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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Pell, Axel Rudi - 2016 Game Of Sins
Pell, Axel Rudi - 2016 Game Of Sins

ARTIST: Pell, Axel Rudi
ALBUM: Game Of Sins
YEAR: 2016


LINEUP: Johnny Gioeli - lead and backing vocals * Axel Rudi Pell - guitars * Ferdy Doernberg - keyboards * Volker Krawczak - bass * Bobby Rondinelli - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Lenta Foruna (intro) * 02 Fire * 03 Sons In The Night * 04 Game Of Sins * 05 Falling Star * 06 Lost In Love * 07 The King Of Fools * 08 Til The World Says Goodbye * 09 Breakin' The Rules * 10 Forever Free * 11 All Along The Watchtower (bonus, Deluxe CD)



Well then, this is a surprise! Our first full review of an Axel Rudi Pell album! This German guitarist has been around for what seems like forever. He caught on at the tail end of the 80's, and as every other artist seemed to be disappearing off the grid, Pell was just starting to take off! 'Game Of Sins' is Axel's sixteenth album, so GDM has a long way to go to catch up with his back catalogue. Better late than never I guess. Axel assembles a cracking line-up for this album. Johnny Gioeli from Hardline is handling the lead vocals, Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult, The Lizards) is on drums, and long-time member Ferdy Doernberg (also of Rough Silk and Eden's Curse) handles the keyboards. 'Game Of Sins' represents old school styled rock/metal, with strong vocals, lots of orchestration and ever-present guitar fills from the man himself.

The Songs
I might be twenty years out of the loop, but Axel Rudi Pell circa 2016 sounds damn fine to me! It certainly helps having Johnny Gioeli as the voice! Navigating past the intro instrumental 'Lenta Fortuna', the band kick into high gear with the booming track 'Fire', wow, this one is an incendiary of a musical kind. Beefy as anything (Ian Botham's thighs perhaps?), I'm loving what I'm hearing thus far. 'Sons In The Night' is as powerful as anything you've hear in the hard rock genre thus far. The title track 'Game Of Sins' hovers around a gothic sounding intro, but really this is quite heavy. So too the onslaught of 'Falling Star', which, if you don't watch out, will drop on your head from a great height. 'Lost In Love' has a cinematic backdrop which reminded me of 'Game Of Thrones' (surely not!), though 'The King Of Fools' is full of ironclad moments, by comparison it gets lost in the epic soundtrack that is 'Til The World Says Goodbye'. Gioeli's vocal gives the album a glossy American feel, as you can hear on 'Breakiing The Rules' and the power-ballad 'Forever Free'. On the Deluxe CD version of this album, an eyebrow raiser was the inclusion of the Bob Dylan penned 'All Along The Watchtower' which has been done to death over the years.

In Summary
I will admit to owning only two Axel albums in my collection. The first and third (1989 and 1992). But it seems I need to go and have a significant catch up with the rest of his back-catalogue because I quite like what I'm hearing! SPV/Steamhammer have been with Axel right throughout his career. That's not something you can say about most metal/hard rock labels and their roster. So good on SPV/Steamhammer for sticking to ARP and keeping German heavy metal alive! [word count 456]

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