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Music / Axel Rudi Pell

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A power/speed metal band from Germany and formed in 1989. It was formed by German guitarist Axel Rudi Pell, whom the band is named after, after his departure from Steeler in 1988. The current lineup consists of Johnny Gioeli (of Hardline and Crush 40 fame) on vocals, Axel Rudi Pell on guitars, Volker Krawczak on bass, Mike Terrana on drums and Ferdy Doernberg on keyboards.

They play a classic traditional melodic heavy metal, predictably guitar-heavy but less flashy than Yngwie Malmsteen, with an emphasis on softer ballads as evidenced by three separate ballad compilations over the years.


  • Wild Obsession (1989)
  • Nasty Reputation (1991)
  • Eternal Prisoner (1992)
  • Between the Walls (1994)
  • Black Moon Pyramid (1996)
  • Magic (1997)
  • Oceans of Time (1998)
  • The Masquerade Ball (2000)
  • Shadow Zone (2002)
  • Kings and Queens (2004)
  • Mystica (2006)
  • Diamonds Unlocked (2007)
  • Tales of the Crown (2008)
  • The Crest (2010)
  • Circle of the Oath (2012)
  • Into the Storm (2014)
  • Game of Sins (2016)
  • Knights Call (2018)
  • Sign of the Times (2020)

Axel Rudi Pell provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Air Guitar: Johnny Gioeli occasionally does this in concert.
  • Album Filler: Most common on Oceans of Time and Black Moon Pyramid.
  • Audience Participation Song: Not as frequently as other heavy metal bands, but still sometimes happens.
  • Boléro Effect: "Take the Crown", "Ashes from the Oath", "The Curse of the Damned", their cover of "In the Air Tonight", and the list goes on.
  • Concept Album: The band has released three ballad compilations, each taking songs from the band's last few albums.
  • Continuity Nod: Very common, but most notable in the song "Mystica", which directly references the albums Kings and Queens and Oceans of Time, as well as a handful of songs from previous albums.
  • Continuity Porn: The song "Mystica".
  • Cover Version: "Wishing Well" by Free, "July Morning" by Uriah Heep, "Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix, "The Temple of the King" by Rainbow, "Hey Hey My My" by Neil Young, and "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan. In 2007 they released a covers-only album called Diamonds Unlocked.
    • Cover Album: Diamonds Unlocked.
    • The Cover Changes the Meaning: Most songs covered by ARP develop heavier tones than the original versions, although some stick to the source material more closely. Examples of this are "July Morning" by Uriah Heep and "Beautiful Day" by U2. Ironically, "Love Gun" by KISS was covered as a ballad complete with acoustic guitars. But the most obvious change was made to Phil Collins's "In the Air Tonight". It's...well, compare them yourself.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: Every studio album since Between the Walls has contained a minute-long foreboding instrumental intro at the beginning, with the exception of Tales of the Crown.
  • Epic Rocking: Many of the epic compositions have really long solos, especially "The Gates of the Seven Seals", "The Masquerade Ball", and "The Clown is Dead".
    • Don't forget the song "Black Moon Pyramid".
  • Everything Is an Instrument: "Casbah" has a realistic-sounding outro that sounded like somebody rowing a boat. Additionally, the jokingly-titled "Return of the Calyph from the Apocalypse of Babylon" contains a cow mooing.
  • Four More Measures: "Night and Rain". It doesn't want to begin.
  • Greatest Hits Album: The Wizard's Chosen Few, The Magic Fingers, and Best of Anniversary Edition.
  • Green Aesop: Hole In The Sky, but it's far from being Anvilicious.
  • Heavy Meta: "Long Live Rock", as its title might suggest.
    This way of life is the only one
    We believe and we'll carry on
    Hot nights and cold drinks all night long
    Never too old to rock 'n' roll
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: The demonic interlude of "The Gates of the Seven Seals". It doesn't help that these particular lyrics weren't even included in the album booklet.
  • Last Chorus Slow-Down: "The Curse of the Damned"
  • Multinational Team: The current lineup is two Germans, two Americans, and a Brit.
  • Rockme Asmodeus: The pre-solo interlude from "The Gates of the Seven Seals".
  • Sequel Song: "Dark Waves of the Sea" is the sequel to "Oceans of Time". It features the chorus as an interlude.
    • "World of Confusion" is the same for "The Masquerade Ball".
  • Stopand Go: Possibly "(Don't Trust The) Promised Dreams". The song fades into near silence for about a minute before picking right back up again.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The interlude of "Dark Waves of the Sea", which is a reprise of the chorus from "Oceans of Time". Also "World of Confusion" for "The Masquerade Ball".
  • Word Salad Title: "Return of the Calyph from the Apocalypse of Babylon"