“Live Over Europe” by Axel Rudi Pell

Artist: Axel Rudi Pell
Title: “Live Over Europe”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 4/8/2008
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

Filmed at the “Rock Hard Festival” in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on 5/27/2007, “Live Over Europe” presents the Neo-Classical Hard Rock guitarist Axel Rudi Pell and his band performing a solid set of their classics as well as a healthy dose of tunes from their latest studio album of the time “Mystica”. Having only casually followed the melodic guitar wizard over the years I had to say that I enjoyed the chance to see him in the live sense because he rarely gets to my part of the world, and with the quality camera angles and shooting done for this piece its very easy for the armchair fan to feel as though they were a part of the show. Pell is one of those guitarists who came into prominence first with the band Steeler, and while he has worked with singers from another prolific axeman Yngwie Malmsteen, his own style did not focus on additional flash but rather remained at the Heavy Melodic stage. It worked out well as you can see in this video, for the player is quite talented, and knows how to give you a good show during a concert. Given the album being supported was “Mystica”, the band rumbles through three tracks from it such as “Fly To The Moon”, “Strong As A Rock” and the title track “Mystica” itself. “FTTM” was fun as an opener for me and I got a kick out of singer Johnny Gioeli hitting the stage saying “what’s up” and “what’s going on” to the German crowd. I had to laugh since it seemed like such a New York thing to do and of course with Gioeli being a Brooklyn, NY native it made sense.

On drums Pell has the inimitable Mike Terrana, who unfortunately in the material presented is rather straight forward in his playing with the exception of his visually psychotic drum solo. Terrana is one of the best in the business and seems the master of complex twirls while playing some truly technical patterns. It’s dizzying at times to watch him do this but really, really interesting when it comes down to it. Rounding out the band is Ferdy Doernberg on keyboards and Volker Krawczak on bass. While there are only ten songs in the bands set the upside is that this is their complete performance from the festival and that is sure to please the guitarists hard core fans as well as raise the interest level on those other casual fans who might get the chance to see it. Those who enjoy what he is doing will also appreciate how he rarely stops working and continues to deliver album after album of his well honed style of Metal to the public. His most recent offering is a collection of covers and it bears looking into. The main concert is the core content of the first DVD and there is no other footage to enjoy on this but there is a second disc included as well that features bootleg footage.

DVD2: Tear Down The Walls, Strong As A Rock, Fool Fool, The Masquerade Ball/Casbah, Carousel (including Keyboard Solo), The Temple Of The King, Call Her Princess, Rock The Nation, Strong As A Rock, Love Gun, Oceans Of Time, Fly To The Moon, Mystica, Haunted Castle Serenade, Rock The Nation, Call Her Princess.

*** The second DVD in this set is considered their “official bootleg” DVD and it features shows performed since 2004. It’s not your conventional audience member bootleg but instead from the personal archives of Pell himself who had been collecting the footage from his shows after a member of his team shot it. The sound for the most part is clear and not as muddled as we find on some bootleg footage but as far as visuals go the viewer should understand that this is primarily from the stage shooting or direct full stage views with some close ups. As you might expect some of the footage will be better than others but for the most part this is all rather good. I’m not as much a fan of this kind of inclusion as I used to be but had to admit that this was higher in the level of quality than some other bands had offered when it came to delivering the same sort of content. Let’s face it, not everyone had the proper tools in their favor to do so over the years and as result those who enjoy Axel Rudi Pell are surely in for a few hours of musical treats with this one. Shows presented in some fashion are Wacken Open Air, Bloodstock and Zeche Bochum along with a few others.

A worthy concert and bootleg DVD film for your collection of such releases.

Track Listing: DVD1
1. Fly To The Moon
2. Strong As A Rock
3. The Masquerade Ball/Casbah
4. Drum Solo
5. Tear Down The Walls
6. Mystica
7. Rock The Nation
8. The Temple Of The King
9. Fool, Fool
10. Call Her Princess

Official Website: www.axelrudipell.de

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