of it, I may need to investigate more of Axel's discs. This is one sweet CD!
Drummer Jörg Michael has also played with Rage and Headhunter, he also played on Grave Digger's comeback album "The Reaper" and the following tour, joined Running Wild for four albums, and today, he's a constant member of Stratovarius.
"When a Blind Man Cries" is a Deep Purple cover.
Axel Rudi Pell - Between the Walls (Steamhammer) 1994
1. "The Curse "
Yet another stellar melodic metal disc by shredmaster Axel Rudi Pell. This time around, ex-Malmsteen's Rising Force vocalist Jeff Scott Soto is behind the mic adding his own unique flare and flavor to the music. "Wishing Well," a song written by Paul Rodgers has been covered by several other artists including Blackfoot and Gary Moore. This song actually sticks out like a sore thumb on this disc. It's not that the band does a poor version, but it just seems unnecessary tucked between all the excellent melodic numbers like the epic "Casbah." Picked this disc up in a trade with a CD trader from Yugoslavia.
Axel Rudi Pell - Made in Germany-Live (SPV/Steamhammer) 1995
Ya gotta love self indulgent guitar heros like Yngwie, Impellitteri and Axel Rudi Pell. If there is one thing they know how to do, it's jam, and that is exactly what this CD is-one long jam! This is one of the reasons I like live albums so much, especially some of those old 1970's albums. Instead of just recreating the songs exactly the way they are on vinyl, with some audience noise thrown in, they tend to add in some jams and some overall aggression that cannot be captured in the studio. That is certainly the case with "Made in Germany." Axel live and loud, with no overdubs. The cover of Deep Purple's "Mistreated" is an absolute must. Axel shows off a bit of his chrisma in this ode to one of his musical heroes. Vocalist Jeff Scott Soto sounds excellent in this live setting. Ex-Rage drummer Jörg Michael pumps out some dynamic work as well. As a matter of fact, the entire band is tight and quite proficient. Overall, just a solid CD with tons-o-guitar solos and extended jams. Long live guitar heros!
Axel Rudi Pell - Black Moon Pyramid (SPV / Steamhammer) 1996
1. "Return of the
Pharao" [instrumental] (1:47)
Axel knows how to write solid, melodic song with hooks that baits like a big juicy nightcrawler to a big 'ol hungry bass. Add to the formula the return of vocalist Jeff Scott Soto who brings his own unique, raspy voice and charisma to Axel's songs. To be quite honest, I think that many of Axel's CDs sound the same and sometimes lack the seperation to really make one stand out above another. However, when I am playing one of his CDs, I am mesmerized by them. The awesome guitar playing, the stunning vocals, the songwriting, the drum work; everything just seems to work and fall into place. That is certainly the case with "Black Moon Pyramid." This is the reason I tend to pick up and listen to an Axel Rudi Pell CD before most any other guitar shredder with a similar style. As with past discs, there is a slight Ritchie Blackmore/Rainbow quality to some of the songs. "Touch the Rainbow" has a Dio-era Rainbow quaility to it, with it's enchanting, almost haunting, slow tempo and fantasy based lyrics. This is not to say that the whole disc is a Rainbow-clone. Album opener "Return of the Pharoah" and "Spinx's Return" are fast, guitar instrumental shred tracks that will leave any Yngwie fan smiling from ear to ear. "Silent Angel" is a melancholy, ballad that is powerful and not cheesy in the slightest (as some ballads tend to be.) "Aquarius Dance" has more of a funky AOR vibe to it than the rest of the tracks. The disc finishes out with "Silent Angel", an earthy instrumental that sounds as if it would fit perfectly on Joe Satriani "Not of this Earth" CD. The title track is a heavy, neoclassical, epic number that is easily one of the best tracks on the disc. Put it all together and you have yet another fine disc in the Axel Rudi Pell collection. (thanks Kurt)
Axel Rudi Pell - Magic (Steamhammer) 1997
1. "Swamp Castle Overture"
First of all this is yet another album that features vocalist extraordinary Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force), as well as ex-Rage drummer Jörg Michael. That alone should peak the interest of any fan of power metal, or heavy metal in general. However, add to that the dynamic writing skills of Axel Rudi Pell, as well as the incredible shred factor and you have yourself one fine heavy metal platter. My favorite track on this disc is the epic title cut, which is a mid-paced number with a killer extended guitar solo. The heavier tracks like "Nightmare" and "Turned to Stone" are also among my favorites. Jörg Michael puts forth a killer, fast and steady double bass performance in "Turned to Stone". The other epic track, "The Clown is Dead" is a ballad that starts of with a melancholy piano intro and builds into an emotional song. As would be expected, there are plenty of guitar solos in this song, some of which are acoustic. There is an excellent interplay between the guitar solos and the vocals, each helping to spell out the storyline behind the song. Overall, another solid release from Axel Rudi Pell.
Axel Rudi Pell - Oceans of Time (SPV) 1998
1. "Slaves Of Twilight"
Yet another stellar melodic, and semi-progressive heavy metal disc from everybody's favorite German shredmaster Axel Rudi Pell. As with past discs, Oceans of Time features stellar songwriting, epic length tracks, killer melodic vocals and, of course, lots of shredding guitar solos. Unfortunately in the modern music scene, the guitar solo has all but disappeared. Fortunately, metal warriors like Axel Rudi still forge ahead, shredding all who would oppose his metal rule! Long live guitar solos, long live heavy metal, long live Axel Rudi Pell.
Axel Rudi Pell - The Masquerade Ball (SPV) 2000
1. "The Arrival [intro]"
I picked up this disc while on vacation in Florida for a week. I actually found it while visiting Downtown Disney's West Side. For my vacation I brought no music at all. So for an entire week I listened to no metal, which is a record for me. I did bring my cd walkman, so on the plane ride home I popped in this disc, which was the only cd I had with me. It was a joy just to hear some heavy music again, and 'Masquerade Ball' certainly didn't disappoint me. Axel Rudi Pell continues in the same neo-classical, melodic metal style of his previous recordings. although this disc seemed a tad heavier to me at the time. Almost every song on this discs is an epic length track which made the listening experience even more enjoyable. As with past singers, Rob Rock and Jeff Scott Soto, vocalist Johnny Gioeli, is every bit the extraordinary vocalist and only adds to the draw of Axel's songwriting. "July Morning" is an Uriah Heep cover.