AXEL RUDI PELL – Live On Fire [2 CD set] (2013)

AXEL RUDI PELL - Live On Fire [2 CD set] (2013) mp3 download


After his early days in Steeler, German guitar player AXEL RUDI PELL formed his own band at the end of the ’80s which through the years has garnered an impressive fan base.

2012 turned out to be Axel’s most successful year with his latest studio album ‘Circle Of The Oath’ scoring high in the European charts. Besides that there was also a big tour with shows on different European festivals and even a three night sold-out gig in his native Bochum.

To celebrate this success and his 30 years in the music business, Axel Rudi Pell is releasing “Live On Fire” (recorded only few months ago on Oct. 18th, 2012) that will be available in all kind of formats, from a double CD set to DVD and even on vinyl.

Axel Rudi Pell’s band is a steady outfit that has remained unchanged for the last 15 years and you can definitely hear that experience on stage and on this live album.

Pell already has a live disc released with this line-up (2002’s Knights Live), so, Is this new instalment necessary?

Well, yes, in many aspects; that previous live album passed almost unnoticed for the big audiences (at that time the Hard Rock genre was not as popular as now), we have the most recent compositions, and the band never sounded tight and oiled live as in present time.

But for me (and I believe there must be many, many other listeners out there) “Live On Fire” essentially is like an enjoyable trip back to my youth when ‘real live’ albums were released (Whitesnake’s Live in the Heart of the City, Black Sabbath’s Live Evil, etc.)

This means “Live On Fire” was pressed onto CD with absolutely no overdubs, something you don’t come across too often. With this ‘one-take’ approach ARP captured the energy and the emotions of that particular night, which is awesome.

And Axel Rudi Pell alive particularly recalls one of the greatest hard rock bands ever; Rainbow in the Ronnie James Dio era.

That re-created very late seventies live atmosphere is probably the biggest achievement from Axel’s band. Johnny Gioeli’s vocal performance is also very Dio-like although he sounds more like Doogie White to me, the Rainbow singer from the nineties. Obviously as a homage, in his banter between the songs Johnny ‘copies’ some of Dio’s phrases quite literally giving you the impression that he’s Ronnie’s little brother.

The atmospheric feel of “The Guillotine Suite” followed by the energetic “Ghost In Black” (both from 2012’s Circle Of The Oath) get this live performance rolling with Pell’s characteristic guitar sound and Mike Terrana’s faster paced drums. Sharp heavy guitar riffs, crafty soloing and the support of Ferdy Doernberg’s enchanting keys in the back.

“Strong As A Rock” sounds live as its title indeed promises with a monster guitar work, grand bass play by Volker Krawczak and smashing drums by Terrana, joint together it is a festivity of ’70s & ’80s comeback.

Also worth to listen is the medley “The Masquerade Ball / Casbah / Dreaming Dead / Whole Lotta Love / Dreaming Dead” with a magical retro feel. Power & huge choruses in “Masquerade Ball”, then the melodic “Casbah” singing together with the audience, and finally a bombastic cover of Zeppelin’s classic “Whole Lotta Love”.

This is an old-school live recording, then solos can’t be missed; Terrana’s drums fear the most, and his potent solo goes off with his always likeable display of power and technique, while the keyboard solo includes a cool band jam in the mix.

The prior fan favourites aren’t forgotten like “Fool Fool”, and other medley includes a partial cover of Deep Purple’s bluesy rocker “Mistreated”, rightful done by the band.

With “Live On Fire” you can’t go wrong especially when you’re a fan of the Hard Rock pioneers from the late seventies / earlier eighties.

Axel Rudi Pell’s band delivers a honest, entertaining live show through their own catalogue with a slight emphasis on their latest work, but above all takes you back to the times of abundant soloing for all, stretched medleys and a little bit of improvising, all in the emotion of an uncut, untouched full live show.

Something of which I can’t get enough when it’s done with this top notch musicianship and feeling.


CD 1

01. The Guillotine Suite (intro)

02. Ghost In The Black

03. Strong As A Rock

04. Before I Die

05. The Masquerade Ball / Casbah / Dreaming Dead /

Whole Lotta Love / Dreaming Dead

06. Drum Solo

07. Mystica / Mistreated / Mystica


08. Oceans Of Time

09. Circle Of The Oath

10. Fool Fool

11. Keyboard Solo / Carousel / Jam / Carousel

12. Tear Down The Walls / Nasty Reputation

13. Rock The Nation

Johnny Gioeli – Lead Vocals

Axel Rudi Pell – Guitar

Ferdy Doernberg – Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Volker Krawczak – Bass, Backing Vocals

Mike Terrana – Drums

AXEL RUDI PELL - Live On Fire [2 CD set] (2013) artwork


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