Axel Rudi Pell has been consistently releasing hard rock/metal albums since 1989. The acclaimed German guitarist has delivered yet another new album in 2022, Lost XXIII, which I would describe as anthemic arena hard rock. He has had a variety of musicians in the lineup over the years, but the current lineup has been consistent since 2013, when Bobby Rondinelli, the most recent member joined on drums.
The first thing to mention about this album is that the band is a precision rock machine. The composition of the music is top-notch, and Johnny Gioeli‘s vocals are compelling. His hard rock rasp coupled with impressive soaring vocals add a distinctive layer to the music. “Gone with the Wind” shows his vocal prowess very well, this is the standout track for me, it’s a rock ballad, with some absolutely incredible guitaring – the song is emotive and allows the guitaring of Pell to shine through, confirming why he is considered one of the greats of the guitar world.
“Down on the Street” is a rocking track, the rumble of Volker Krawczak’s bass drives the riff, it’s a nod to Thin Lizzy as quoted by Pell “Thin Lizzy could have had a hand in this” and he adds “The lyrics are about the hard life of the street”. The track is high energy and each musician stands out while melding together as one.
“Fly With Me” is a haunting ballad, beginning with a superb piano intro, incredible vocals, and a guitar lead which create a haunting prelude to the escalation of the song into a full-on stirring ballad. It is impossible not to be drawn into this song.
“The Rise of Ankoor” begins with bass and keys, it has a very 70’s Uriah Heep, Deep Purple kind of vibe. The guitar is out of this world! Exceptional is the only word to describe it. Axel Rudi Pell has a knack for speaking to the listener with his guitar, he takes you on a ride! Absolutely love the keys in this track, Ferdy Doernberg captures the 70’s Hammond Organ sound and it’s a definite nod to that era of rock.
Overall the album has a bit of something for all fans of hard rock and metal, it’s compelling and memorable. Whether you’re drawn to the rhythm of a song, the vocals or guitars, the album will draw you in. For me personally, the vocals are a big seller, but I am equally impressed with the guitaring, it’s so damn classy. I highly recommend giving this album a listen, it is another quality release from this band and well worth your attention!
Axel Rudi Pell: Facebook
Release Year: 2022
Label: Steamhammer / SPV
Reviewed by ForsakenMisery