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HARDWARES

AXEL RUDI PELL

Live On Fire: Circle Of The Oath Tour 2012

(SPV)

Reviewed by : Mark Gromen
Rating : 9.0

Has it really been a decade since the German guitar whiz issued his last live album (2002’s Knights Live)? True, there have been two live DVDs in that time, the audio for One Night Live being available as a bonus CD with the extended version of The Crest. Actually, this is the companion piece to a (yet another) dual live DVD (which includes the Oct 18, 2012 gig, as well as a virtually identical setlist/festival appearance, from July of the same year). Damn shame the guy’s never played in North America. Like previous ARP offerings, in addition to the usual hits, either in their entirety, or as part of an extended medley, there’s the odd solo spotlight (drum/keyboards) and three numbers off Circle Of The Oath (as well as the instrumental that begins both albums), making this 110 minute show the Axel Rudi Pell’s definitive live collection. ‘Ghost In The Black’ is a storming opener, but its the emotional stuff, like ‘Masquerade Ball’, backed with ‘Casbah’ (a monstrously long, 18 minute piece that includes also includes ‘Dreaming Dead’ and snippets of LED ZEPPELIN), that allows American singer Johnny Gioeli (HARDLINE) to shine. He’s probably the most underrated/unappreciated (outside ARP fans) voice in hard rock/metal. Between songs he likes to joke with/heckle the crowd and have fun: “My Deutsche est scheisse. 14 years and all I can say is ‘Hello.” ‘Mystica’, with a slight mid-song departure into DEEP PURPLE’s ‘Mistreated’ allows Pell to go off on his cream colored Stratocaster, much like his mentor, Ritchie Blackmore. ‘Fool Fool’ and ‘Tear Down The Wall’ are big closing number, energetic and great sing-alongs. As close as you’re likely to get to a live show, without hopping on an airplane. Great stuff!



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