Pell, Axel Rudi - Knights Live

Year of Release: 2002
Label: SPV
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 110:00:00

Live albums are a strange concoction. Personally, I derive great satisfaction from hearing some of my favourite ? and not so favourite ? metal bands belting out crowd favourites. But this could be due to my location ? Australia ? which is not overly blessed with international tour after international tour. So in my case, live albums form an important niche in my metal CD collection. Double live albums have been extremely popular in recent years, as bands release more and more albums and as the demands of the buying public grow. So, without further banter let's move on to the new double live album from one of Germany's premiere guitarists, Mr. Hot Rod himself, Axel Rudi Pell.

This is the second live album from Axel following 1995's Live In Germany. Back in those days, Jeff Scott Soto was singing for the band, thus, this is Johnny Gioeli's (Hardline) first live album with Axel since entering the band for 1998's Oceans Of Time. Knights Live is 110 minutes in length but amazingly only features 11 tracks, and it is here that I begin my criticism. Five of these 11 songs appeared on the last album which, whilst released seven years ago, just does not make sense. Axel has released over ten solo studio albums, yet on his first live album in seven years, they repeat some tracks on Knights Live. Favourites "Nasty Reputation," "Snake Eyes," "Warrior," "Call Her Princess," & "Casbah" (which appears here as a full-blown 30 minute medley), all fantastic songs in their own right, all reappear on this album. Granted, we now get to hear Johnny sing these songs, but with so many interesting recent releases (Oceans Of Time, The Masquerade Ball and Shadow Zone) and the always available classics, why not push some of the more recent offerings?

To the playing on this album - it is generally quality throughout. Mike Terrana (d) is utterly brilliant and his solo during the lengthy medley is something everybody should hear. Even his vocal rantings are very amusing. Rough Silk keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg, an integral part of the band for four years, tinkles away with the skill you'd expect. Johnny does a very good job, but is not as I would have expected him live. He appears less powerful and a lot rougher than on studio disc, and at times he really is stretching himself. That said, he is enjoying himself singing such catchy melodic metal. Admittedly, he does have a smart mouth on him with most jokes going over the crowds' heads (I would imagine the English to German translation wouldn't have helped). To Axel himself ? outstanding. And so he should be. He has plenty of time in which to do his thing and his riffs and soloing are so enjoyable and, at times, very heavy, but he knows what to do and where to do it.

Knights Live ? an album that could have been more with a bit more variety of songs, but is still enough of an album and very worthy of your purchase.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Disc One: Edge Of The World / Nasty Reputation / Tear Down The Walls / Medley: Masquerade Ball - Casbah - Drum Solo - Stargazer - Casbah / Follow The Sign / Fool Fool

Disc Two: Carousel / The Clown Is Dead / Call Her Princess / Snake Eyes / Warrior

Axel Rudi Pell - guitars
Johnny Gioeli - vocals
Mike Terrana - drums
Volker Krawzcak - bass
Ferdy Doernberg - keys

Wild Obsession (1989)
Nasty Reputation (1991)
Eternal Prisoner (1992)
The Ballads (1993)
Between The Walls (1994)
Made In Germany (1995)
Black Moon Pyramid (1996)
Magic (1997)
Oceans Of Time (1998)
The Ballads II (1999)
Masquerade Ball (2000)
The Wizards Chosen Few (2000)
Shadow Zone (2002)
Knights Live (2002)
Kings And Queens (2002)
The Ballads III (2004)

Genre: Melodic Metal

Origin DE

Added: January 15th 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 768
Language: english


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