Axel Rudi Pell - Knights Call

Axel Rudi Pell - Knights Call

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(CD, Steamhammer/SPV, 2018)

Axel Rudi Pell, the master of melancholic guitar-melodies, strikes again on “Knights Call” and delivers yet another batch of the smooth Heavy Metal that has become his trademark sound over the years. And it is a pleasing start of the album with the snappy “The Wild And The Young” which holds a catchy chorus and in general a very good vibe. Johnny Gioeli's voice has that nice harshness and rasp to it which charges the melodies even more.

Next up, RAINBOW-oozing “Wildest Dreams” continues down the same path and the moody harmonies make it nice and dark. For “The Crusaders Of Doom”, the pace is taken down a notch and there are some parts and passages that have resemblances with TWISTED SISTER’s “The Price”. When the chorus comes in that reference is gone though and it's another delightful musical experience delivered. “Beyond The Light” could have qualified for the '80s mega-hit compilation album “Power Ballads”; again, it's not far off to mention RAINBOW as a reference. The song is filled with emotion and desperation, just as for the great MTV days.

The “Knights Call” album is wrapped up with one up-tempo track “Follow The Sun”, one of my favorites on the record. It has a rawer nature than the rest. Also, the finale “Tower Of Babylon” stands out since it holds quite different harmonies when compared to the rest. More “Gates Of Babylon” (that turns into “Stargazer” for the epic ending) than “Catch The Rainbow” which creates a good dramatic vibe.

“Knights Call” is a very pleasant album and Axel Rudi Pell is a fabulous guitarist. His tone is one reason enough to listen to his music. The issues I have with this record though is that it feels very safe and comfortable. For sure, right in line with what's been coming out from the band over the years. And it is what has made him successful, and yes, it's all very good of course, but with a little more edge or debauchery from the concept would have made the record more appealing and interesting.





01. The Medieval Overture
02. The Wild And The Young
03. Wildest Dreams
04. Long Live Rock
05. The Crusaders Of Doom
06. Truth And Lies
07. Beyond The Light
08. Slaves On The Run
09. Follow The Sun
10. Tower Of Babylon


Johnny Gioeli - Vocals
Axel Rudi Pell - Guitar
Volker Krawczak - Bass
Ferdy Doernberg - Keyboards
Bobby Rondinelli - Drums