The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




JANUARY 20 2014



Axel Rudi Pell has to be one of the most prolific artists out there, not that we are counting, but starting in 1989 this is his 28th release, including live albums and the odd DVD. Indeed since 2010 we have has an album a year and two DVDs.

So to celebrate those 25 years in Rock Pell has brought on board legendary drummer Bobby Rondinelli (Sabbath/Rainbow/Doro) to join the already formidable line-up of Johnny Gioeli (Hardline) on vocals, Ferdy Doernberg on Keyboards and Volker Krawczak on Bass. It’s a great album too, possibly the best since his last release... And that I guess is what you get with Pell – remarkable consistency, yet little variety.

If you are familiar with Pell and his music then there’s nothing not to like here, it’s beautifully produced, beautifully played and the songs are by and large the quality you have come to expect. If you love your Rainbow and Dio-era Sabbath then you will of course love this, with ‘Tower of Lies’ a strong opener, immediately bettered by the standout ‘Burning Chains’ which really could be ‘Long Live Rock and Roll’ era Rainbow. Boy that will get some repeat plays!

Sadly nothing else really comes quite up to the class of the opening pair, but it’s a very close call with plenty more songs of quality: ‘Changing Times’ is a mid-tempo rocker that’s solid as anything else here and the melodic brace of ‘Long Way to Go’ and ‘High Above’ do the job. Perhaps best of the rest though are the (traditional) cover of Neil Young’s ‘Hey Hey My My’ smothered in outstanding vocals from Gioeli, and the ballad ‘When Truth Hurts’ which is certainly one of Pell’s slower numbers of recent outings.

If you want more – you got more! Want epics? Fill your boots with the stunning title track that closes proceedings or ‘Touching Heaven’ that builds slowly before breaking down the walls.    

It’s always heartening when an artist lays their heart on their sleeve and Pell’s comment in the lead up that “There hasn’t been one day in my life when I haven’t been pushed by Ronnie James Dio’s spirit to write something mystical” really sums up the album; long may the spirit of Ronnie guide his hand.  

If you’ve not listened to Axel for a while, or never heard his music before, this is a great introduction, and it’s great to be able to say that so many years down the track.

The digipack adds even more, including a Blackmore’s Night cover…


Line Up:
Johnny Gioeli - Lead and Backing Vocals | Axel Rudi Pell - Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars | Ferdy Doernberg – Keyboards | Volker Krawczak – Bass | Bobby Rondinelli - Drums


Tour 2014:

07.02. D-Hannover - Capitol
08.02. NL-Weert - De Bosuil
09.02. GB-London - The Garage
11.02. D-Nürnberg - Löwensaal
12.02. CH-Pratteln - Z7
14.02. D-Memmingen - Kaminwerk
15.02. D-Erfurt - HsD
16.02. D-Hamburg - Markthalle
18.02. D-Langen - Neue Stadthalle
19.02. D-Ludwigsburg - Rockfabrik
20.02. D-Bochum - Zeche
21.02. D-Bochum – Zeche (sold out)
20.09. NL-Zoetermeer - Boerderij
21.09. D-Cologne - Essigfabrik
23.09. D-Aschaffenburg - Colos-Saal
24.09. D-Munich - Backstage
26.09. D-Vienna - Szene
27.09. CZ-Zlin - Masters Of Rock Cafe
28.09. CZ-Prague - Matrix Music Club
30.09. D-Berlin - Huxleys
01.10. D-Bremen - Aladin
03.10. D-Karlsruhe - Substage
04.10. B-Vooselaar - Biebob
05.10. D-Bochum - Zeche



by Mark Diggins