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Axel Rudi Pell - Diamonds Unlocked II Award winner

Axel Rudi Pell
Diamonds Unlocked II
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 15 September 2021, 6:21 AM

The on-going COVID-19 pandemic is causing many troubles throughout the world, especially the oceans of tears for those who lost someone dear (fuck the economy and the interests of the politicians and great employers who lead people to not follow the right protocols, and if you’re a fanatic affective linked to guys like Trump, Bolsonaro and others, fuck yourself too). To bands, many delayed the release of new material as long as tours are not available, and one of them is the prolific German 6-strings master AXEL RUDI PELL. So he had an idea, and here is “Diamond Unlocked II”, the result of it.

As the first “Diamonds Unlocked”, this release is a collection of songs that Axel has as his favorite ones (and you must have in mind that a set of favorite songs for anyone is something that can’t be measured), some from Rock ‘n’ Roll, others from Pop Rock and even Pop Music. And they are dressed up on the same classic Hard Rock form that all works of the band presents since the 80’s (but with the catchy energy and melodies that the fans are used to). So be prepared, because this album is like a rollercoaster ride! The production acted in a way that could make old songs fit on a modern form and with the classical Hard Rock approach of the band. And the result is really amazing: loud, heavy, modern and defined, in a way that everything works 100%. Yes, it’s really an amazing sonority!

All the songs are excellent, but for start with “Diamonds Unlocked II”, maybe the best ones can be the wild Rock ‘n’ Roll “There’s Only One Way to Rock” (an old song of Sammy Hagar, filled with a massive energy and great chorus, and what excellent vocals can be heard), the massive and elegant “Lady of the Lake” (a RAINBOW song of Dio’s days, filled with weight and a great guitar work), “She’s a Lady” (a song of Paul Anka, filled with excellent arrangements, and with a heavy weight created by bass guitar and drums), the GEORDIE’s cover “Black Cat Woman” (that inherited a lot of Hard Rock’s elegance on the melodies, especially due the great guitars and keyboards arrangements), “Sarah (You Take My Breath Away)” (maybe Chris Norman can be proud of this version, because the improvements are clear, and what lovely melodies), the old classic “Paint It Black” (of course that everyone knows that it’s a ROLLING STONES song, here in an improved version with weight and elegance, but respecting the original melodies, but with a better singing), and “Eagle” (an ABBA’s song played with a massive Hard Rock weight, and what wonderful guitars and keyboards parts). Yes, the ride on this album is addictive!

While the pandemic keeps restraining things, the tours can be done as they must, to hear such lovely songs shown on “Diamonds Unlocked II” surely can be a very good experience. Thanks, Axel, and hope to see you soon on stage!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Der Schwarze Abt (instrumental)
2. There’s Only One Way to Rock
3. Lady of the Lake
4. She’s a Lady
5. Black Cat Woman
6. Room with a View
7. Sarah (You Take My Breath Away)
8. Rock n’ Roll Queen
9. Paint It Black
10. I Put a Spell on You
11. Eagle
Johnny Gioeli - Vocals
Axel Rudi Pell - Guitars, Acoustic Guitars
Volker Krawczak - Bass
Ferdy Doernberg - Keyboards
Bobby Rondinelli - Drums
Record Label: SPV/Steamhammer


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