Axel Rudi Pell to release new album on SPV/Steamhammer


German Heavy Metal Guitar Wizard Axel Rudi Pell, who has been at the forefront of the European melodic metal scene for more than three decades and sold well over a million albums as a solo artist since 1989, is set to release his 14th studio album, ‘Circle Of The Oath’, on SPV/Steamhammer on March 26th. The Axel Rudi Pell band, the line-up of which has been constant since 1998, then set off on tour around Europe, dropping in to the UK to headline London’s Camden Underworld on April 22nd.

‘Circle Of The Oath’, which contains ten brand new Axel Rudi Pell compositions, will be available as a standard jewel case CD, a high class digipak CD with one bonus track and poster, plus as a double gatefold LP in blue marbled vinyl. 1,000 (strictly limited - worldwide) edition ‘Circle Of The Oath’ box sets, containing 2 coloured vinyl LP’s, the digipak CD + poster, another poster, plus postcard, sticker, and several more gimmicks, will also be available.

‘Circle Of The Oath’, picks up from, and goes even further than 2010’s hugely acclaimed ‘The Crest’ studio album, the first album he had ever produced himself, which charted high in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland. Essi Berellian reviewed ‘The Crest’ in Classic Rock’s July 2010 issue, stating that “There’s no messing about or foolish experimentation here, no sir, just straight down the line melodic riffing and blistering solo after blistering solo, the genre standards helped no end by Johnny Gioeli’s fist-banging, leather-lunged vocals. Pell’s playing is, as ever, superlative and the production crisp and powerful.” 

‘Circle Of The Oath’, Axel Rudi Pell’s second self-produced long-player, a truly outstanding, inspired, organic classic rock album, ups the ante even more. Standout tracks include hard driving opener ‘The Ghost In The Black’, the epic, nine-minute-plus title track itself, the soaring ‘Bridges To Nowhere’ and ‘Lived Our Lives Before’, the strident ‘Hold On To Your Dreams’ and closing track ‘World Of Confusion’, the nine-minute-plus sequel to 2000’s acclaimed ‘The Masquerade Ball’.

‘Circle Of The Oath’, a consummate album, chock full of gorgeous, fluid, virtuoso lead guitar licks, powerful, poignant vocals, soaring choruses and delectable keyboards, driven by a rhythm section to die for, will prove to be a major landmark in the inexorably advancing career of this incredibly talented guitarist and his superb band.

Johnny Gioeli   -   Lead And Backing Vocals

Axel Rudi Pell   -   Lead, Rhythm, and Acoustic Guitars

Ferdy Doernberg   -   Keyboards

Volker Krawczak   -   Bass

Mike Terrana   -   Drums



Axel Rudi Pell was born on 27 June 1960 in Bochum, Germany. Having spent his first eleven years listening to children’s and chart music, the discovery of Ritchie Blackmore and Deep Purple irrevocably changed his life in 1971. This self-educated guitarist soon became a sought-after instrumentalist on the local music scene before he formed his first group, Steeler, in 1981. Steeler sold over 30,000 copies of their commercially most successful release, Strike Back, and brought out their fourth and final album, Undercover Animal, in 1988. 

Pell then formed his own band with Jörg Deisinger (ex-Bonfire), drummer Jörg Michael, bassist Thomas Smuszynski (ex-U.D.O.) and US vocalist, Charlie Huhn (Ted Nugent, Gary Moore, Victory). Their debut album, Wild Obsessions, arrived in the stores a year later, followed by Nasty Reputation, for whom Pell enlisted the American singer, Rob Rock (M.A.R.S, Impellitteri), who was then replaced during the subsequent German tour by former Malmsteen vocalist, Jeff Scott Soto. 

With Soto as a new member, the third album, Eternal Prisoner (1992), was undeniable proof that the band had found their own, unmistakable sound. A year later, Pell brought out The Ballads, an album featuring his most accomplished rock ballads. With Between The Walls (1994) and the live recording, Made In Germany, (1995) Pell stuck with his traditional style even in the post-grunge era. The subsequent Black Moon Pyramid (1996) was the second Pell album in succession to make it into the German album charts, as have all subsequent albums. 

Following the departure of Jeff Scott Soto at the end of 1997, US vocalist Johnny Gioeli (ex-Hardline) joined the Axel Rudi Pell band and recorded Oceans Of Time, (1998) the commercially most successful album at that time by the Axel Rudi Pell band. Johnny’s characteristic vocals have subsequently enhanced all ARP albums to date including The Ballads II in 1999, Masquerade Ball in 2000, Shadow Zone in 2002, Kings & Queens and The Ballads III in 2004, Mystica in 2006, Diamonds Unlocked in 2007, Tales Of The Crown in 2008, The Crest in 2010, The Ballads IV in 2011 and now Circle Of The Oath in 2012.

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