Axel Rudi Pell - Mystica

10 songs
58:09 minutes
Steamhammer / SPV


Axel Rudi Pell started his career with German metal band Steeler in the mid-Eighties before he started his solo career in 1989. When I was about 20 years younger, Steeler were one of my favourite metal bands but I never paid much attention to Pell's solo career, although he has become in the meantime Germany's most popular rock guitarist. And he's also Germany's busiest guitar player as Mystica is already his 17th solo album!

The new album starts with an extremely cheap intro before the first song Fly To The Moon enters with real heavy metal guitars. It's no secret that Pell's roots are Seventies hard rock and a lot of songs are sounding as if Rainbow and Yngwie Malmsteen were jamming together in a rehearsal room. In the beginning, it doesn't sound too bad, but then it's not too original and it's too repetitive as four from nine songs are following this structure. But the album also contains more mellow passages. Rock The Nation is a nice Bon Jovi sounding tune, but it contains too many clichés for my taste. No Chance To Live is an even worse ballad than the Scorpions' Wind Of Change. The title track isn't more exciting than Alannah Myles' Black Velvet. Song number 8 seems to be a classical, but boring opus and the album's last track is another boring ballad.

There are no doubts about the musicians' technical abilities. Axel Rudi Pell knows how to play the guitar and singer Johnny Gioeli has a remarkable voice. Drummer Mike Terrana has been playing with Rage. The only thing I can't understand is why this album has been recorded. Everything on it is sounding so close to Pell's former works so that it must be difficult to fascinate even his fans. But everyone should decide for themselves how long they will keep buying similar sounding guitar works.

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