German guitar virtuoso Axel Rudi Pell is back with his sixteenth studio album, Game of Sins through SPV/Steamhammer. It is hard to believe the the guitar player has been around for over 25 years, but the band shows no sign of slowing down as can be evidenced in their latest album.
After the fun, brief opening, we hear what guitar virtuoso Axel Rudi Pell does best, play the guitar. “Fire” opens with a wicked good guitar riff, which breaks into a nice vocal melody. The album takes us into “Sons in the Night,” which offers more powerful guitar riffs and dynamic, clean vocals. Some of Johnny Gioeli’s best vocal melodies can be found on this one.
The title track, “Game of Sins,” chugs along with an ominous guitar riffs and an excellent chorus bringing an almost doom metal feel to the track. Visions of Ronnie James Dio float through my minds hearing this one.
What typically sets Axel Rudi Pell apart from most bands of this ilk is that the guitar work is stellar. The solos mean something and have that flair that some guitar virtuosos are missing. It is more than your typically guitar jack off. The solos have substance and are technically superior to most guitar solos.
Axel Rudi Pell is surely a throwback of sorts to the times when guitar players ruled the metal scene. The vocals are always melodic and well done, but the guitar works is simply stellar. The listener can simply close their eyes and hear each string of every chord played with precision as if every note is perfectly played. Guitar fans will fall in love with any of the band’s many albums and will appreciate them more and they dig into every guitar lick.
One thing that is definitely noted on Game of Sins is that Bobby Rondinelli’s drums are more evident on this release than in prior albums. Of course, the shining star of the album, as always, is the guitar work, which will never change.
Axel Rudi Pell – Game of Sins Tracklisting
01. Lenta Fortuna (intro)
03. Sons In The Night
04. Game Of Sinsx
05. Falling Star
06. Lost In Love
07. The King Of Fools
08. Till The World Says Goodbye
09. Breaking The Rules
10. Forever Free
11. All Along The Watchtower (digipack bonus track)
Axel Rudi Pell Line-up
Johnny Gioeli – Lead and Backing Vocals
Axel Rudi Pell – Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars
Ferdy Doernberg – Keyboards
Volker Krawczak – Bass
Bobby Rondinelli – Drums