AXEL RUDI PELL – KNIGHT’S CALL – STEAMHAMMER/SPV
Pell released his first album back in 1989, and here he is back with his seventeenth studio album, showing no sign at all of slowing down yet. Centre stage is Johnny Gioeli (Hardline, Crush 40), as he has been for the last twenty years, while at the back is Bobby Rondinelli (loads of bands, but for me he will always be Rainbow) while bassist Volker Krawczak has been there since the very beginning, and keyboard player Ferdy Doernberg has also been there for more than twenty years. So with only the drummer not having been in the band for the last couple of decades, it perhaps isn’t surprising that they know what they are doing. The band have built a reputation for power ballads and released various compilations of these, but what we have here is a rock album first and foremost, based solidly on classic Rainbow.
True, there is a ballad, but for the most part, this is five guys out there having fun and kicking some serious ass. Pell has built a career around his style of melodic hard rock, and he isn’t going to change now, and when he kicks into the riffs of songs like “Slaves On The Run” all the listener can do is bounce the noggin and smile. I haven’t heard that many albums by the guys, but of the ones I have I can honestly say that this is the best I have come across. It hits the charts in many countries when it was released, including Top Ten in Germany – richly deserved. If you enjoy Rainbow-style hard rock, then this is essential.
by Kev Rowland