AXEL RUDI PELL – Lost XXIII (2022)
Only genuine thoroughbred musicians with substantial creative talent succeed in staying at the top of their game as long as AXEL RUDI PELL has. For more than thirty years, the guitarist and songwriter from Bochum, Germany, has released new albums at regular intervals with his ARP band. Reactions from fans and media alike have been consistently positive while impressive record sales, high chart positions and ever-increasing audience numbers at his concerts and tours say it all.
From 15 April 2022, Pell’s latest studio offering ”Lost XXIII” – his 21st to date – will be available as a digipak, CD, double vinyl album, strictly limited box set, etc, as usual on Steamhammer/SPV.
The ARP band mark 2022 continues to consist of awesome singer Johnny Gioeli, bassist Volker Krawczak, keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg and drummer Bobby Rondinelli (ex-Rainbow), a perfectly oiled hard rock machine that never fails to deliver Pell’s compositions outstandingly and at the same time enhance them with each musician’s own trademarks.
”Lost XIII” was produced by Pell, mixed by Tommy Geiger, and mastered by Ulf Horbelt. The fantastic cover artwork was designed by Thomas Ewerhard (Gotthard, Edguy, Sons Of Apollo).
Pell explains the meaning of the album title “XXIII is the Roman numeral for 23 and stands for W, the 23rd letter of the alphabet. Which in this case is an abbreviation of ‘world’, so you could also call the album ‘Lost World’, a reference to the currently pretty alarming state of our planet.”
The powerful ‘Survive’ reflects all Axel Rudi Pell stands for. There is no way to not be caught by hooks and melody. The song sticks to one’s mind without being a cliché-loaded hardrocker. There are more of these snappy rock anthems, like ‘The Rise of Ankhoor’ with the excellent keyboard parts by Doernberg.
The anthemic ‘Down on the Streets’ and the heavy pounding ‘Freight Train’, they are all 100% Axel Rudi Pell songs with class.
And not to forget the epic moments, starting calm and evolving to a melodically rocking hymn, songs like ‘Gone With the Wind’ – which is based on a true story about a dog that waited in vain for a year on a train platform for its deceased master.
And in case you wonder if there is a ballad too; of course. The piano-introduced ‘Fly With Me’ is the heart-warming moment on this longplayer.
The album has some strong material, and is an easy listen. Does it break new ground musically? Not really, but it does continue a musical style that still holds up after so many decades. The strong vocals of Johnny Gioeli really make it work, as he is a perfect fit for the song writing style that Axel Rudi Pell has developed over his career.
For fans of Melodic Hard Rock / Melodic Metal, it’s definitely worth a listen, and you may find more than a treasure or 2 to make it well worth adding to your collection.
01 – Lost XXIII Prequel (Intro)
02 – Survive
03 – No Compromise
04 – Down on the Streets
05 – Gone with the Wind
06 – Freight Train
07 – Follow the Beast
08 – Fly with Me
09 – The Rise of Ankhoor
10 – Lost XXIII
Johnny Gioeli – lead vocals
Axel Rudi Pell – guitars, vocals
Volker Krawczak – bass, vocals
Ferdy Doernberg – keys, vocals
Bobby Rondinelli (ex-Rainbow) – drums