Review AXEL RUDI PELL ‘Diamonds Unlocked II’

A pandemic can stop live shows for a certain time span, but it certainly can’t stop music and creativity. In this context it also doesn’t surprise that guitar wizard Axel Rudi Pell used concert-less months to work on a next output from the studios. ‘Diamonds Unlocked II’ is the next chapter of cover version, newly interpreted and recorded. 

Since be able to embark on a tour might still take a bit of time, a new studio album with Axel Rudi Pell songs wasn’t the best option. With the limited possibilities to promote new songs, a longplayer with cover versions was the best choice and this release includes ten songs and an intro. That the record includes with ‘Lady of the Lake’ a Rainbow cover doesn’t really come from leftfield, knowing Pell’s passion for the iconic band their guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. What was not really to expect is a song like ‘Rock’n’Roll Queen’ from The Subways. Axel Rudi Pell turned the punk-based song into grooving metal track and hereby gave this tune the biggest twist. Still the punk roots are present and I was reminded of Billy Idol while listening to this interpretation.The song with the longest history is ‘I Put a Spell on You’ from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. The original was released in 1956 and Axel Rudi Pell turns it into a perfect metal hymn with a dark vibe. And what’s better to round off such an album with a guitarized version of Abba’s ‘Eagle’?

Although Axel Rudi Pell is mentioned on the album cover, the record is a team effort in a way that all instruments work together well, one factor for success of Axel Rudi Pell. Johnny Gioeli delivers again a stellar vocal performance, Ferdy Doernberg provides density with his keyboard and the hard-working rhythm section provides the heartbeat.

‘Diamonds Unlocked II’ is a cover album and songs are known. However, the way Axel Rudi Pell interprets these classics entertains and blossoms right away. ‘Diamonds Unlocked II’ is a good album to bridge time until a new album will be ready, and it is a cool soundtrack for the summer season too.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Der Schwarze Abt (Intro) 
  2. There’s Only One Way To Rock – original by Sammy 
  3. Lady Of The Lake – original by Rainbow 
  4. She’s A Lady – original by Paul Anka 
  5. Black Cat Woman – original by Geordie 
  6. Room With A View – original by Tony Carey 
  7. Sarah (You Take My Breath Away) – original by Chris 
  8. Rock N’ Roll Queen – original by The Subways 
  9. Paint It Black – original by The Rolling Stones 
  10. I Put A Spell On You – original by Screamin ́Jay Hawkins 
  11. Eagle – original by Abba 

Label: Steamhammer

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: July 30th, 2021

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