Axel Rudi Pell – “Circle Of The Oath”

Axel Rudi Pell – “Circle Of The Oath” (Steamhammer/SPV)

Aha – the Teutonic master of melodic rock metal returns in fine style with his trademark heart wrenching melodies and tear jerking harmonies! “Circle Of The Oath” is Pell’s 15th album no less, and Steamhammer / SPV have spared no expense in offering it in 4 different formats from standard Jewel Case to Digipack (CD plus bonus live track + poster) to double LP (Gatefold, printed inner sleeves, colored blue marbled vinyl) to a limited edition boxset (2 LPs, Digi, Poster, Sticker, Postcard, + 2 more gimmicks). Joining him on bass is his old friend Volker Krawczak – arguably the foundation on which Axel’s sound is built upon, ex Hardliner Johnny Gioeli whose vocals bring a late 70s US rock style into the mix, keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg (who worked with Helloween, Holy Moses, and Therion), and mighty Mike Terrana (Rage, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony MacAlpine, Steve Lukather etc) on the pounding drums! Musically I tend to think of ARP as a more melodic, almost rock equivalent to Dio (or a metalized version of Rainbow – Ed), which I guess is no truer than on the closer ‘World Of Confusion’ or even the slow ballad ‘Lived Our Lives Before’, with it’s bluesy Blackmore-esque solos. However, for me, ARP is best defined by his fast power rockers like my personal fave ‘Run With The Wind’ that show Axel’s prowess as a guitarist who can hold his own onstage against the likes of Ulrich Roth on 40 minute solos! Whatever your view though, 30 years on this German musical legend is still going strong and in fine form – Axel Rudi Pell, I salute you for not breaking your oath!!

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