Out now on SPV / Steamhammer

German guitarist Axel Rudi Pell releases his 3rd live album (to my knowledge) in a career spanning 20+ years.  You probably know the drill by now, great band, great vocalist in Johnny Gioeli and a good set of songs, all ruined when it comes to Pell’s “solo antics”. I find it quite amazing that in his extended career he’s never learnt to bend a string to pitch or develop a vibrato that sounds anything other than hack, both key elements of Blackmore’s style he failed to rip off. Kirk Hammett and Axel really should join forces.

I know the majority of Pell’s fan are not musicians and do not have such a keen ear for technique, and to be fair he can pen a good song in the classic Rainbow/Purple/RJD era Sabbath vein but if it weren’t for his band holding it all together then would anyone really be giving this guy props?

Plus points, running time is decent, good sound and it looks like the accompanying DVD is well shot.

Long term Pell fans will buy this.  Newbie’s should probably stick to a studio album and guitarists with a keen ear for pitch and taste will avoid like the plague.  I want to like this. Alas I can’t.

If you ignore the solos – 78%
Overall rating – 40%