Axel Rudi Pell – The Ballads VI Review

Now it’s official, Axel Rudi Pell is the most prolific artist that has ever set foot here with us Metal Addicts. We’ve reviewed six albums so far including the predecessor of this “The Ballads VI” which is “The Ballads V,” of course. I really don’t know how he does that, but the man is able to put out an album each year could it be either a compilation or new ones. This album features two covers, one is brand new – for him – “Diamonds and Rust,” an song that every metaller in this sad and lonely and pathetic little planet knows from the unique, wondrous and marvelous cover from Judas Priest. From where I’m standing it would be such a task to cover this song after what the Priest did with it. Even more if one considers its accoustic version. One of the ost beautiful piece of music somebody has ever put to the light in this sad and lonely and pathetic little planet. But the man was brave enough to do it and he could make a very decent version. The other covers are Kansas “Dust in the Wind” another little piece of wonder. From the 13 tracks of the album, 5 are new including the aforementioned “Diamonds and Rust” and the others come from four studio albums.

The album with ballads only is not really easy to review to the layman. To many it may sound all the same as they are slower musical movements and most have some bias against ballads. Well, I don’t. The fact is that Metal music ballads kind of follow a very strict rule that is to start slow and sweet and to gain some power and lots of distortion somewhere around it in order to blast in a remarkable guitar solo. It works. It works just fine. So, Axel Rudi Pell as a smart man as he is he doesn’t mess with success. There are, of course, some small detours to this path. To include a piano is one of them. “Fly With Me” does that. As I always look for details, ballads are great exactly for their details. “She’s a Lady,” for instance, has a Bon Jovi taste. Vocalist Johnny Gioeli is singing very near Bon Jovi’s overtone. From where I’m standing, the long “Gone With the Wind” is the best from everything I heard here. The perfect balance of sweetness and some aggression as Metal music ballads always represent.

“The Ballads VI” is a great album for the ones who love ballads – of course – and for the ones that follow Mr. Pell’s work.

Axel Rudi Pell “The Ballads VI” will be released on April 21st via Steamhammer / SPV Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Revelations
  2. Diamonds and Rust
  3. Morning Star
  4. Dust in the Wind
  5. Hidden Secrets
  6. Gone with the Wind
  7. She’s a Lady
  8. Room with a View
  9. Fly with Me
  10. As Blind As a Fool Can Be
  11. I Put a Spell on You
  12. Beyond the Light
  13. Quarantined

Watch “Morning Star” official lyric video here: