CD Reviews

Axel Rudi Pell - 'The Ballads IV' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 18, 2011    
0.0 (0)
6036   0   1   0   0   0



A splendid album for ARP completists.

ARP’s Ballads series always yields significant sales and I have no reason to doubt that ‘Ballads IV’ will fare any less well than their three illustrious predecessors, released in 1993, 1999 and 2004 respectively. Thus it’s a slightly longer gap this time around.

Three new tracks open proceedings, the ten other tracks having formerly appeared on ‘Mystica’ (3), ‘Diamonds Unlocked’ (3), ‘Tales Of The Crown’ (2) and ‘The Crest’ (2). First of the new tracks is ‘Where The Wild Waters Grow’, a majestic, slow-burning number with the usual band dynamics and an emotive guitar solo or two and the ever excellent vocals courtesy of Johnny Gioeli. Mention of the band dynamics: it’s now been eleven years since the current line-up of the quintet first assembled, making them one of the most enduring in the melodic metal genre. Little wonder, therefore, that they are such a well-oiled machine delivering just what they know their fans seek. They have a clear template to work within, so for me the next two new recordings – both covers – would appear to have presented a challenge.

First one is RJD’s ‘Holy Diver’ (unfortunately rendered as ‘Holy Driver’ in the accompanying booklet, and such an unforgivable error!) Intended as a tribute to the late singer, the song gains an entirely new feel at the hands of ARP, and while I don’t completely dislike his version, it’s become a complete plodder in fitting it to the template. However, the version of ‘Hallelujah’ (the Leonard Cohen song) that follows is a complete triumph, I feel. Never have the vocals of JG sounded quite so spectacularly expressive as they do here, and the inclusion of a children’s choir adds warmth and colour that make this the finest version of the song I have ever encountered.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site

Two majestic instrumentals are included: ‘Noblesse Oblige (Opus #5 Adagio Cantabile)’ and ‘Haunted Castle Serenade (Opus #4 Grazioso E Agresso)’ and both admirably demonstrate Pell’s ability to emulate classical greats in a melodic metal context. Three further songs are also included from an album that was full of covers – ‘Diamonds Unlocked’ – and the only Pell album not to feature in my collection, and thus I had not previously heard them: ‘Love Gun’ (Kiss), ‘In The Air Tonight’ (Phil Collins) and ‘Like A Child Again’ (The Mission). I am completely unfamiliar with the last of these but it fits the template. JG’s voice however, sounds rather gruff here! I am not a Phil Collins detractor, and ‘In The Air…’ is a favourite of mine, and the ARP version (all 8:37 of it) is a wonderful rendition as is his version of ‘Love Gun’ (apologies to the neighbours for my singing!!)

‘Ballads IV’ is a splendid album for ARP completists of course, but I’m not quite certain who else amongst the Fireworks & Rocktopia readership might want it. Hopefully my comments will help you to decide…

Paul Jerome Smith

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  November 2019  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      1  2  3
  4  5  6  7  8  910

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 4 days, 4 hours ago
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
  • Berny : @yvesrock: Apologies for the troubles. I've just sent you an email.
  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves
  • yvesrock : Hi,
  • Berny : @Gazza2005: Please accept my apologies for the delay in processing your order. You should have received a confirmation mail by now. We are really trying our best to fix the payment issue as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience! PS: It seems as if you sent the payment twice, we sent you a refund.

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site