Three hours before the sun went down, creating a beautiful atmosphere at the ´Bang Your Head´ festival in Balingen/Germany, where Axel Rudi Pell celebrated his 25th anniversary as a solo artist with a once-in-a-life-time performance. The CDs and DVDs document a show that is unlikely to ever be seen again in this constellation – a special present the protagonist had worked hard for. As Axel is an early bird, the whole organisation was fairly easy. Of course there were rehearsals, but only one day before the show. Over fifty minutes worth of footage from those remarkable sessions are featured on the DVD and Blu-ray versions of this package. During those sessions Axel realized that something unique was happening.
Not too long ago (a year or so) and while Axel Rudi Pell, was touring in support of his latest opus “Into the Storm”, the “25th Anniversary” of his came up and with it, the idea to celebrate the proceedings in a special way, so the stage was set, for a live performance at that years installation of “Bang Your Head” festival in Balingen/Germany, that was special and memorable for a variety of reasons. For the first time in absolutely ages, Axel, did perform a short four song set with his original band Steeler (not to be confused with the Ron Keel led American “Steeler” which also featured guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen) then a set that utilized as many of the studio singers as possible, was performed, with them, singing their “own” era’s material and finally a bunch of classic rock tracks were performed by the band enlisting the aid of some special guests/friends…
Axel Rudi Pell’s career began in 1980 with the band, Steeler, who sold over 30,000 copies of their commercially most successful release, Strike Back, and brought out their fourth and final album, Undercover Animal, in 1988. In November of that year, Pell formed his own group together with Jörg Deisinger (ex-Bonfire), drummer Jörg Michael, bassist Thomas Smuszynski (ex-U.D.O.) and the American vocalist, Charlie Huhn (Ted Nugent, Gary Moore, Victory). Their debut album, Wild Obsessions, arrived at the stores one year later, followed by Nasty Reputation, for whom Pell enlisted the American frontman, Rob Rock (M.A.R.S, Impellitteri), who was replaced during the subsequent German tour by former Malmsteen vocalist, Jeff Scott Soto. With Soto as a new member, the third album, Eternal Prisoner (1992), was undeniable proof that the band had found their own, unmistakable style. One year later, Pell brought out The Ballads, an album featuring his most accomplished rock ballads. With Between The Walls (1994) and the live recording, Made In Germany, the guitarist from Bochum held on to his typical style even in the post-grunge era. The subsequent Black Moon Pyramid (1996) was the second Pell album in succession to make the German album charts. 1997 saw the arrival of Pell’s eighth offering, Magic, featuring a thematically consistent concept based on supernatural stories. Magic also entered the charts, followed by Oceans Of Time, the commercially most successful album at that time by the Axel Rudi Pell band, and the continuation of Pell’s ballad concept (The Ballads II, 1999).
German guitar god Axel Rudi Pell has returned along with singer Johnny Gioelli, drummer Mike Terrana , keyboard player Ferdy Doernberg and bassist Volker Krawczak to deliver “Circle of the Oath.” Axel & Co. have been responsible for putting out some of my favorite Metal albums of the past 20 years or so and 2010′s “The Crest” saw them with the best album of Axel’s career. In my opinion, “Circle of the Oath” picks up where The Crest left off with a sonically stellar and beautifully melodic sound. Axel has a formula that works really well for him. He is not afraid to wear his heavy Dio and Rainbow influences on his sleeve and this totally works for him.
German guitarist Axel Rudi Pell will release his 17th album, "Knights Call", on March 23 via SPV/Steamhammer.