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Axel Rudi Pell - 'Into The Storm' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ba/95/23/ARP-into-the-storm-50-1394552725.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     March 11, 2014    
 
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For longstanding fans this new release will come as manna from heaven!

Having effectively called time on Steeler at the back end of the 80s, guitarist Axel Rudi Pell has since gone on to pursue a rather notable solo career; repeatedly hitting the mark with a string of ever impressive studio albums that have emerged at regular intervals. Continuing the legacy bequeathed him by Rainbow and unashamedly (to paraphrase his own sentiments) ‘pushed by the spirit of Ronnie James Dio to write something mystical’, Pell stoically refuses to change course... take it or leave it; it’s as simple as that.

It’s now been a quarter of a century since Pell opted for the solo route to take charge of his own destiny (although in all fairness to him it’s always looked and felt like more of a band set up than anything else), and to celebrate that pivotal milestone he and his current touring band are about to unveil their latest studio offering ‘Into The Storm’ (his fifteenth, which regardless of personal predilections, I’m sure most would agree is a remarkable achievement in this day and age).

Always blessed with great artwork this one is particularly stunning, the beleaguered galleon floundering in a tempestuous ocean is a remarkably apt visualisation of the grandiose musical maelstrom contained within. Former Rainbow drummer Bobby Rondinelli has replaced veteran sticks man Mike Terrana, but that aside the longstanding Pell band set up remains intact and to these (yes I admit it, unashamedly partisan) ears have between them conjured up arguably the best Pell album since ‘The Masquerade Ball’ (no mean feat given the high calibre of the last couple of releases).

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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All the ubiquitous Pell traits are there in spades; grandiose storytelling, mystical arrangements, fast parts, slow parts, epic parts, extended guitar overdriven parts… only this time they seem to have overdosed on the titanic majesty to create a behemoth of biblical proportions! Nowhere is this more obvious than on the ten minute plus title track which closes out the regular edition (the digipak adds a couple of excellent bonus tracks). It’s a grinding Pell epic to rival all Pell epics! That said, more and more of the songs seem to reside in that extended mid pace range this time around. The awesome ‘Touching Heaven’, ‘When Truth Hurts’ and ‘Changing Times’ really ramping up the atmospherics in what proves to be an ever more fluidly dynamic musical landscape – indeed, the way the extended instrumental ‘The Inquisitorial Procedure’ segues seamlessly into shimmering proper opener ‘Tower Of Lies’, you’d think Pell had crafted the mother of all epic albums!

Pell may be a bit like Marmite, but to longstanding fans this new release will come as manna from heaven!

Dave Cockett

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